Bill C-475 Attacks Crystal Meth,
A private member’s bill from West Vancouver’s MP that aims to make crystal meth harder to manufacture has passed the House of Commons by unanimous consent.
Bill C-475 amends Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to make it illegal to possess, produce, sell or import chemicals with the knowledge they will be used to create crystal meth or ecstasy, and threatens violators with a prison term of up to 10 years.
The legislation, introduced by West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky country MP John Weston Wednesday, passed second reading in the House of Commons 287-0.
“I’m just delighted,” said Weston. “People whose lives have been ruined or whose family members or friends have been ruined wanted something to be done.”
A similar bill was tabled by Peace River MP Chris Warkentin in 2007, but died when an election was called.
Unlike some street drugs, methamphetamines can be manufactured from chemicals that are available to the public. Iodine, acetone, rubbing alcohol, drain cleaner, even cold medication can be found on the list of ingredients.
Until now, individuals found in possession of these precursors but without the final product were not breaking the law. The new legislation changes that, making it easier to prosecute drug makers, said Weston.
“Law enforcement officials have been pleading — Kash Heed was pleading for this when he was solicitor general — for something at the federal level to make it harder for manufacturers and distributors to do their thing. “Crystal meth and ecstasy are both highly addictive and toxic drugs,” said Weston. “They afflict a growing number of people of all demographic types — especially young people.” Their manufacture is hard on the environment as well, he added. “For every kilo of drug, five to seven kilos of toxic waste is produced,” said Weston.
In his speech to the Commons, the MP cited the example of an anonymous 34-year-old from his riding who claimed to have been addicted to ecstasy for 15 years. The drug, he said, “had damaged her body and mind forever.” While crystal meth is extremely addictive, according to Health Canada, ecstasy is less so. “Ecstasy can be addictive, but physical dependence is rare,” reads a statement on the agency’s website.