Sep 29, 2007 04:28 PM
THE CANADIAN PRESS
OTTAWA – Health Minister Tony Clement says the Harper government will unveil its long-awaited anti-drug strategy as early as next week.
Clement says the $64 million strategy will come in the next few days, and suggests it will involve increased criminal penalties, prevention and treatment programs and a crackdown on smuggling at the border.
Shortly after taking office early last year, the Conservatives killed a bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.
Since then, the number of people arrested for smoking pot has risen dramatically in several Canadian cities.
As a result, thousands of people were charged with a criminal offence that, under the previous Liberal government, was on the verge of being classified as a misdemeanor.
Clement says his government wants to clear up the uncertainty.
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day will join Clement in announcing the plan as part of a range of initiatives to be unveiled by the Tories surrounding next month's throne speech.