For many people in the Greater Toronto Area, drugs and drug crimes are seen as something shameful done by individuals who have nothing better to do. What they often fail to realise, however, is that not everyone who uses drugs chose the lifestyle. Many drugs are highly addictive and some people may develop a dependency much more quickly than they could ever suspect, unwillingly pushing them into a risky lifestyle.
In the recent trial of a young Toronto man convicted of cocaine trafficking, heroin possession, oxycodone trafficking and possession of property obtained by crime, the prosecutor made special note of the addictive nature of drugs. The prosecutor was not, however, trying to convince the judge to be lenient with his sentencing, but as a comment on the defendant's behavior. Though the prosecutor clearly understands that drugs are addictive, it seems he might not realize that the defendant might also be addicted.
The defendant is only 24 years old and was previously convicted of drug trafficking in both 2009 and 2007. The numerous offenses at such a young age support the presumption that the young man is dealing with drug addiction. Instead of sending him to jail for 2 1/2 years on top of the four months he has already spent in jail leading up to the trial, it may be better for Ontario to provide treatment and rehabilitation.
Though the judge did say that he hopes the young man will change his life around, it may be harder to do so after being sent to jail instead of treatment.
Source: The Sudbury Star, "Sudbury judge sends Toronto dealer a message," Harold Carmichael, May 2, 2014