Easing Pot Laws Would Burn Up Emily Murphy

  Easing Pot Laws Would Burn Up Emily Murphy

Posted by CN Staff on March 07, 2004 at 08:31:29 PT
By Randy Boswell, CanWest News Service 
Source: Calgary Herald  

When MPs finally rise to vote, as long expected, in favour of liberalizing Canada's marijuana laws, they can expect to feel a slight rumble of anger beneath their feet.On the east lawn of Parliament Hill, no further from the House of Commons than a sweet-smelling smoke ring might float in an Ottawa breeze, stands a towering statue of Emily Murphy, clad in sensible shoes and hat, one of her arms extended in a typically dramatic oratorical gesture.
Murphy -- best known for her role as leader of the Famous Five champions of the rights of Canadian women -- also spearheaded an anti-narcotics campaign in the 1920s that would profoundly influence national drug policies. In fact, the crusading Edmonton magistrate and journalist is widely credited with -- and widely blamed for -- initiating Canada's prohibition on pot 80 years ago.Critics say the country's war on weed was prompted by little more than a racist, erroneous, sexed-up dossier on a non-existent marijuana "menace" -- a 1922 essay penned by Murphy with help from a seemingly delusional Los Angeles police chief."It's galling to hear groups who support prohibition argue that there must have been a sound reason for criminalizing this drug in the first place," says Eugene Oscapella, a lawyer with the Ottawa-based Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy. "There was no such thing."The Liberal government intends to decriminalize small-time pot use and to toughen the law against commercial growers and dealers. Bill C-10, introduced in the House of Commons in February, would make the possession of up to 15 grams of pot and up to three marijuana plants punishable by tickets and fines of between $100-$500. Snipped:Complete Article: Calgary Herald (CN AB)Author: Randy Boswell, CanWest News ServicePublished: Sunday, March 7, 2004Copyright: 2004 Calgary HeraldContact: letters theherald.canwest.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Green Tide Shadow Summit News Canadian Links Cannabis Chronology's Health Risks Outweigh Any Benefits Want Private Sector To Fight Grow-Ops Campaigned Against Marijuana Menace

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Comment #1 posted by observer on March 07, 2004 at 14:16:22 PT
Emily Murphy - illustrated
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