Address root causes of crime, and legalize pot says Yukon Green Party

Green Party leader Frank de Jong says the government must address the root causes of crime, which he says are poverty, drug addiction, homelessness, and medical challenges. He also says Yukon should prepare for legalized marijuana.

'If you can address the root crime you can avoid all these costs of incarcerations, courts and police'

'If you can address the root crime, you can avoid all these cost of incarcerations, courts and police,' said Yukon Green Party leader Frank de Jong. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

The Yukon Green Party says it's time to address the root causes of crime in Yukon.

Party leader Frank de Jong, who's running in the Pelly-Nisutlin riding, says community involvement in crime prevention is good, but he says government must address things such as drug addiction, homelessness, and medical challenges.

"If you can address the root crime you can avoid all these costs of incarcerations, courts and police," de Jong said. 

He says the Yukon Party wants to increase funding for programs such as Crime Stoppers and auxiliary RCMP officers, but he wonders where the money will come from.

De Jong also says his party supports the move towards legalizing marijuana, and the territorial government must be prepared.

"I think we have to follow the lead of the federal government and decriminalize marijuana, like four states in the United States have already done," he said.

"Start making it available in a controlled way at the liquor store — you know, you have to be over 18, you can't smoke it when you're driving, etc."

De Jong says his party would address the illegal drug trade with harm reduction programs. He applauds recent efforts in other jurisdictions to supply addicts with controlled doses, under safe conditions.