Addiction Shouldn’t Be Criminal

by | Nov 18, 2020 | Criminal Defence

Addiction should not be criminalized.  There has been a growing body of people within the criminal justice system pushing the government to decriminalize the personal use of a variety of currently illegal drugs.  Recently the Federal Prosecution Service, the prosecutors responsible for drug offences, have advised their prosecutors to withdraw simple possession charges if they meet a prescribed set of criteria.  This move it’s a step in the right direction but can still leave struggling addicts with a criminal record if they are unable to advocate for themselves.  
Addiction is a disease and the courts are often the site where this disease is criminalized.  The jail is often the site where detox takes place in what many believe the most inappropriate manner.  Criminal records that follow the individual for life are often the heavy cloak worn by an addict in recovery working hard to leave the past behind but unable to cross that final hurdle.  The new directive from the Feds still allows prosecutors to proceed with simple possession charges in certain circumstances.  The directive is not a blanket clause.  Further, it is not a directive to the police to stop charging these offences.  This means that people are being charged, placed on conditions of release which often include a clause not to possess illegal drugs, and are given a court date.  Once that court date rolls around, often 4-6 weeks in the future, the Crown still has the ability to proceed with the charge should they want to.  Leaving this type of decision up to the individual prosecutors who are often times paid by the hour, thus more files equals more money, increases the need for fierce advocacy on behalf of charged individuals to ensure that one does not go to jail for something that the other may get a free pass.  
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction and ends up being charge with a possession related offence, you cannot rely on the prosecutor to help you out.  There is a need for a strong advocate to ensure that you receive the full benefit of any programs or directives that are in place.  A simple possession charge should not haunt you for the rest of your life and the team at Cake Criminal Defence will do all that they can to see that it doesn’t.  Nick Cake and his team understand that addiction isn’t easy.  See us today for a nonjudgmental consolation and we will tell you the ways we can work to not make a criminal out of an addict.