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The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act was given Royal Assent on June 20, 1996 after a two-and-a-half year voyage through Parliament that drew massive criticism of the Act's prohibitionist stance. The law replaces the Narcotic Control Act and parts of the Food and Drugs Act.
Said Foundation representative and Ottawa lawyer Eugene Oscapella, "The federal government has almost completely ignored the overwhelming opposition to this prohibitionist legislation. Punitive drug laws have failed. More of the same is not the answer. By enacting the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the government is continuing to do profound harm to Canada by pretending that prohibition is the answer to our drug problems. Prohibition wasn't the answer in the 1920s; it isn't the answer now."
"The new legislation perpetuates and in some cases increases the harms associated with drugs in our society. At the end of the 20th Century, Canada's drug policies remain rooted in the discredited notion that a brutal war on drugs driven by the criminal justice system is the way to stop drug-related harms."
The Foundation has argued on many occasions that punitive, prohibitionist legislation causes far greater harms than it prevents:
. by supporting a violent and corrupting black market in drugs -- a black market that is the very product of the law, just as a violent and corrupting black market in alcohol was the product of Prohibition in the United States during the 1920s"This is the end of the 20th Century", said Oscapella. "It's time for Canada's politicians to stop their damaging and ill-informed rhetoric about the need for a prohibitionist approach to drugs and instead look towards treating drugs as a health and social issue."
The Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy was formed in 1993 by 11 of Canada's leading independent drug policy reformers. Its founding members include psychologists, pharmacologists, criminologists, lawyers, health policy advocates and public policy researchers. The Foundation's objects include acting as a forum for examining the consequences of drug laws and policies on individual Canadians, their communities and Canadian society as a whole.
Contact: Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy (Ottawa) (613) 236-1027
visit the Foundation Web site at: http://fox.nstn.ca/~eoscapel/cfdp/cfdp.html
Updated: 24 Jul 2001 | Accessed: 8493 times