Presentation on theme: "Canada’s Drug Strategy. 2 Purpose Provide an overview of Canada’s renewed National Drug Strategy Historical context Impetus for change Renewed National."— Presentation transcript:
2 Purpose Provide an overview of Canada’s renewed National Drug Strategy Historical context Impetus for change Renewed National Drug Strategy Cannabis reform legislation Next steps
3 Canada’s Drug Strategy: Historical Context First National Drug Strategy launched by Government of Canada in 1987: Investment of $210 Million over five years Strategy based on four key pillars: Prevention Treatment Enforcement Harm reduction National Strategy renewed again in 1992 and 1997
4 Canada’s Drug Strategy: Horizontal initiative National Drug Strategy horizontal initiative with numerous federal partners: Health Canada Portfolio of Solicitor General Canada Department of Justice Canada Customs and Revenue Agency Foreign Affairs and International Trade Provincial, territorial, and other non-governmental partners and stakeholders play a key role in implementation and administration of anti-drug initiatives
5 Canada’s Drug Strategy: Impetus for Change Three influential reports were released, including a report of the Auditor General, and two reports by special committees of the House of Commons and Senate Calls for action included: Strengthened leadership, coordination and accountability with dedicated resources Enhanced data collection to set measurable objectives, evaluate programs and report on progress Balanced demand and supply activities Increased emphasis on prevention, treatment and rehabilitation Modernized cannabis laws In 2002 Speech From the Throne, Government committed to act on the results of Parliamentary reports, including possibility of decriminalizing possession of marijuana
6 Canada’s Drug Strategy Renewed: Overview In May 2003, the Government announced the renewal of the National Drug Strategy, supported by a $245 Million investment Vision is founded on Canadians living in a society increasingly free of harms associated with drug use and abuse Incorporates a balanced approach to address both the demand for and supply of drugs Four key strategic investments areas were incorporated to address identified challenges and gaps: Leadership Knowledge Generation and Management Partnerships and Intervention Modernizing Legislation
7 Canada’s Drug Strategy Renewed: Objectives Increase the age of initiation / first time use Decrease the prevalence of harmful drug use Decrease the incidence of communicable diseases related to substance abuse Increase the use of alternative criminal justice measures Decrease the illicit drug supply and address new and emerging drug trends Decrease avoidable health, social and economic costs
8 Canada’s Drug Strategy Renewed: Highlights Leadership ($17 Million) To increase accountability and ensure stronger coordination between all partners: Establish appropriate governance mechanisms Develop priorities, establish measurable goals, evaluation and reporting mechanisms Conduct biennial, national direction-setting working fora with partners and stakeholders Report biennially to Parliament on progress Increase support to international organizations (CICAD)
9 Canada’s Drug Strategy Renewed: Highlights Knowledge Generation and Research ($28.5 Million) To address critical information gaps on the nature and scope of substance use and abuse in Canada: Enhance information and data collection on drug trends Establish and implement a national research agenda Improve information sharing and network building
10 Canada’s Drug Strategy Renewed: Highlights Partnerships and Intervention Activities ($177.5 million) To address the four pillars of prevention, treatment, harm reduction and enforcement: Implement national promotional/prevention agenda Promote community-based initiatives that accommodate local needs and participation Enhance targeted enforcement activities and initiatives (focus on marijuana grow operations and clandestine laboratories) Strong public education and awareness campaigns, particularly focused on youth
11 Canada’s Drug Strategy Renewed: Highlights Modernization Legislation and Policy ($22 million) To ensure legislation and policies are responsive to current and emerging requirements and trends Modernize regulations under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act Increase capacity to develop alternative measures, such as cannabis legislative reform Expand drug treatment courts
12 Cannabis Reform Initiative: Current Legal Framework Controlled Drug and Substances Act controls possession and cultivation of marijuana Possession 30 grams or less of marijuana punishable by up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1000 30 grams or more of marijuana can result in either an: Indictable offence: imprisonment up to five years less a day Summary conviction: — 1 st offence: up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1000 — 2 nd offence: one year imprisonment and/or a fine up to $2000 Cultivation offences Production (cultivation) of marijuana punishable by up to seven years imprisonment
13 Cannabis Reform Initiative: Impetus for Change Stigma associated with criminal convictions Changing Canadian attitudes toward cannabis Unequal application of law across the country Escalation of large-scale marijuana grow operations
14 Cannabis Reform Initiative: Objectives Reform intended to: Ensure equal application of law across the country Address marijuana grow operations problem Better reflect Canadian attitudes toward the possession of small amounts of cannabis Anticipated that proposed ticketing scheme would lead to increased law enforcement for the possession of small amounts of cannabis.
15 Cannabis Reform Initiative: Proposed Legal Framework Under the proposed legislation, new offences would be introduced for possession and cultivation of marijuana Possession Graduated penalty regime based on the amount of marijuana in possession (1 gram or less of cannabis resin, 15 grams or less of marijuana, 15-30 grams of marijuana, 30 grams or more of marijuana) Penalties more severe when aggravating factors are present Cultivation offences Graduated penalty regime, with a maximum of 14 years in prison for the cultivation of marijuana For cultivation offences, judges will have to provide rationale for not imposing imprisonment if aggravating factors are identified
16 Next Steps Over the next eighteen months, the Government will: Develop and implement Drug Strategy Accountability Framework Re-affirm provincial and territorial engagement Hold inaugural strategic priority setting forum Continue to work in support of international drug control efforts.