Pot Law Changes Will Boost Production: Police

Pot Law Changes Will Boost Production: Police
Posted by CN Staff on May 09, 2003 at 22:36:07 PT
By Bruce Owen
Source: Winnipeg Free Press 
Ottawa's impending decriminalization of Canada's marijuana possession laws has police across the country shaking their heads in frustration and dismay.The reason is that because of the change -- treating marijuana possession like a speeding ticket instead of a criminal offence -- police expect demand for cannabis to go up, meaning growers will have to step up production.
And that means more work for already-stretched police agencies.To counter that, the Canadian Chiefs of Police and the Canadian Police Association want Ottawa to usher in a new National Drug Strategy that cracks down on marijuana growers and smugglers.Both also say that strategy should include a funding commitment for better drug prevention and treatment programs and more education campaigns about the harms of soft drug use."There has to be increased enforcement," said Brockville Police Service Chief Barry King, CACP secretary-treasurer. "People who run grow operations should get jail terms. Right now, many of them get conditional sentences. We haven't got the sentencing that the community needs. We have to realize that these people are the scourge, not the user or addict." King said police also want federal legislation that gives them the power to deal with drugged-up drivers.That means more drug recognition training for police and the ability to demand suspected drug-impaired drivers give blood or urine samples to police. Right now, police haven't got the legal right to do that.King said it's also possible new roadside tests, like mouth swabs, and technology, like eye scanners, will be in the hands of front-line police to deal with drug-impaired drivers.'We're talking drugs' "We're not talking about a bottle of beer you can pour out on the side of the road," King said. "We're talking drugs."The CPA is also lobbying Ottawa for tougher enforcement. In a letter sent to Prime Minister Jean Chretien Wednesday, the CPA said they also want new legislative tools to combat the illegal drug trade, including organized criminals, drug traffickers, manufacturers and cultivators. Dave Griffin, CPA executive officer, said police fear the message out of Ottawa is that smoking marijuana is OK."The government spends millions of dollars on the affects of tobacco. Why are they changing perceptions about a drug that has the combined affects of tobacco and alcohol?"Chretien said May 3 that his government would soon amend the Criminal Code of Canada to make possession of small amounts of pot -- supposedly less than 30 grams -- a minor offence that would be treated something like a traffic violation. Those charged and convicted would not have a criminal record, and only pay a fine.In Manitoba, police say decriminalization will make their jobs easier, as they only have to issue a ticket to an offender instead of processing them as a criminal.However, they also say the relaxed laws will mean more people will smoke. That means more cultivation and more cross-provincial smuggling to meet that demand.Marijuana cultivation in Canada, particularly in British Columbia, is already worth billions of dollars to growers, smugglers and the organized crime networks that support them -- the Hells Angels and Asian-based gangs. That won't change with decriminalization.Neither will smuggling, which is already huge. In the past few months between Broadview and Moosemin, Saskatchewan RCMP have seized eight pounds shy of a ton of marijuana."We already have to pick and choose what we do now," a city police officer added. "There is just so much of it." Already, city police have seen a marked increase over last year in the number of indoor grows shut down so far in 2003.Statistics are still being compiled, but it's estimated police have seized about 200 per cent more pot since the beginning of the year than from all of 2002.In 2002, police shut down 82 indoor grows and seized 6,999 plants. The total street value of the seizures was $11,641,254.Officers also say they now typically go for the larger grows and ignore smaller ones, just because of the amount of work involved. It's worth more to police to go after the bigger ones because of the time it takes dismantling the grow and tabulating the evidence.In most cases, those charged with running a grow operation are generally released several hours after being arrested. The same goes with people caught smuggling pot from B.C. eastwards.Police also say they expect to see more home invasions associated with the marijuana trade. Winnipeg has already seen several crimes in which drug users hit the wrong house in a bid to steal marijuana and other drugs.Note: More expected to smoke up with decriminalization.Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)Author: Bruce OwenPublished: Friday, May 9, 2003Copyright: 2003 Winnipeg Free PressContact: letters freepress.mb.caWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links Now Have a Leg Up On Tokers Mellow On Weed
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on May 10, 2003 at 10:38:36 PT
News From Rome
Drugs: the Never-Ending BattleReport Highlights the Costs of AbuseNEW YORK, MAY 10, 2003 ( Overlooked during the Iraqi war was the publication in late February of the annual report of the International Narcotics Control Board. The INCB is an independent monitoring authority that reports on the implementation of the U.N. international drug control conventions. A main theme in the report is the cost of the drug trade for developing countries. Contrary to popular beliefs about South American and Asian drug kings, the countries that cultivate the illicit drug crops do not get the lion's share of the profits from narcotics trafficking. Only 1% of the money ultimately spent by drug users is earned as farm income in developing countries, the report says. The remaining 99% is earned at various other points along the drug trafficking chain. Complete Article:
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on May 10, 2003 at 09:35:49 PT
I missed your link again. It is sad news and thank you. I'm upset and when I'm upset I generally don't say much. My mind goes real fast and I miss things. I know it is far from over but this gets to me. Our country doesn't care how other countries feel. I don't understand why we care so much about what other countries do. 
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Comment #11 posted by afterburner on May 10, 2003 at 08:57:15 PT:
I agree that the courts are our best option. The federal House of Commons has been forced by prohibitionist lobbyists to stress that "cannabis is illegal" is their ruling philosophy. All the cute talk of decriminalization is really a "smoke-screen" for tougher enforcement, eventhough the prohibition of cannabis possession and cultivation has already been ruled unconstitutional. Keep bringing those court challenges. It takes a long time, but it gets results.ego transcendence follows ego destruction, heart by heart, and eventually there is no problem. Enjoy the de facto decriminalization while you can: no hurry for another bad law.
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Comment #10 posted by WolfgangWylde on May 10, 2003 at 07:05:16 PT
...just read the Toronto Star article. Seems like some sort of half-a$$ed decrim, with increased penatlites for cultivation and smuggling. Now Canada will be like the U.S. more than ever. Canadian activists have been played for suckers.
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Comment #9 posted by WolfgangWylde on May 10, 2003 at 07:02:02 PT
The Government backing of decrim... good news. Now they'll have no bargaining chip for instituting U.S. style cultivation laws. The present climate is far better.
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Comment #8 posted by mayan on May 10, 2003 at 06:18:57 PT
Thanks for the info! Does that mean that the feds have handed the potato back to the Supreme Court? This is good news, is it not? The courts are letting cannabis "criminals" off without so much as a fine right now & a decision on the Charter challenges isn't due for months, supposedly. We knew Chretien & Cauchon were bluffing the whole time anyway. The timing of this announcement puzzles me though. Is there someone who can shed some more light on this topic?
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Comment #7 posted by mayan on May 10, 2003 at 05:59:35 PT
The People Are Ready
Cannabis law reform will definitely boost productivity & efficiency among leo's. Instead of wasting time apprehending cannabis users & processing paperwork, the cops may actually catch some real criminals! Jail space will be reserved for thieves & violent criminals. Hopefully, courts will no longer be clogged by those who harm neither the person nor property of another. The police might actually gain the confidence of the populace! Wouldn't that be a positive change? I have absolute faith that our societies can successfully adapt to this change. We really have no other choice, do we? It's time to make the switch. The people are ready & willing.The way out IS the way in...Graham Claims Bush Administration Blocking Release Of 9/11 Report: GUN: Does Senator Bob Graham have the goods on the Bushies and 9/11? Wannabe Graham Eyeing Evidence That Bush Blew 9/11: House refuses to release 9/11 info: 11 Showdown:
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Comment #6 posted by afterburner on May 10, 2003 at 04:25:42 PT:
FoM - It Saddens Me to Post This
Ottawa backs off pot law plans
May. 10, 2003. 01:00 AM
OTTAWAŚ The federal government has backed off plans to make pot possession a mere ticketing offence, the Star has learned.  [Full Story] the bright side the current de facto decriminalization is actually better than the proposed punitive fines suggested for de jure decriminalization.JHS - Canadian Cannabis Policy ego transcendence follows ego destruction, and eventually there is no problem. 
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on May 10, 2003 at 02:17:41 PT
CN ON: PUB LTE: How Democracy Works
HOW DEMOCRACY WORKS THE ONLY way to win the drug war is to eliminate criminal profits and treat drug users and abusers as citizens, not as criminals. That's how democracy works. Joseph Leger ( Well, something has to work, cuz prohibition sure doesn't ) love the remark!
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on May 10, 2003 at 02:12:41 PT
good interview
2. DRCNet Interview: Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, Chairman,
  Canadian Senate Select Committee on Illegal Drugs September, the Canadian Parliament's Senate Select Committee 
on Illegal Drugs issued an exhaustive, comprehensive report 
calling for the legalization and regulation of cannabis 
(marijuana) in Canada. Led by Sen. Pierre Claude Nolin 
(Progressive Conservative-Quebec), the committee paved the way for 
the cannabis reform measures currently being considered by the 
Canadian government. Since the publication of the committee 
report, Nolin has become a notable presence on the international 
drug reform horizon. He addressed the mid-April conference of the 
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in San 
Francisco, and last week he appeared along with anti-
prohibitionists Arnold Trebach and Marco Cappato at a Washington, 
DC, press conference to press the cause of drug legalization. 
DRCNet spoke with Nolin from his Ottawa offices on Monday.Week Online: Your committee arrived at policy conclusions 
strikingly different from those articulated by politicians in the 
United States. Can you describe the political philosophy that 
undergirds your approach to drug policy? What is the proper role 
of the state in regulating personal autonomy?Senator Pierre Claude Nolin: When we started out in 2000, we saw 
that since the LeDain Report in 1972 that most researchers and 
lawmakers agreed on the effects of cannabis, but disagreed on the 
appropriate public policy. Our commission decided we needed to 
examine guiding principles for setting such policy. What is the 
role of penal law in public policy? What is the role of ethical 
considerations? What is the role of the state? What is the role 
of science?Autonomy is an ethical principle of our society. It is the role 
of the state to promote responsible autonomy. The penal law 
should not be involved unless a behavior causes significant damage 
to others. And science, while it should inform decision-making, 
cannot replace it. In a free and democratic society which 
recognizes fundamentally but not exclusively the role of law as a 
source of normative rules and in which government must promote 
autonomy and make sparing use of constraints, public policy must 
be structured around guiding principles that respect the rights 
and responsibilities of individuals who seek their own happiness 
while respecting the rights of others. This is the pillar of our 
thinking, and from this it became quite easy to conclude that, for 
cannabis, legalization under a properly regulated system was the 
only sound public policy.WOL: Your committee last fall issued a report calling for the 
legalization of cannabis. Another parliamentary committee called 
for decriminalization. Now Prime Minister Chretien is saying the 
government will submit a decriminalization proposal. Are we going 
to see cannabis decrim this year in Canada?Sen. Nolin: We first have to decide what is decriminalization. 
What the prime minister is proposing is not decriminalization, it 
is what I call depenalization. We are removing the criminal 
penalties, but the behavior itself remains criminal, it just 
triggers a lesser penalty. This is the shadow of the first step. 
It will be good news for that fraction of Canadian cannabis users 
unfortunate enough to get caught. But we haven't seen the 
government's bill. I don't think there will be any amnesty for 
the half-million Canadians who have records for cannabis 
possession. I am hearing rumors that there will be no jail time 
for those who don't pay their fines. But I am also hearing rumors 
that there will be increased penalties for trafficking and 
cultivation. If true, that would be in the bill to calm down the 
Americans.This is not what we in the Senate had in mind, but is what our 
more frightened colleagues in the House of Commons had in mind. 
They also studied the issue, they also had good research, but they 
did not follow it to the same conclusions. That's too bad, 
because they had a good, sound, well-informed report that could 
lead the population to the future. And I don't think the 
population needs much leading. Only 14% of Canadians want actual 
marijuana prohibition; the rest of the population favors 
legalization, decriminalization, or legalization for medical use. 
This reflects the fact that the population is increasingly well-
informed, but still not enough.As for decriminalization, I told them in Washington it would 
happen by Christmas, but I think before that.WOL: The Canadian courts are also moving on this issue. In fact, 
the Supreme Court this week is hearing a case that could throw out 
the country's pot laws. Is it possible or likely that a court 
ruling this year will wipe away the need for parliament to act?Nolin: Our Supreme Court is quite independent and impartial, and 
that's what we want and cherish. The court has accepted three 
cases, one for simple possession, one for trafficking, and one for 
selling seeds and pipes, and it will have to decide whether those 
activities trigger the threshold for parliamentary jurisdiction. 
Both the British Columbia and the Ontario appeals courts have 
interpreted our Charter of Rights, especially its Section 7, which 
deals with the liberties and rights of citizens, as having a "harm 
principle." If there is no harm, there is no criminal behavior. 
The Supreme Court must now determine the threshold that triggers 
the harm principle, whether it is minimal harm or significant 
harm. Our committee proposed that the law should meet the 
threshold of significant harm, and we concluded that cannabis use 
causes no significant harm to others. If the Supreme Court 
reaches this same conclusion, I think the government would be 
happy. It can tell its American colleagues, "It's not us, it's 
the court."The potential international implications are exciting. All of the 
UN conventions have sections saying that if a court in a country 
decides that a section of a law meant to support the UN 
conventions is unconstitutional, the decision of that national 
court supersedes the treaty. If the court struck down the 
cannabis law, that would force an entire different set of events. 
Canada would have to officially inform the various international 
agencies of such a decision and inform them that it is their 
responsibility not to sanction Canada for striking such a 
prohibition from its national law. We would also request a 
meeting with the other member nations to those treaties to seek 
other avenues for the future.The government, I think, would be happy to let the court take this 
hot potato out of its hands, although it could bend to pressure 
from the likes of the Police Association and ask to use the 
"notwithstanding" clause. That would allow the law to be enforced 
notwithstanding the fact it is contrary to the Charter. But I 
think the government would prefer to go back to its international 
counterparts and tell them what the Canadian Supreme Court said. 
There would be rejoicing in various countries if this were to 
occur. When you read the reports from the UN Commission on 
Narcotic Drugs meeting in Vienna last month, you get the idea that 
someone is living in fantasyland. Sweden was leading the debate 
on the importance of maintaining prohibition, but you get the 
feeling that there was not a great deal of conviction for that 
among other countries. I've been talking to a number of 
international experts, and they are waiting for the spark that 
could lead to radical change in the international system. The 
Supreme Court of Canada could provide that spark.WOL: US drug czar John Walters is talking about Canadian 
marijuana as if it were toxic waste, and Ambassador Cellucci has 
hinted that decriminalization could lead to problems at the 
border. What about the threats and bluster from Washington? Are 
they genuine? And how will they affect the deliberations in 
Ottawa?Nolin: Prime Minister Chretien should go to his American 
counterparts and explain what he is doing -- it is only 
depenalization -- and calm them down. In the meantime, I hope 
this stirs up a debate in the US similar to what has gone on in 
Canada. It is needed. But if the Canadian Supreme Court takes 
major steps, it will be difficult for the American administration 
to start a campaign against the court. I cannot imagine the White 
House having a public reaction against a Supreme Court decision 
here.But these threats do influence my colleagues, and that means we 
need to provide more information. When we look at what Walters is 
claiming, we can provide information that shows he and the 
Americans are just wrong. For instance, Walters says the cannabis 
now is so much stronger and the proof is that there are all these 
people in treatment in the US. Someone who doesn't know what is 
going on in the US will buy that, but if it is explained to them 
that this is happening because of drug courts where treatment is 
part of the sanction, that more than 80% of cannabis treatment is 
court-ordered, then a couple of things happen. The Americans 
begin to lose credibility, and the Canadians begin to lose their 
fear of the Americans.Walters says there is a health danger from cannabis because it is 
smoked, and he is right. There are some effects we cannot deny. 
But the question is whether the harms reach the threshold to 
require criminal prohibition. Walters says we have no clear 
battle plan against drugs and no clear public health message, but 
we are proposing a strategy for all substances. We have to 
differentiate among substances, but we also have to realize that 
not all use is abuse. Yes, some people use excessively and harm 
themselves, but most users are not abusing. We have to be much 
more effective in saying that and in saying that the government 
must promote autonomy as far as possible. To promote autonomy is 
to foster responsible autonomy.WOL: The RCMP believes that in British Columbia alone there are a 
100,000 people, perhaps more, who are making a living from the 
illegal cannabis trade. What happens to them under 
decriminalization?Nolin: That is an important question, and the short answer is I 
don't know. Those people will continue living in the black 
market. Decriminalization does not provide an answer for that. 
Are we going to maintain a system of prohibition we don't believe 
in because it supports a lucrative black market? I don't think 
so.WOL: Your committee report also called for cannabis law reform to 
take place within an integrated national drug strategy. Did the 
committee make recommendations for law reform for other drugs? 
And do you personally take a position on the legalizing or 
decriminalizing of other drugs?Nolin: The committee did not have the mandate for the other 
drugs, but to look at cannabis within the context of other drugs. 
For us, a reasonable proposal on cannabis had to be part of a 
global strategy. The general principles I spoke of are the same, 
but we will have to understand things like patterns of use, 
dangers of adulteration, for other controlled substances in order 
to adopt effective strategies.I personally support global legalization with strict regulation. 
Legalization would be the outcome of a comprehensive strategy, one 
that takes into account the serious health questions related to 
drug use. The particular regime for each substance could vary 
depending on the research findings, but legal, controlled access 
to those various substances could be generally similar.WOL: You were at a press conference in Washington, DC, last week 
( along with 
Arnold Trebach of the International Antiprohibitionist League and 
Marco Cappato of Parliamentarians for Antiprohibitionist Action. 
You also addressed the NORML conference in San Francisco a couple 
of weeks ago. Are you a member of any of these organizations, and 
do your recent appearances outside Canada indicate that you intend 
to take the anti-prohibitionist appeal to the international stage?Nolin: I am not a member of any of those groups, but I am quite 
ready to be part of any debate in any venue. Are these 
appearances an indication I intend to participate in the 
international debate? Yes.To view the committee web site and read the report, visit: see speeches and transcripts (new) by Sen. Nolin and others at 
last week's DC press conference, visit:
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on May 10, 2003 at 01:46:58 PT
Gary Stork has good one w/ Biblical hook...
Gary, You got a bulls-eye. (You always do)US NY: PUB LTE: A Moral Obligation (Newsday)(To Bush)"...Acknowledge that it is immoral to withhold a medicine from patients who can benefit and do everything in your power to make medical marijuana legally available both at home and abroad." Proverbs 3:27,Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due.
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on May 10, 2003 at 01:31:07 PT
Boost Production
 Boost Production Boost Production Boost Production Boost Production Boost Production Boost Production Boost Production Boost Productionand perhaps vaporizer use will increase...  US: Web: Study Shows Vaporizer Can Drastically Reduce Toxins
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Comment #1 posted by virgil on May 10, 2003 at 00:08:17 PT
I am for increased use
police expect demand for cannabis to go up, meaning growers will have to step up production. I happen to think decriminalization is institutional hypocracy and a person could also say institutional insanity and a lot of other institutionals. But I think we as a country need to double production of cannabis in the next 5 years and leave no child out of the definition of jury nullification. Lets get that use up their and teach the children something. Legalization will bring us wholesome soup free of partially hydrogenated frankenfoods. I want my soup. Soup would really help consumption and would cut down on the smoking which is another good thing about cannabis soup.Sometimes I get confused trying to see the logic in prohibitionist blather I could easily see how a person wanting increased use would be for decrimilization. Hell, let's try anything but the present and past crap. Let's get these alcoholics on some therapy from the poison they consume.Up with cannabis. Down with alcohol. Out with tobacco. Tobacco is a natural poison and would be an organic solution to some real cannabis growing. We don't need to overgrow the government. We need a new one with a philosophy that respects the people and the environment. Then we can just grow happy.Jury nullification to all.
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