Canada And Prostitution

This week our Neighbor to the North joined in the ongoing debate about the world’s oldest profession.  Canada’s highest court unanimously struck down three laws regulating prostitution:  one which banned keeping a brothel, one which barred street solicitation of sex, and a third that made it illegal to earn a living from prostitution.

The Canadian court ruled found that Canada’s prostitution laws violated the guarantee to life, liberty and security of the person.  It also held that the law prohibiting people from making a living from prostitution is too broad.  In addition, Canadian courts have reasoned that the ban on brothels endangers prostitutes by forcing them out onto the streets.

Should prostitution be decriminalized or even legalized in America?  Prostitution is legal in a number of countries, but in the United States it is lawful only in Nevada.  “Sex workers” argue that they should be permitted to pursue their livelihood as they see fit, and proponents of legalization contend that it would permit prostitution to be licensed, regulated, and controlled, with the regulation to include periodic medical examinations to ensure that basic health and safety conditions are satisfied.  Proponents also say that legal brothels, should free prostitutes from the yoke of abusive pimps.

In America, social standards are changing — and often the driving force behind the change is the desire of governmental entities for more tax revenue.  The current movement to legalize marijuana seems to be motivated, at least in significant part, by the dollar signs legislatures see from the opportunity to tax.  Could the ban on prostitution in America be the next social and legal convention to change in the quest for more tax money?

3 thoughts on “Canada And Prostitution

  1. Every country that has legal prostitution ends up with a horrendous load of follow-on crimes, such as sex-trafficking. It seems that opening one door just encourages others to do worse.

    And no, it doesn’t make sense. You;d think that legalizing it would reduce the follow-on crimes, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.


  2. I followed a former sex worker’s blog until she stopped posting. I used to be of the opinion that legalization would be an improvement. I’m not so sure now. I don’t believe that people choose prostitution because it is their great passion and the one thing in life that gives them purpose. People find themselves in prostitution because they lack other opportunities. It seems like the vocation of last resort, a way to subsistence living.
    I agree on the legalization of marijuana, generating revenue dollars, and really why not? Cigarettes are legal, gallons of the most disgusting rotgut available are legal to imbibe at all hours of the day and night, and look at the cash that is generated then paid right out again in medical costs. I don’t know if pot is truly the gateway drug it was once purported to be or something comparatively harmless. Time will tell.


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