Cannabis Bill Forces Police To Make Law

Cannabis Bill Forces Police To Make Law
Posted by CN Staff on October 12, 2003 at 22:03:03 PT
By David Heyman, The Calgary Herald 
Source: Ottawa Citizen 
Calgary -- Police officers, not the government, will decide if possession of marijuana is a criminal offence in Canada if the Liberals' proposed decriminalization bill is passed by Parliament, according to an Ontario law professor.Alan Young, a law professor at Osgoode Hall, said with Bill C-38 the government is passing the buck to unelected beat officers, rather than dealing with the matter itself.
"This government has to make a decision, and they're trying to defer it to law enforcement officials -- and I think that is really a big mistake," said Mr. Young during a panel discussion on the current affairs show Global Sunday, which will air today on Global TV.The legislation proposes decriminalizing the possession of 15 grams or less of marijuana. Police who catch people with small amounts of the drug would have the discretion to hand them tickets -- from $100 to $400 -- instead of initiating criminal charges.Currently, possession of any amount of marijuana carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.Mr. Young believes too much time and money have already been wasted trying to keep marijuana possession criminal when the substance has been found by several commissions of inquiry, including one recently from the Senate, to be "a relatively benign substance."However, Dan McTeague, a Liberal MP who has doubts about his own government's bill, told Global Sunday host Danielle Smith decriminalization would, for many, be confused with legalization. That could lead more people to drive under the influence of marijuana, he said.Debates around the bill may be moot, however, as Parliament may not have enough time to debate it before its current sitting ends.Also interviewed during the program was Alison Myrden, a woman who suffers from chronic progressive multiple sclerosis and associated facial pain. To douse the agony, Ms. Myrden told Ms. Smith she consumes marijuana around the clock in any way she can, by eating, smoking it and putting it in her tea. She claims smoking it, however, is the fastest way to get rid of the pain she's suffered for more than a decade."I'm only better because of things like medicinal marijuana," said Ms. Myrden, who backs the government's bill. "I'm dealing with the worst pain in the world."Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)Author: David Heyman, The Calgary Herald Published: Sunday, October 12, 2003Copyright: 2003 The Ottawa CitizenContact: letters thecitizen.canwest.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Cannabis News Canadian Links Medical Marijuana Mission is for Legislators, Not Judges Sadness as Pot Law Valid Again Ruling a Victory For The Ill
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #1 posted by rchandar on October 15, 2003 at 16:23:25 PT:
a cop out, no pun is that even "decriminalization"? i think these politicans just don't have any guts to put down firm, solid policy in line with the values of their own people. God damn, gutless bastards.             --rchandar
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment