Justice system is broken

The justice system in Canada is broken — and it has been for a long time

The justice system in Canada is broken — and it has been for a long time.

It’s broken when the police issue an alert to Victoria residents that reads: Released from jail, high-risk sex offender Randy Lanferman still poses a “significant risk to women and teenage girls.” Lanferman, 44, has a history of stalking women, breaking into their homes and sexually assaulting them.

When the police are concerned enough to warn us that there’s a shark in the water, why is our justice system allowing it back into the pool?

The system is broken when Gary Alan McIntyre, 47, of Nanaimo is sentenced to house arrest after pleading guilty to five counts of sexual assault involving four children aged 7 to 14. The assaults took place over a two-year period when the victims were invited over to McIntyre’s home for play dates with his child. Among the victims was an 11-year-old mentally challenged girl.

Really? He gets to serve a measly “two years less a day” in the comfort of his own home that also happens to be where he perpetrated his crimes. That’s justice? I don’t think so.

And the system is broken when, instead of protecting the most vulnerable members of our society from these aforementioned creeps, we waste valuable police and court time prosecuting Owen Smith for baking THC-laced cookies and cakes to ease the suffering of people with cancer and chronic pain.

The reason Smith, a member of Victoria’s long-running Cannabis Buyers’ Club of Canada, is charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking is because, under the federal government’s regulatory scheme governing lawful access to medical cannabis, only the possession of dried cannabis is allowed.

Tell people with lung cancer that instead of eating a THC cookie to relieve their nausea and pain, they have to smoke a joint — and you’ll understand just how outdated and ridiculous this policy is. Smith was trying to help individuals by producing cannabis medicines in the form of cookies, lozenges and other products for oral administration, plus cannabis-infused oils, salves and patches for topical administration.

There is a documented need for these products that has to be recognized by our government. Given the choice, people want to obtain these products legally, but, if you stand in the way of that, how can you expect critically and chronically ill Victorians not to obtain them in any way they can?

If you believe people would rather suffer than break the law, then you’ve never truly experienced pain.

The justice system needs to get its priorities straight. Release every prisoner charged with innocuous cannabis offences and use the empty cells to keep violent offenders locked up for the entirety of their sentence. As for child molesters, you probably don’t want to know what I suggest for them. M

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