Canada needs your help! On SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2, marijuana activists are planning Canada-wide rallies to call attention to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative government’s Bill S-10, the disastrous drug bill that includes mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana offences.
Bill S-10, if passed, would bring American-style mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana to Canada for the first time, including an automatic 9-month jail sentence for growing as few as 6 plants, and an automatic 18-month sentence for sharing hash or pot cookies. Click here for a full list of new penalties under Bill S-10.
S-10 is currently on the back-burner at first reading in the Senate, but Conservatives are expected to push the bill harder as part of their planned overhaul of the Canadian justice system that would see increased arrests and expensive new prisons.
“We are trying to send the message to the recently returned Parliament that S-10 is something that is very much on our radar, and we want them to be paying attention too,” rally organizer Jacob Hunter told Cannabis Culture. “We want to let everyone know the bill is out there and we don’t want the Conservatives to sneak it in, unnoticed.”
Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have been criticized by drug policy experts, scientists, and members of opposition parties for the introduction of mandatory minimum sentences, which have been the cause of much controversy south of the border.
“These mandatory minimum sentences against marijuana users will cost Canadian taxpayers billions of dollars, and for what?” Hunter said. “Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, and if legalized, would earn government billions in tax revenue.”
Activists will be taking the fight to Conservative, Liberal, NDP, Bloc Québécois Member of Parliament’s offices across the country to let lawmakers know that Canadians do not support bringing failed, American-style drug laws to Canada.
“We’re asking people to rally at their Member of Parliament’s offices,” Hunter said. “MPs are supposed to be in their offices on Saturday to communicate with their constituents, but all too often they are not. If they’re not there, let the public know that their taxes will be going up to throw marijuana users, including medical users, in jail.”
CLICK HERE for more information on how to stop Bill S-10.
By Jeremiah Vandermeer