#213 US Drug War Pushes Canada Toward Police State

Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001
Subject: #213 US Drug War Pushes Canada Toward Police State

US Drug War Pushes Canada Toward Police State


DrugSense FOCUS Alert #213 Tuesday, June 19, 2001

The Canadian government may not pursue the drug war as ruthlessly as
the United States, but Canadian politicians aren’t immune from drug
war stupidity. As the National Post reported last week, new banking
rules will put many Canadian citizens under suspicion as

National Post columnist Terence Corcoran noted: “The common thread
running through these money-laundering and other anti-crime laws
around the world leads straight to Washington and the most futile
crime crusade since prohibition: the war on drugs. Hundreds of
billions of dollars, global prosecution regimes and out of control
police actions are doing little to stop the drug trade. But they are
lining the pockets of bureaucrats and police workers and laying the
groundwork for institutionalized state control.”

Please write a letter to the National Post to say that the US, with
its mixture of high drug abuse rates and high incarceration rates, is
no role model for drug policy.


Phone, fax etc.)

Please post a copy your letter or report your action to the sent
letter list (sentlte@mapinc.org) if you are subscribed, or by
E-mailing a copy directly to MGreer@mapinc.org Your letter will then
be forwarded to the list with so others can learn from your efforts
and be motivated to followsuit

This is VERY IMPORTANT as it is the only way we have of gauging our
impact and effectiveness.


Contact Info

Source: National Post (Canada)
Contact: letters@nationalpost.com

Additionally, Corcoran’s column was published in two other

Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Contact: letters@theherald.southam.ca
Pubdate: Mon, 18 June 2001
Headline: Big Brother has a brand new weapon

Source: Halifax Daily News (CN NS)
Contact: letterstoeditor@hfxnews.southam.ca
Pubdate: Sat, 16 Jun 2001
Headline: War on drugs a war on Canada



Canada: Column: One Step Closer To A Police State

URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v01/n1062/a08.html

Newshawk: Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy http://www.cfdp.ca/
Pubdate: Fri, 15 Jun 2001
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2001 Southam Inc.
Contact: letters@nationalpost.com
Website: http://www.nationalpost.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/286
Author: Terence Corcoran, National Post


Claiming to be fighting a valiant war on crime, governments around the
world — but especially in Canada — are actually fighting an
escalating war on people. This includes Ottawa’s draconian
“money-laundering” regulations. If you send $15,000 in cash to pay for
your grandmother’s hip replacement at a U.S. hospital, your name will
go on the list of potential money launderers. Privacy? Freedom? Guilt?
Innocence? Forget it. Under some definition, sending cash into the
U.S. health-care system probably is money laundering.

Another manifestation of Ottawa’s war on people at the expense of
individual freedom is Bill C-24, a law to fight organized crime.
Introduced last April, C-24 whipped through final third reading on
Wednesday, just before the MPs fled Ottawa with their pockets stuffed
with the proceeds of organized politics.

The new law vastly expands government power and gives police the right
to break the law to enforce the law. The Canadian Civil Liberties
Association has called parts of the legislation “evil,” but that
didn’t phase the government. People who tried to follow C-24 on its
rapid run through the Commons say it is as bad in the final version as
it was the day it was introduced.

Provincial and local governments have their own power-expansion
ambitions and are more than ready to hand police fresh authority to
stomp on basic rights. Ontario last month reintroduced its own
infamous organized crime legislation, noted mostly for giving
government the ability to seize the assets of innocent people if
prosecutors think the assets were acquired, directly or indirectly,
through some organized criminal activity.

That these laws go overboard and trample on people’s rights nobody
seriously doubts. Oddly, though, it’s not until the laws and
regulations are on the books that people begin to realize how much
power governments have taken and how many rights have been lost. The
federal money laundering law, which sets up a new federal money
laundering agency to monitor every transaction over $10,000, passed
last year with plenty of warning. But now that the law is in place,
law societies are calling for amendments. There is also growing
recognition the law will do nothing to stop organized crime.

It’s a little late for these concerns. Banks, investment houses and
others are also trying to fight regulations that would impose massive
paper-pushing and monitoring costs — estimated at up to $100-million
— and turn bankers, lawyers and accountants into government spies on
their customers. It’s not a police state yet, but the laws are in
place to create one should anyone get the urge.

The common thread running through these money-laundering and other
anti-crime laws around the world leads straight to Washington and the
most futile crime crusade since prohibition: the war on drugs.
Hundreds of billions of dollars, global prosecution regimes and out of
control police actions are doing little to stop the drug trade. But
they are lining the pockets of bureaucrats and police workers and
laying the groundwork for institutionalized state control.

The international rhetorical campaign against money laundering,
organized crime and so-called “gang” laws, has escalated into what one
legal specialist called a “regulatory jihad.” The objective is to
enroll the whole world in the U.S. drug war. The enrolment technique
is to grossly exaggerate the crime. Ottawa’s money laundering
legislation was adopted on the grounds that somewhere between
$5-billion and $17-billion in crime proceeds were being washed through
Canada every year. Those bogus numbers were concocted by a consultant
who defined money laundering as an “economic crime.” It’s a handy
catch-all that included insurance fraud ( $2.5-billion ), cellular
phone fraud ( $650-million ), stock market fraud ( $3-billion ),
telemarketing fraud ( $4-billion ). Even if these numbers are
accurate, and they look wildly implausible, most of the crimes have
nothing to do with money laundering or the drug industry.

The New Yorker magazine estimated last year that the U.S. government
spends US$16-billion a year on the war on drugs. State and local
governments another US$24-billion. The result is two million people in
prison, up from 750,000 a year ago. But the number of drug addicts has
not changed.

Where do Canada’s governments get such enthusiasm for joining this
absurd U.S. war — and at such expense to Canadians’ rights and
protections? The new laws expand police powers, break down the trust
between bankers and customers, and between lawyers and clients, and
give governments new authority to prosecute and harass innocent
people. The U.S. war on drugs is fast becoming a Canadian war on
Canadians. And we don’t even have a drug problem worth worrying about.



To the editor:

On behalf of Americans whose tax dollars are used to fund our
misguided War On (some) Drugs, please accept our apologies that these
horribly failed policies are creating a ripple effect which increases
government intrusion into the affairs of your country’s citizens.

Here in the United States, many of our weak willed politicians use the
Drug War as motivation for all manner of government snooping and
legislative silliness. As your report from Mr Corcoran related, we
also have invasive inquiries into even modest cash transactions by
otherwise law-abiding citizens.

In recent months, consideration has been given to criminalizing free
speech on the Internet that may contain references to any kind of
illegal drug use. And in this past year, we have approved funding for
several billion dollars in military hardware which is being used to
poison the agricultural lands in Colombia and other parts of South
America. This in a supposed effort to crush cocaine production and
thus ‘save’ less than 1% of our population from their own self
destructive choices. Of course such strategies do nothing to address
the very real problems of drug abuse in our country or yours.

An encouraging remedy may be near at hand, however. In your country,
serious discussion is being raised with regards to ending the criminal
sanctions against responsible adult use of cannabis.

Those of us who work closely with drug-policy reform in the U.S. are
fully aware that cannabis Prohibition accounts for over 2/3 of all
monies expended in The War. As your country makes the very sensible
decisions relating to ending criminal laws against cannabis, the U.S.
will find itself further isolated from our irrational strategy of
warring against our own citizenry.

At that time, you will likely see much relief in Canada from the
pressures being exerted by the U.S. government to enlist your
participation in the ill-fated Drug War.

Stephen Heath

Drug Policy Forum of Florida contact info


IMPORTANT: Always include your address and telephone number Please
note: If you choose to use this letter as a model please modify it at
least somewhat so that the paper does not receive numerous copies of
the same letter and so that the original author receives credit for
his/her work.



Canada’s version of USA Today, The National Post, is available
everywhere in Canada. The MAP Published Letter archives shows 23
pro-reform letters published at http://www.mapinc.org/mapcgi/ltedex.pl?SOURCE=National+Post

While the letters published from United States writers are few, this
is probably more a reflection of where the majority of the letters
they receive come from rather than any bias towards Canadian writers.

The National Post clearly prefers to print short letters. The average
published letter is only 136 words long, with a range from 40 to 244


ADDITIONAL INFO to help you in your letter writing

3 Tips for Letter Writers http://www.mapinc.org/3tips.htm

Letter Writers Style Guide http://www.mapinc.org/style.htm



TO UNSUBSCRIBE SEE http://www.drugsense.org/unsub.htm

Prepared by Stephen Heath, Richard Lake and
Stephen Young – http://www.maximizingharm.com/
Focus Alert Specialists