Mandatory minimum sentences for possessing drugs for personal use do not make Canadians safer. They will not improve the health of our economy, the safety of our streets, or the well-being of communities throughout Canada. The inevitable overcrowding of Canadian prisons will not only increase tension and conflict in prisons, but also cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
Richard Elliott is the Executive Director for the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network (www.aidslaw.ca). The Legal Network promotes the human rights of people living with and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, in Canada and internationally, through research and analysis, advocacy and litigation, public education and community mobilization. The Legal Network is Canada’s leading advocacy organization working on the legal and human rights issues raised by HIV/AIDS, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2012.
In the lead up to World AIDS Day 2012 on December 1, Canada's Parliament has the chance to repair Canada's Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR) and finally get the job done. Members of Parliament must make the all-important decision to end partisan political squabbling and vote "yes" for Bill C-398, the bill that will fix CAMR once and for all. Millions of lives hang in the balance.
11/20/2012 08:01 EST
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