Canada is No. 1 source for ecstasy in U.S., State Department says
The U.S. State Department says Canada should do more to curb the production and trade in ecstasy and other illicit drugs.
The 2009 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, released Friday, says Canada has become the top source of ecstasy available in the United States.
"Canada's continued role as a source country for ecstasy to U.S. markets highlights the need for greater co-operation in tracking precursor chemical activity," it says.
The report highlights the growth of methamphetamine "superlabs" throughout the country, particularly in British Columbia and Ontario.
"The U.S. urges Canada to take stronger action to curb the rise of methamphetamine production. The upsurge in Canadian methamphetamine production has raised the prospect of increased smuggling from Canada to international markets," the reports says.
"Criminal groups composed of Canadians of East Asian origin (primarily Vietnamese and Chinese), outlaw motorcycle gangs, and Indo-Canadian criminal groups are the most significant illicit drug producers and traffickers in Canada."
The report cites Canadian data indicating Canadian-produced meth has turned up around the world, including in Australia, Japan and New Zealand.
The State Department also cast a critical eye on harm-reduction programs across Canada, such as a controversial supervised injection site in Vancouver.
It pointed to a 2007 report of the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), which said a Vancouver Island "safe crack kit" program violated the 1998 UN Drug Convention.
"Canada should implement the INCB's recommendations to eliminate drug injection sites and drug paraphernalia distribution programs because they violate international drug treaties."
The report also quoted Canadian officials as saying Prime Minister Stephen Harper wanted to increase penalties for drug production and trafficking, but not for drug use.