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Needle Exchange in Prisons

Illegal drug use in Canada continues in spite of the incarceration of legions of illicit drug users, dealers, growers, and manufacturers, held captive in a senseless draconian war against drugs. About 93% of the money spent each year on Canada’s Anti-Drug Strategy goes to enforcement that is supposed to reduce the supply of illegal drugs, despite documentation that drug seizures have no effect on street availability, price to the user, or overdose (Wood, et al., 2003). As the war has ground along, the price of cocaine, for example, has fallen dramatically even as purity has increased; In 1981, one gram of cocaine cost US$600, but 25 years later in 2006, the same gram only cost the end user Cdn$70 for 99%-pure cocaine (UN Office of Drugs and Crime, 2009, p. 261). Prohibition just isn’t working -- again. Not in the community and not in prison either.

The Safe Streets and Communities Act: Cruelty and Intolerance at its Worst

2010 closed with the 32nd consecutive drop in both the rate and the severity of crime across Canada (Statistics Canada, 2011). Despite this, Prime Minister Stephen Harper ‘s conservative government has reintroduced their much anticipated law and order agenda in the form of one colossal crime bill. Bill C10, the "Safe Streets and Communities Act" (Parliament of Canada, 2011) combines nine of the former Bills which had failed to pass into law due to opposition and repeated prorogues of parliament. Other criminal law bills which failed to pass previously were introduced separately. They focus on tightening both our online freedoms and Canadian immigration law.