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Tue Aug 20, 2013, 07:11 AM

Out of Sync

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2013/08/19/harper_governments_toughoncrime_laws_are_outdated_editorial.html

Harper government’s tough-on-crime laws are outdated: Editorial
Published on Mon Aug 19 2013

For 40 years, the United States conducted an unremitting, staggeringly expensive war on drugs.

For at least 30 of those years, Washington sent a succession of “drug czars” to Ottawa to press the Canadian government to get tough on dealers, traffickers and addicts.

~snip~

It took the Prime Minister six years to get his controversial crime legislation through Parliament, but he finally succeeded last year. The centrepiece of his law-and-order agenda was a series of mandatory minimum sentences, many for drug crimes. They ranged from a jail term of six months for growing six or more marijuana plants to three years behind bars for operating a methamphetamine lab in a residential neighbourhood.

But now, with Canadian courts and prisons ramping up for more trials, more incarceration and longer sentences, the U.S. has changed direction. It is de-escalating its war on drugs, shelving mandatory minimums and allowing judges to divert non-violent offenders into drug treatment and job training programs.

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