Canada is all set to go back in time.
Back in time, that is, to an era where informed people actually thought that harsh penalties for minor drug crimes and big jails were going to clean up society and make things better. In this era though we know that the war on drugs has utterly failed to stop drugs from being available and has mostly managed to spend enormous sums of government money and put a lot of young people in prison. Prison, we should note, is a place that destroys people's lives and turns minor offenders into lifetime criminals. If the government were considering how to spend 45 grand a year I wouldn't start out with "Destroy one person's life and push them into serious crime."
That said, the new Conservative C10 crime bill is set to pass into law in Canada. We will see mandatory prison sentences for growing as few a six marijuana plants and lots of people will end up doing long terms in prison where they can look forward to getting out with terrible employment prospects and lots of criminals contacts. Wonderful.
It is hilarious when people around the world are looking at Canada in confusion. Ummm, didn't you guys get the memo? Lots of other countries have tried that tactic over the past few decades and it has clearly just supported violent crime and been a terrible drain on their economies, not to mention not lowering the rate of drug use! Nonetheless we are pushing ahead with outdated, foolish laws that do nothing to achieve their ostensible goals and make life worse for everyone.
All this so that Stephen Harper can look tough. He promised to get tough on crime and he is going to look tough no matter the dollar cost, no matter the social cost and no matter how ineffective it is. We don't need a leader who is tough. We need a leader who makes effective decisions for improving the lives of everyone living in this country. Hopefully a few years from now we will get someone like that but for now we are stuck with spending money to create career criminals so that we can prevent people from using harmless recreational drugs.