Whereas the banning and repression resulting from it cause more harm to individuals and to society than the use of psychoactive substances themselves;
Whereas widespread behaviour can only be eradicated through legislation with difficulty, without causing other problems such as corruption;
Whereas scientific studies show that at best, there is no difference in current user profiles as far as countries with different drug policies are concerned, and that at worst, prohibition strategies engender more serious consequences than do harm reduction strategies;
Whereas there is an important distinction to be made between use and abuse, and that the majority of users are functional and have adapted, in a way that is all together comparable with those who abstain;
Whereas abuse and addiction are often the consequence of problems of psychosocial functioning and not their cause;
Whereas people grappling with abuse and addiction problems are primarily in need of assistance and not punishment, and punishment often aggravates the situation;
Whereas abstinence is not always possible for everyone, at least not in the short term;
Whereas in Canada, the principle of fair justice is not respected from one region to another as far as the possession of narcotics is concerned;
Whereas the devastating effects of metamphetamine primarily result from the inhalation or injection methods of use and the lifestyle of the user;
And finally, whereas the effects of substances and drug addiction are not punely the result of the pharmacological effects of substances, but of the interaction between them, the individual and the context, it is recommended to the committee and to the government to not criminalize the possession of metamphetamine, nor any other drug.
It is also recommended to the government to implement measures other than reducing supply by also taking action with respect to people and their social context with a view to reducing demand and harm. That is the first proposal.
The second, which more specifically concerns the two subsections under 7.1 put forward in the bill, read as follows:
Whereas a number of people, particularly young people, who for the most part are well adapted, contributing members of our future society, possess and use speed in pill form that could contain metamphetamines or their precursors, for example amphetamines;
Whereas a number of people possess and use medications or natural products made up in whole or in part of potential metamphetamine precursors;
Whereas certain substances used in the synthesis of metamphetamines can also be used to produce other consumer goods, for example perfume, in the case of lithium hydride;
And finally, whereas well-intentioned people wishing to manufacture natural products, for example, buy used equipment to enable them to produce pills, but that such equipment is sometimes contaminated by a previous owner, it is recommended to the committee and to the government to amend Bill C-428, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Other Substances Act (methamphetamine), in order to specify which substances are targeted by section 7.1—speed pills sold as amphetamine, amphetamine, pseudo-ephedrine, ephedrine, ephedra, natural products containing ephedra, decongestant medications containing pseudo-ephedrine or ephedrine, mahwong, lithium hydride, aluminum hydride, etc.—and in what form.
Finally, it is recommended to the committee and to the government to clarify the word “intended” so as to avoid anyone being unfairly incriminated by having material in his or her possession that could potentially be used for production or trafficking, but in fact is not.
To conclude, I believe that it is both possible and preferable to control the precursors to metamphetamine production, and that all the other aspects of this bill could do more harm than good.