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Fixing the drug war

 Megaphone (Canada) 27 May 2019

(Originally published: 11/2009) Megaphone present nine steps to end gang violence and help resolve the drug epidemic in Canada.  - Blackbird

British Columbia's Lower Mainland region has incurred a marked escalation in drug-related gang violence over the past two years. The public has expressed outrage over the authorities' impotent response to the rise in daylight shootings on our streets and in shopping malls, restaurants and  parkades. With little to indicate that current drug enforcement policy will curtail the black market trade in drugs and much to suggest it works to support it, a new plan of action is required. The following are nine steps the government can take to end gang violence in Canada:

01 End Canada's involvement in the Afghan War

Canada has never been the target of a foreign terrorist attack, yet we are engaged in an American-led War on Terror in a country that saw a rise in opium export from 450 tonnes in 2000 to 8,200 tonnes in 2007 and now produces 93 per cent of the world opium supply.

02 Increase port security

Tightening security on Canada's ports will lead to less heroin and cocaine on the street, fewer new addicts and reduced costs for the criminal justice system, penal system, health care system and what remains of the social welfare system. It would also cost employers less in sick pay and counseling services.

03 Legalize and tax cannabis products

Regulate its sale and consumption as is presently done with tobacco and alcohol.

04 Investigate and prosecute government officials and corporate interests involved in crime rings

Along with gangs, corrupt politicians, high-ranking military personnel, financial services sector executives, shipping magnates and judges should also be charged and tried for such crimes as money laundering, fraud, war crimes and corruption.

05 Expel United States law enforcement agencies from Canada

According to an ex-LAPD narcotics investigator, U.S. intelligence and enforcement agencies have been caught trafficking in cocaine to the tune of billions of dollars.

06 Establish a new federal paramilitary force

Equip units in the nation's 30 largest cities with enough personnel and firepower to put local traffickers out of business. With port security tightened and marijuana legalized, the new force would focus on synthetic drug labs and traffickers.

07 Temporarily expand harm reduction and treatment services and permit doctors to prescribe drugs

The recent NAOMI trials in Vancouver proved successful for heroin addicts. Physician-prescribed heroin makes life safer for everyone and keeps the cash in the healthcare system and out of criminals' bank accounts.

08 Restructure financial institutions

Pulling billions of dollars in annual drug profits out of our banking system and restructuring implicated organizations will result in negative economic impacts. These may be offset with marijuana tax revenue and funding diverted from the Afghan mission. Worst case, if our present government finds it reasonable to enter a deficit to bailout failing corporations with billion dollar packages, why should it not do as much to combat crime and build a safer and healthier nation?

09 End poverty

When the drug market dries up, gangs will find other ways to generate wealth. They will continue to have a large pool of youth from which to recruit new members until poverty is eliminated. A federal housing program, a guaranteed annual income, a strong social safety net and reduced tuition fees are examples of actions that will provide safer opportunities for youth at risk of recruitment by gangs.



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