"I am disappointed by the continued devaluation of the role and authority of the criminal justice system in the eyes of ordinary people."
Randie Long is a former federal prosecutor who brought narcotics charges ranging from street-level prosecutions of drug dealing to trials for conspiracy. He still occasionally does criminal code prosecutions on behalf of the Crown Counsel Office for the Ministry of the Attorney General of British Columbia. He is also a lawyer in private practice, a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, and a member of the Law Society of British Columbia.
Randie’s background as a community organizer, reinforced by his experience as a prosecutor, led him to the conclusion that prosecuting narcotics offenses is simply the wrong approach. High-level gang members appeared untouched while police and prosecutors focused on low-level street dealers in what Randie describes as a “catch-and-release programme”. He frequently witnessed the negative impact of the drug laws on citizens, noting that the policing and court resources being squandered by drug offenses are dollars that could instead be used on education and public health.
Randie is also deeply concerned by the lack of respect for law enforcement and the courts that the wasteful drug war has led to. He explains, “I have recently been extremely disappointed with what I see as the continued devaluation of the role and authority of the criminal justice system in the eyes of ordinary people as it continues to punish, specifically in the case of small amounts of marijuana, people of otherwise good character. People view the courts as being out of step with the rest of society.”
Today, Randie is most concerned by the ever-increasing arrests for simple possession of marijuana and the illicit marijuana market-related violence across North America, particularly Mexico.
Academically trained in economics as well as comparative government and politics, Randie attended the University of Toronto followed by Carleton University for graduate school and the University of Windsor for law school. He currently practices law in a variety of fields in Nanaimo, appearing at all levels of court in British Columbia including jury trials.