The Harper regime, after gaining a majority vote recently, has been particularly aggressive in trying to push a controversial and suspicious agenda. The government has decided to place public safety and statistical data secondary to their political schematics, attempting to pass a heavily opposed omnibus anti-crime bill. The changes outlined in the new proposed ‘Tory Crime Bill” have been subject to extensive criticism and debate. Sparked by discussion and articles from numerous scholars, the reproach is due to the various laws that the bill wishes to enact, ones which are arguably leading the nation in the opposite direction.
A series of publications on the topic were compiled by notable figures in Canadian Criminology, Edward Greenspan and Anthony Doob. Prominent figures in Canadian Criminology, the duo co-authored articles in the Globe and Mail discussing a broad range of issues with the itinerary of the bill. The pair started off by discussing the Penalties for Organized Drug Crime Act, dealing with illegal drug production and trafficking. They state:
“The bill is aimed at combatting illicit drug production and distribution by imposing harsher penalties on organized crime, such as six-month minimum prison sentences for those found growing as few as six marijuana plants and a two-year minimum sentence for those selling marijuana to persons under 18 near schools.” (Greenspan, E. 2011, NP)
The authors question the reasoning and motive behind the proposed changes. “Does organized crime really cultivate just six marijuana plants in its grow-ops? Six months for six plants!” (Greenspan, E. 2011, NP) There is a point to be made here. Does your neighbor who has chronic insomnia but cannot get a prescription for medical marijuana count as a criminal for growing a half a dozen plants? How about your son’s classmate who got caught selling a joint to his friend, should he be awaiting trial for a two year sentence or headed to rehab? If such acts are to be considered...