MP Group Sought U.S. Help To Derail Pot Bill

MP Group Sought U.S. Help To Derail Pot Bill
Posted by CN Staff on August 19, 2003 at 06:47:19 PT
By Brian Laghi
Source: Globe and Mail 
Ottawa -- A group of back-bench Liberals privately tried to enlist the U.S. deputy drug czar last month to help stop federal plans to decriminalize marijuana, a memo from a Canadian official in the meeting says.The memo, which comes out of a July 8 gathering in Ottawa with Dr. Barry Crane and other U.S. officials, says the MPs expressed deep concern about the bill and wanted the United States to stop it. In interviews yesterday, MPs who were there denied the suggestions.
According to minutes of the meeting, a written copy of which was seen by The Globe and Mail, one of the MPs said the U.S. drug officials could help halt the bill by warning Canada about potential difficulties at the border and with trade if it were passed.Another MP was quoted as saying that Dr. Crane and his officials should return to Washington to tell their superiors that they should make the consequences of passing the legislation clear to Canada.The meeting took place at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa."All attendees were highly critical of the proposed cannabis reform bill," said the memo, whose author's name is blocked out."The apparent aim of the members of the meeting was to solicit the help of U.S. officials to defeat the cannabis reform bill. Members expressed many now-familiar concerns with the proposal (no provision for repeat offenders, sends the wrong message, lack of driving test, etc.)."The memo says that MP Dan McTeague, who helped organize the effort, told Dr. Crane to tell his boss "that he needed to be clear with Canada about the consequences of this action. This view was particularly expressed by [MP Brenda] Chamberlain, who appeared to suggest that U.S. officials needed to tie trade and border issues to this bill in order to defeat it."The director of Dr. Crane's office is John Walters.The memo said that Mr. McTeague conveyed "the obvious implication that the only thing that would stop it was U.S. influence."Mr. McTeague also gave the U.S. officials a written memo that catalogued inadequacies in the bill, the memo said.A Canadian Foreign Affairs official who attended the meeting made the notes, a source who would not give the person's name said.The memo said that two Foreign Affairs officials were at the meeting at the beginning, but that Mr. McTeague asked one to leave and appeared to be unaware of the second.Mr. McTeague, who has deep difficulties with the proposal, confirmed that some concern was expressed at the meeting, but said its main goal was to exchange views on the bill."It think the [meeting] was very productive. It talked very abundantly and very openly about the limitations as enforcement currently exists. We talked about the amount [of marijuana] that would be generated -- given the minister's own admission there would be an increase in its use -- and that the THC level of the product coming come from Canada, that this was having an impact." (THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, is marijuana's active ingredient.)Mr. McTeague denied saying that Dr. Crane should tell his bosses about the consequences of passing the bill."That doesn't sound right. I don't know who wrote that," he said. "I wouldn't have to say something like that, I've been very clear as to what I believe are the concerns." He called the notes "nonsense.""The frank reality is that members of Parliament -- several members of Parliament -- have a keen interest in this issue. . . . The last thing that I want to do is to have a situation which goes from bad to worse, such that it would see the tightening of the borders."Mr. McTeague did acknowledge asking one of the Foreign Affairs officials to leave, saying the meeting was for MPs only.MP Roger Gallaway, who was also at the meeting, said he didn't recall Mr. McTeague making the statements that the memo attributes to him, nor did anyone else say anything controversial.He said the presence of a Foreign Affairs official likely would have constrained MPs.He also said that if Ms. Chamberlain uttered anything akin to the remarks that appeared in the memo, it was in an aside to her MP colleagues and to the U.S. officials. Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)Author: Brian LaghiPublished: Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - Page A1Copyright: 2003 The Globe and Mail CompanyContact: letters globeandmail.caWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links Brings Anti-Pot Message To Ottawa Drug Envoy, Ottawa To Consult on Pot Law Envoy Coming To Co-ordinate Pot Crackdown 
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on August 19, 2003 at 22:12:54 PT
Thanks afterburner
I'll watch it tomorrow when I'm not so tired. It's been a long busy day.
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Comment #5 posted by afterburner on August 19, 2003 at 21:49:59 PT:
Benedict Arnold Had Nothing on These Good Ol' Boys
The time is right for all good tokers to come to the aid of the party (Ontario Marijuana Party, that is). Hanging is too good for MP Dan McTeague and the other treasonous MPs. Let's hit them where it hurts, in the pocketbook. Vote the traitors out. To hear Marc Emery's response: transcendence follows ego destruction, the true North strong and free.
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Comment #4 posted by ben on August 19, 2003 at 16:08:49 PT
Its sure a sad commentary when you have our elected officials conspiring against the will of the people with
other appointed officials of another country. Not for the people but for the pharm industry. What a joke! 
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Comment #3 posted by Lehder on August 19, 2003 at 13:13:15 PT
tighten those borders
I thoroughly enjoyed the recent power blackout. The stars were brilliant, the moon below the horizon, all was quiet and peaceful. I'd like more blackouts, more time off from the madness; a permanent blackout would be fine with me, along with the closure of all the borders and the shut down of commerce, industry and government. I have not prepared or eaten a regular meal in days. I graze in the fields and forests on blueberries, wild strawberries and big fat blackberries, three kinds of wild mushrooms raw, asparagus spears ( getting alittle tough and stringy ). I'll admit that I'm a little hungry and the rabbits are starting to look appetizing, but life has been simple and pleasant during my extended blackout.So the Canadian government held a meeting on U.S. soil to seek advice and help from unelected U.S. officials on how to cast votes in the Canadian Parliament for Canadians. They may as well have held their meeting in Washington, D.C. Maybe they could even have finagled a ride to D.C. from an American official who could also have tucked them into bed after they learned how to vote. Tomorrow's lesson: making maple syrup.They've become Americans! They wish to be children all their lives and have all their decisions made for them and all their little problems solved for them by the big people who know. A protracted blackout and a closure of the borders, industry and commerce are exactly what Canadians need to help them grow up. Learn to haul water, rub sticks together, gather food, plan for the next meal. Gotta start out gingerly, learn a little each day.
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on August 19, 2003 at 11:14:06 PT:
An (unexpected) smoking gun
I'd been saying all along that Washington has been trying to twist Ottawa's arms; now it looks like some of the MP's up there have been enthusiastically volunteering to twist their own arms.In any other arena but politics, this is masochism, and could be dismissed as simple stupidity. But when you are charged with protecting Canadian sovereignty and instead aid and abett it's dissolution, then what is it if not a form of treason (why would the Canuck MP's want to climb in bed with the likes of Walters and Company?) for consorting with the US against the wishes of the vast majority of Canadian voters?Were I a Canadian I think I'd like to know which of these MP's were in my riding, and give them a ration of sh*t for their pusillanimity...hint, hint, hint.
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Comment #1 posted by John Tyler on August 19, 2003 at 09:45:08 PT
unknowing policy makers
It is so obvious that none of these people on either side of the border know anything about this issue other than what they may have read in falsefied government reports.
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