The average sentence for rape in Canada is 3.85 years and 6 years in the US. The maximum in Canada is 10 years for non-violent rape, 14 years for violent, and life in prison for
aggravated sexual assault. The maximum sentence permitted by law upon conviction for rape in the United States is life imprisonment. Marijuana laws in Canada and USA institute punishments that equal, and in many cases exceed, the punishments for rape and other violent crimes.
Marijuana sentences in the US vary significantly from state to state. Here are some examples for simple possession:
- Texas: 180 days to 99 years
- Florida: 1 to 15 years
- Utah: 6 months to 15 years
- Missouri: 1 year to life
- California: less than 1 oz $100 fine; 6 months maximum for more than 1 oz
In DEL RIO, Texas in 2007 a man was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison for trafficking marijuana (LINK).
In June 2009, U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk proposed legislation that would give harsh sentences to offenders in possession of high potency pot. High potency is defined as marijuana that exceeds 15% THC. This law would impose up to 25 years in prison for a first-time offence (LINK). Higher potency pot is in fact much safer for the consumer as it takes less plant material to get high (see Potency Myth).
Drug laws in Canada are controlled by the federal government and are the same for the entire country. Although Canada has a reputation for lenience on pot there is nowhere in Canada where you can legally possess marijuana. Decriminalization has been proposed in the past but was shot down by pressure from the US.
The maximum sentence in Canada is 5 years for possession for over 1 oz; 6 months for less than 1 oz. The absolute max for cultivation is 7 years. The current government has proposed legislation that will double that to 14 years (same maximum sentence as violent rape) and add a mandatory sentence of 6 months for as little as 6 plants.
It is clear that governments feel marijuana is at equally detrimental to society as rape. I don’t think I need to explain how horrible the aftermath of rape is on the victim and their family. What about the negative consequences of marijuana? There are essentially no negative consequences of marijuana use other than those imposed by prohibition. Marijuana possession, cultivation and distribution are all victimless crimes. Any and all violence and organized crime involvement are the direct result of prohibition and in no way initiated by the plant.
Although the drug war has absolutely failed in reducing demand, consumption and supply of any illicit drugs the number of POWs grows every year. See graph:
The drug war is irrational and unjust. It is a war on the people. The DEA and other organizations who benefit from this war lie and lie and lie just to keep this war going.