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Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs


RECOMMENDATIONS



 

THURSDAY, June 13, 1996

The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs has the honour to present its

ELEVENTH REPORT

Your Committee, to which was referred Bill C-8, An Act respecting the control of certain drugs, their precursors and other substances and to amend certain other Acts and repeal the Narcotic Control Act in consequence thereof, has, in obedience to the Order of Reference of Thursday, March 21, 1996, examined the said Bill and now reports the same with the following amendments and recommendations:

1. Page 2, clause 2: strike out line 4 and substitute the following:

"cluded in Schedule I, II, III, IV or V;"
2. Page 28, clause 31: in the French version, strike out lines 6 to 8 and substitute the following:
"réglementaire - l'habilitant à se livrer à des opérations à l'égard de substances désignées ou de précurseurs - exerce son activité commerciale ou professionnelle. Il"
3. Page 39, clause 55: in the English version, strike out line 5 and substitute the following:
"applications and distribution of controlled substances"
4. Page 39, clause 55: in the English version, strike out line 42 and substitute the following:
"stance included in Schedule I, II, III, IV, V or VI"
5. Page 45, clause 64: strike out lines 18 to 31 and substitute the following:

"64. Schedule II to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act is replaced by the following:

SCHEDULE II

(Subsections 107(1) and 125(1) and sections 129, 130 and 132)

1. An offence under any of the following provisions of the Narcotic Control Act, as it read immediately before the day on which section 64 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act came into force, that was prosecuted by way of indictment:

(a) section 4 (trafficking);

(b) section 5 (importing and exporting);

(c) section 6 (cultivation);

(d) section 19.1 (possession of property obtained by certain offences); and

(e) section 19.2 (laundering proceeds of certain offences).

2. An offence under any of the following provisions of the Food and Drugs Act, as it read immediately before the day on which section 64 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act came into force, that was prosecuted by way of indictment:

(a) section 39 (trafficking in controlled drugs);

(b) section 44.2 (possession of property obtained by trafficking in controlled drugs);

(c) section 44.3 (laundering proceeds of trafficking in controlled drugs);

(d) section 48 (trafficking in restricted drugs);

(e) section 50.2 (possession of property obtained by trafficking in restricted drugs); and

(f) section 50.3 (laundering proceeds of trafficking in restricted drugs).

3. An offence under any of the following provisions of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act that was prosecuted by way of indictment:

(a) section 5 (trafficking);

(b) section 6 (importing and exporting);

(c) section 7 (production);

(d) section 8 (possession of property obtained by certain offences); and

(e) section 9 (laundering proceeds of certain offences).

4. The offence of conspiring, as provided by paragraph 465(1)(c) of the Criminal Code, to commit any of the offences referred to in items 1 to 3 of this Schedule."

6. Page 45, clause 65: strike out lines 34 and 35 and substitute the following:

"(c) an offence described in subsection 5(3) or (4), 6(3) or 7(2) of the Controlled Drugs and"
7. Page 45, new clause 65.1: immediately after line 36 add the following:

"65.1 Paragraph 109(1)(c) of the Act, as enacted by section 139 of the Firearms Act, is replaced by the following:

(c) an offence relating to the contravention of subsection 5(3) or (4), 6(3) or 7(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, or"

8. Page 48, clause 71: strike out line 26 and substitute the following:

"section 5(3) or (4), 6(3) or 7(2) of the Controlled "
9. Page 49, clause 71: strike out line 3 and substitute the following:
"subsection 5(3) or (4), 6(3) or 7(2) of the Con-"
10. Page 49, clause 72: strike out lines 9 to 13 and substitute the following:

"the end of subparagraph (viii) and by adding the following after subparagraph (ix):

(x) paragraph 4(4)(a) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act , or

(xi) subsection 5(4) of the Controlled"

11. Page 50, clause 74: in the French version, strike out lines 7 and 8 and substitute the following:

"paragraphe 16(1) de la Loi réglementant certaines drogues et autres substances."
12. Page 50, new clause 76.1: immediately after line 30 add the following:

"Firearms Act

76.1 Subparagraph 5(2)(a)(iv) of the Firearms Act is replaced by the following:

(iv) an offence relating to the contravention of subsection 5(3) or (4), 6(3) or 7(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act;"

13. Page 52, new clause 83.1: immediately after line 9 add the following:

"National Defence Act

83.1 Paragraph 147.1(1)(c) of the National Defence Act, as enacted by section 176 of the Firearms Act, is replaced by the following:

(c) relating to the contravention of subsection 5(3) or (4), 6(3) or 7(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, or"

14. Page 55, new clauses 93.1 to 93.3: immediately after line 11 add the following:

"Young Offenders Act

93.1 Item 4 of the Schedule to the Young Offenders Act is replaced by the following:

4. An offence under any of the following provisions of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act:

(a) section 5 (trafficking);

(b) section 6 (importing and exporting); and

(c) section 7 (production of substance).

Conditional Amendments

Bill C-7

93.2 If Bill C-7, introduced during the second session of the thirty-fifth Parliament and entitled An Act to establish the Department of Public Works and Government Services and to amend and repeal certain Acts, is assented to, then, on the later of the day on which subsection 3(1) of that Act comes into force and the day on which subsection 14(4) of this Act comes into force, subsection 14(4) of this Act is replaced by the following:

Minister of Public Works and Government Services

(4) Where the Attorney General so requests, a judge appointing a person under subparagraph (3)(b)(i) shall appoint the Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

93.3 On the later of the day on which subsection 515(4.1) of the Criminal Code, as enacted by section 153 of the Firearms Act, comes into force and subsection 515(4.1) of the Criminal Code, as enacted by subsection 71(1) of this Act, comes into force, subsection 515(4.1) of the Criminal Code is replaced by the following:

Condition prohibiting possession of firearms, etc.

(4.1) When making an order under subsection (2), in the case of an accused who is charged with

(a) an offence in the commission of which violence against a person was used, threatened or attempted,

(b) an offence under section 264 (criminal harassment),

(c) an offence relating to the contravention of subsection 5(3) or (4), 6(3) or 7(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, or

(d) an offence that involves, or the subject-matter of which is, a firearm, a cross-bow, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or an explosive substance,

the justice shall add to the order a condition prohibiting the accused from possessing any firearm, cross-bow, prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or explosive substance, or all such things, until the accused is dealt with according to law unless the justice considers that such a condition is not required in the interests of the safety of the accused or of any other person."

15. Page 62, Schedule II: immediately after subitem 1(8) add the following:

"(9)Mature Cannabis stalks that do not include leaves, flowers, seeds or branches; and fiber derived from such stalks"

RECOMMENDATIONS

Joint Review of Canada's Drug Policies

WHEREAS the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health has undertaken to review Canada's drug laws and policies this fall;

AND WHEREAS this review is in response to calls for an independent, open, objective, non-partisan reassessment of Canada's drug laws and policies;

AND WHEREAS the Senate may considered conducting a parallel, independent review of Canada's drug laws and policies;

THE Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs strongly urges that a Joint Senate and House of Commons Committee be struck to review all of Canada's existing drug laws, and policies and programs.

Without restricting its mandate, this Joint Committee should be authorized to:

¨ reassess Government's approach to dealing with illicit drug use in Canada, its effectiveness in curtailing drug use, and its fairness of application;

¨ develop a national harm-reduction policy to minimize the negative consequences associated with illicit drug use in Canada; and recommend how such a harm-reduction policy would be implemented, including viewing drug use and abuse as primarily a health and social policy issue;

¨ study harm-reduction models adopted by other countries (treatment and alternative programs for illicit drug use); consider whether such programs should be implemented in whole or in part in Canada;

¨ examine Canada's role and international obligations under the United Nations drug conventions to determine whether alternative measures to prosecution and punishment are possible under the conventions;

¨ and if not, consider whether Canada should seek an amendment to the United Nations drug conventions which would allow alternative harm-reduction measures to permit signatory parties to comply;

¨ revisit the LeDain Commission's findings and recommendations and determine what further action is needed;

¨ explore the health effects of cannabis use; consider whether the decriminalization of cannabis would lead to increased use and abuse, both in the short- and long-term;

¨ explore using the Government's regulatory power under the Contraventions Act as an additional tool to implement a harm-reduction policy.

In addition, the Joint Committee should undertake intensive public consultations to determine the needs of different jurisdictions across Canada, including large urban centres where the societal problems associated with the illicit drug trade are more visible. The goal should be to devise a made-in-Canada drug strategy where all levels of government work effectively together to reduce the harm associated with the use of illicit and legal drugs.

Regulations

The Committee makes the following suggestions with regard to the enactment of regulations:

¨ that the regulations be respectful of aboriginal peoples' spiritual and medicinal practices; regulations must not frustrate traditional healers, herbalists and medicine people in the exercise of their inherent aboriginal and treaty rights.

¨ that the regulations clearly provide that 'needle exchange programs' are not caught by the definition of 'controlled substance' as found in clause 2(2) of the Bill. Under clause 2(2), any object used, designed or intended to produce or introduce a controlled substance into a body can be treated in the same way as that illicit substance. Without a clear exemption in the regulations, users and operators of 'needle exchange programs' risk being charged with dealing in a 'controlled substance.'

¨ that the Canadian Medical Association be formally consulted regarding the drafting of all regulations pertaining to the medical application of controlled substances.

Respectfully submitted,

SHARON CARSTAIRS

Chair

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