The members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a U.S.-based group advocating for marijuana decriminalization, has registered its displeasure with Canada over proposed mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana possession with a letter to government officials. The letter, signed by active and retired judges, police officers and other public officials, says Canada is adopting the measures comparable to “those that have been such costly failures in the United States.”
A statement by a spokeswoman for Justice Minister Rob Nicholson nonetheless insists the government has “no intention to decriminalize or legalize marijuana” and “remains committed to ensuring criminals are held fully accountable for their actions.” Mandatory minimum sentences for minor marijuana-related offenses are part of the government-sponsored Bill C-10, currently under review in the Senate. It is expected to be approved.
A recent poll found that 66% of Canadians favour either legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana, whereas only one-in-five would prefer to maintain the status quo.