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U.S. Drug Czar Claims Canada is Too Lax Prosecuting Drug Crimes
Canadian Press ^ | Sept. 11, 2003

Posted on 09/12/2003 6:55:44 AM PDT by Wolfie

U.S. Drug Czar Claims Canada is Too Lax Prosecuting Drug Crimes

Seattle -- While police are aggressive about arresting people for drug crimes north of the border, Canada's court system treats marijuana and methamphetamine producers too leniently, the U.S. drug czar said Thursday.

"What Canadian officials tell us is that they have laws on the books that could be used here, but that the Canadian system has developed the practice of not sentencing people to anything approaching serious time unless they commit a violent crime," John Walters, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy told The Associated Press. "So you can set up grows, you can ship drugs, you can be caught, and very little happens to you."

Paul Kennedy, Canada's senior assistant deputy solicitor general, countered that stiff sentences aren't the only way to crack down on illegal drug use.

"One factor is the severity of sentence, but it is not determinative by itself, and not every case calls for a long sentence," Kennedy said in a phone interview from Ottawa.

Convicted drug traffickers can be sentenced to life in prison, Kennedy noted, adding that the Canadian government recently proposed doubling the maximum sentence for cultivating 50 or more pot plants to 14 years.

Kennedy acknowledged the United States' gripes about pot smuggling from British Columbia and other provinces, but he pointed out there's a lot more marijuana coming into the United States from Mexico.

U.S. authorities seized 15,400 kilograms of pot along the northern border from October 2002 through July of this year, compared to more than 544,300 kilograms along the southwestern border, according to the latest U.S. Customs figures available.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Jean Chretien's government proposed a law that would treat possession of small amounts of marijuana much like traffic violations. U.S. officials have called the proposal a horrible idea, saying it would lead to more drug smuggling along the 6,400-kilometre border.

Walters criticized Initiative 75, a measure on next Tuesday's ballot in Seattle that would make marijuana possession the city's lowest law-enforcement priority. He acknowledged that marijuana doesn't cause health problems as severe as those caused by cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine, but said that shouldn't make it less of a concern.

"What people do not understand today is that of the roughly seven million people age 12 and above who need treatment in this country because of their dependence or abuse of illegal drugs, 60 per cent are dependent on marijuana," Walters said. "It is more a factor in producing treatment need than any other illegal drug."

Seattle was Walters' sixth stop in a 25-city national tour promoting the government's anti-drug campaign.

Much of the U.S. government's $11.5 billion US drug control budget is doled out to cities and states for programs ranging from education to enforcement.

In his 2004 budget proposal, President George W. Bush pitched a new $200 million initiative that would give vouchers to people seeking drug treatment at the centre of their choice, including religious programs. Some civil libertarians and those who work in traditional treatment programs have said they're concerned that religious groups could be eligible for highly sought-after government dollars.

Walters touted the voucher idea as one of many ways the administration is trying to get more people involved in the fight against drug addiction.

"We need more people to lean in and not look the other way," he said. "The sooner we intervene, the sooner we create a collective responsibility that says, 'We're not going to let you destroy yourself.' "

Walters said he knows what needs to be done to curb drug use, and he's going to make it happen.

"We're not going to say that we've tried to just give money and good speeches about this," he said. "We know how to prevent drug use. We know the importance of preventing drug use. We know that if you do not begin using illegal drugs, alcohol and cigarettes when you're a teenager, the number who go on to use is extremely small, and the number who of those that go on to use and have a problem is even smaller."

He said winning the war on drugs will require better co-ordination of prevention, law enforcement, treatment and other services for addicts.

"They're treating people, they're trying to get people into recovery, but they're not as tied to people that are going to help provide housing and jobs and education to make sure the recovery has the best prospect of succeeding," Walters said. "What we're trying to do is not just run good individual programs at the federal level. We're trying to make sure those programs are making a difference."

Also on Thursday, Walters toured the U.S. Coast Guard's vessel traffic system for Puget Sound, where he spoke about the link between anti-drug and counterterrorism efforts.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: addiction; drugskill; drugwar; wodlist

1 posted on 09/12/2003 6:55:45 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Wolfie
Since the "U.S. Drug Czar" doesn't have any authority or control of drug problems in the US he might as well act as if he has something to do in Canada. It would help if the office of "Drug Czar" has the respect of the people in this country.
2 posted on 09/12/2003 7:04:52 AM PDT by FreePaul
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To: *Wod_list; jmc813; MrLeRoy; bassmaner; philman_36; steve-b; tacticalogic; steve50
ping
3 posted on 09/12/2003 7:08:49 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Wolfie
"What Canadian officials tell us is that they have laws on the books that could be used here, but that the Canadian system has developed the practice of not sentencing people to anything approaching serious time unless they commit a violent crime," John Walters, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy told The Associated Press.

Wow---restricting the law to protecting individual rights. What a concept.

U.S. authorities seized 15,400 kilograms of pot along the northern border from October 2002 through July of this year, compared to more than 544,300 kilograms along the southwestern border, according to the latest U.S. Customs figures available.

Hey, Dubya won't let Johnny push around the Mexicans, and he's not happy unless he's pushing SOMEbody around.

Walters said he knows what needs to be done to curb drug use, and he's going to make it happen.

He's going to make better parenting happen? LOL! What a horse's @ss.

4 posted on 09/12/2003 7:20:06 AM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
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To: Wolfie
...Canadian system has developed the practice of not sentencing people to anything approaching serious time unless they commit a violent crime

That sounds like a pretty good policy to me.

5 posted on 09/12/2003 7:24:32 AM PDT by Highway Star
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To: Wolfie
America - Czar to the world.
6 posted on 09/12/2003 7:24:33 AM PDT by Lexington Green (FREE TOMMY CHONG)
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To: Wolfie; vin-one; WindMinstrel; philman_36; Beach_Babe; jenny65; AUgrad; Xenalyte; Bill D. Berger; ..
WOD Ping
7 posted on 09/12/2003 7:39:04 AM PDT by jmc813 (Check out the FR Big Brother 4 thread! http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/943368/posts)
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To: Wolfie
The day this administration does anything about our souther border is when I miight considert taking them seriously on this.
8 posted on 09/12/2003 7:40:42 AM PDT by jmc813 (Check out the FR Big Brother 4 thread! http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/943368/posts)
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To: Lexington Green
There is no more proof needed to the evilness of the WOD then the fact that it has a 'czar'.

I mean come on.
9 posted on 09/12/2003 7:41:37 AM PDT by toothless
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To: Wolfie
Canada is too lax on everything including the letting in of illegal immigrants from the mid-east.
10 posted on 09/12/2003 7:46:48 AM PDT by Piquaboy
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To: FreePaul
In Canada, we are pretty much governed by stooges and placemen of the Prime Minister; it looks as if you Yanks are governed by petty potentates given absolute authority by the President.

So what's it like - having a Czar?
11 posted on 09/12/2003 7:50:41 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: Wolfie
In his 2004 budget proposal, President George W. Bush pitched a new $200 million initiative that would give vouchers to people seeking drug treatment at the centre of their choice, including religious programs.

Well hold on just a minute here. Its the typical mantra of the libertarian-bashers to say that drug use costs "society" in the form of treatment of addicts, among other things. Libertarians reject that government should treat addicts. But here we have good 'ol George stealing money from taxpayers to pay for the treatment of addicts.

Libertarians are against tax payer funded tyreatment, while George Bush supports it. Ok, who's side are you on? Socialism pushed by Bush, or free market pushed by libertarians? There is no way around it. No argument. Bush is pushing socialism.

12 posted on 09/12/2003 7:54:25 AM PDT by HurkinMcGurkin
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To: MrLeRoy
Ah, I love the sound of crying in the morning.

Sounds like .... victory.

13 posted on 09/12/2003 7:58:36 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: headsonpikes
So what's it like - having a Czar?

They're always roamin' off and sticking their noses where they don't belong.

14 posted on 09/12/2003 7:59:30 AM PDT by Ken H
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To: robertpaulsen
"Ah, I love the sound of crying in the morning."

No wonder you're thrilled with the WOD!

Give the Sate credit for one thing, at least - it knows how to make the people weep.

You sychophantic socialists are pieces of work, indeed.
15 posted on 09/12/2003 8:03:33 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: robertpaulsen
Ah, I love the sound of crying in the morning.

Yep, its pretty funny when Walters and Ascroft cry about the policies of other countries. I'm with you there.

16 posted on 09/12/2003 8:08:02 AM PDT by HurkinMcGurkin
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To: robertpaulsen
the sound of crying

Having auditory hallucinations, I see. Too bad.

17 posted on 09/12/2003 8:12:33 AM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
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To: MrLeRoy; robertpaulsen
The crying he is hearing is for Johnny Cash.
18 posted on 09/12/2003 10:01:48 AM PDT by toothless
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To: toothless
Him and Warren Zevon---tough week for music.
19 posted on 09/12/2003 10:10:28 AM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
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To: Wolfie
U.S. Thought Czar Claims Canada is Too Lax Prosecuting Thought Crimes

Herbal modification of internal chemistry is exceeding safety limits declared by the Ministry of Thought.

"We need more people to lean in and not look the other way," he said. "The sooner we intervene, the sooner we create a collective responsibility that says, 'We're not going to let you destroy yourself."

Please remember your collective, report your fellow citizens not in compliance with thought standards to your neighborhood watch for sanitization.
20 posted on 09/12/2003 10:50:42 AM PDT by PaxMacian
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To: headsonpikes
So what's it like - having a Czar?

Hardly noticable. The Drug Czar, and we have had several, has never done anything. They all have made useless pronouncements and idiotic statements about drugs and the war on drugs.

21 posted on 09/12/2003 1:33:44 PM PDT by FreePaul
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To: Wolfie
I can just picture the flame fest here if some Canadian bureaucrat flapped his pie hole with complaints about US policy.
22 posted on 09/12/2003 2:09:43 PM PDT by steve-b
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To: FreePaul
Ah, so the 'Drug Czar' is a just another low-level time-serving stooge, given a big title to drum up attendance at press conferences.

Makes sense, and saves money, too!

Meanwhile, back in the Caribbean, billions of dollars in drug money is cheerfully being laundered by offshore associates of Establishment banks and investment houses.

The WOD could well be seen as a propaganda circus designed to keep folks' eyes off of the sleight-of-hand manoeuverings of the real-world Interests involved.(place tinfoil hat securely) ;^)

I think that careerism and institutional inertia are larger factors than corruption in maintaining this wasteful and hypocritical extravaganza, personally.

But then, I'm a wide-eyed optimist. Some folks think it's all about the money - that the WOD is totally the product of political corruption and legal venality.

I say it's corruption AND stupidity! ;^)

23 posted on 09/12/2003 2:28:20 PM PDT by headsonpikes
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