This Calgary Defence Lawyer Thinks Drug Laws Need to Change

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Arrests and charges for simple drugs possession continue to keep law enforcement and courts busy throughout Canada, including in the Greater Calgary Area. Calgary Police make many arrests for drug-related charges, and hardly a week goes by without a news item relating to a drug bust or other law enforcement activity aimed at getting drugs off Calgary's streets.

Not surprisingly, despite all of the arrests and all of the headlines, recreational drug use remains relatively common among Calgary's population, as it does throughout the world.

It doesn't take much research to figure out that, as a whole, human beings enjoy the occasional feeling of intoxication. Alcohol is one of the oldest intoxicants known to humanity and is almost certainly the most widely used—both in Calgary and around the world. In times and places where the sale and consumption of alcohol was made illegal, alcohol consumption rarely goes down; instead, crime and violence escalate as "black market" liquor sales lead to smuggling operations, turf wars, and other social ills that substantially outweigh and problems created by the consumption of alcohol itself.

Yet for some reason, Calgary (and Canada, and most of the rest of the world) think the situation is different with other intoxicants. We've outlawed many other substances—from marijuana to cocaine to opiates and so on—in the hopes of removing these substances from Calgary streets and making a safer community. Instead of lowering demand for these drugs, our laws have created an often violent illegal drug trade that creates greater dangers both for drug users and for the Calgary community as a whole.

I am not advocating drug use or suggesting that it is safe or ideal, anymore than I am suggesting people need to or should drink alcohol. Experience has shown us, however, that if people want to use a certain intoxicating substance they will do so, and our community is actually made safer when these substances are made legally available and subject to regulations and oversight rather than being simply and completely illegal.

In such a system, the only people who might be at greater risk would be those prone to abusing drugs or becoming addicted—those who find themselves unable to resist drug use that goes beyond occasional recreational use. This is a problem we see with alcohol quite commonly, and it is best dealt with as a medical and public health issue rather than a criminal justice problem. Other substances should be treated similarly, and everyone in Calgary would benefit.

A Compassionate Calgary Drug Defence Lawyer

Drug-related charges can affect your job, your family, your living situation, and more, and a conviction can leave you with a permanent criminal record for something that might have been a simple evening of fun. Worse, those struggling with addiction can find themselves in prison instead of getting the medical help they need. This isn't right, and I do my best to ensure that each and every one of my clients gets the best available option when it comes to putting their drug charges behind them quickly and completely.

For a free initial consultation, please contact my office today.

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