Liberals Prepared To Allow Marijuana Bill To Die

Liberals Prepared To Allow Marijuana Bill To Die
Posted by CN Staff on May 07, 2004 at 23:08:17 PT
By Campbell Clark
Source: Globe and Mail 
Ottawa -- The federal election will kill the bill to decriminalize marijuana, leaving one of Jean Chrétien's legacy issues out in the cold and pot smokers still facing potential jail terms, government insiders say.The controversial legislation, which is awaiting a final vote in the House of Commons, will not make it through Parliament in the one week left in the session before Prime Minister Paul Martin is expected to drop the writ to begin an election campaign.
The proposed law, Bill C-10, would have removed jail terms for the simple possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana. Those caught with pot in that quantity would have faced the equivalent of a traffic ticket, costing $100 to $500.The opposition Conservatives, who opposed the bill, insisted that the Liberals effectively killed the bill by treating it with deliberate neglect. It was repeatedly placed at or near the bottom of the list of bills to be debated, dragging out its progress through the Commons."They don't want to get into the issue of drugs, because it's a loser for them in an election," said MP Randy White, the Conservative Party's critic on drug policy."I think their polling is probably telling them the same thing our polling is showing — that it's a loser with families."The bill is awaiting third reading in the Commons — the final vote that would allow it to pass the House. But even if that vote is held next week, it is not going to pass the Senate in a week. Bills to implement the budget and to reduce patent restrictions on AIDS drugs for Africa are the highest priorities, government officials said.Parliament will sit next week, but a break is scheduled for the week after — when the Prime Minister is expected to launch an election campaign.Mr. Martin is widely expected to call an election for June 28, which means he would drop the writ between May 17 and 23 — possibly on May 20, before the Victoria Day long weekend.It means that the decriminalization of marijuana, first debated in the 1970s and proposed as law last year, will be left for a new Parliament to start all over again.A federal election dissolves the Parliament and kills all the bills that have not been passed; the next government would have to start anew from introduction in the Commons.Advocates of the bill argued that young people should not face lifelong criminal records for smoking a joint. The Justice Department estimates that 100,000 Canadians smoke pot daily.The bill had faced criticism from the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush, which suggested the bill would require tougher border policing, and from the RCMP, who said decriminalizing marijuana possession would make it harder to police serious drug crimes. Pro-cannabis activists say the government should go farther and legalize marijuana.Mr. White said the government ignored the need for a real national drug strategy, which would include tougher penalties for so-called grow-ops, in which large quantities of marijuana are grown, and funds for local education. The Liberals merely tried to distract from the need for a broad drug strategy, he said.Mr. White said that if elected, the Conservatives would not introduce a decriminalization bill."The issue is not decriminalization. The issue is, what do we do with drugs of all sorts?" Mr. White said.Liberal government officials said the opposition slowed the progress of the bill, but Conservative House Leader John Reynolds laughed off that suggestion."There's nothing holding them up," Mr. Reynolds said. "They've got a majority."The bill was introduced when Mr. Chrétien was in office, and Mr. Martin revived it this year.Mr. Martin suggested publicly that he thought the bill should be toughened, but that amendments would be left up to MPs. Instead, it languished.The Martin government's legislative agenda has remained relatively light.Mr. Martin had planned for a short session of Parliament before calling an April election but pushed back the vote after Auditor-General Sheila Fraser issued a report in February on the sponsorship program, which has become a scandal.Among the bills that will die are the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, also known as the whistle-blower bill, which is supposed to protect civil servants who report impropriety or malfeasance within the government. Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)Author:   Campbell ClarkPublished: Saturday, May 8, 2004 Copyright: 2004 The Globe and Mail CompanyContact: letters globeandmail.caWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links Pot Laws Would Burn Up Emily Murphy of Canadians Inhale Despite Pot Laws Lighten Up on Pot Growers, Canada's on a Roll
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Comment #13 posted by Jose Melendez on May 09, 2004 at 05:31:28 PT
Blunt Bros, victim of political terror
Re: comment# 11These are time honored, profitable and persuasive techniques regularly used by the other side:
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Comment #12 posted by rchandar on May 08, 2004 at 22:25:12 PT:
bill ready to die
politicians are gutless bastards. simple.
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Comment #11 posted by afterburner on May 08, 2004 at 08:19:48 PT
More News on Blunt Bros. / BC Marijuana Party
CN BC: Arson Suspected After Shops Go Up In Smoke 
by Naoibh O'Connor, (06 May 2004) Vancouver Courier British Columbia'An unknown accelerant - it's now being analyzed - was used to spark the blaze, which attracted 50 firefighters and 11 trucks. 'Poured against the back door, the accelerant trickled under the door, which had no sill to stop it. 'At least two dumpsters were also doused with the accelerant. One was rolled over by the door to an alcove area. ' "When they were ignited, the fire jumped from the dumpster to the door and then, of course, it worked its way down the door, following the pattern of the accelerant," Jones-Cook said. "That's how it got into the building and away so fast." '"There's battle lines bein' drawn.
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong.
Young people speakin' their minds,
Gettin' so much resistance from behind." --For What It's Worth by Buffalo Springfield
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Comment #10 posted by Virgil on May 08, 2004 at 07:15:27 PT
100,000 Canadian convictions using a dead law
From August 1, 2001 to October 7, 2003 when the Ontario Court of Appeal claims to magically resurrect a dead law, there were 100.000 convictions using a dead law. Even the courts admit it was a dead law. The courts showed there desire to continue prohibition when the stayed the trial of 4000 people charged with an offense under a law that was dead instead of dismissing the charges and apologizing for being such dumbasses as to arrest people when there was no law against it. Turmel is seeking to get the courts to drop all the cases of the 4000 and to clear the records and return the fines and cost associated with the convictions of laws that did not exist. He has put up forms at his Yahoo Medpot for people in either category so that people can petition the court to clear up their mistakes. Links are in this message1175-
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Comment #9 posted by The GCW on May 08, 2004 at 07:14:38 PT
A win win
Win Win situation.Even cannabists were critical of its language.
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Comment #8 posted by Virgil on May 08, 2004 at 06:33:28 PT
A point on Terry Parker Day
The Courts ruled the law invalid on August 1, 2001. It really should have been on July 31, 2001 as that is the true Terry Parker Day, althought someone should let him declare the date of his chosing.Canada needs to roll and rock.
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Comment #7 posted by Virgil on May 08, 2004 at 06:20:11 PT
The debate would kill the Liberals
The Liberals were trying to send in an inferior bill to what needs to be done. The Select Senate Committe said legalize it for everyone over 16 and there was the NDP that would echo those words all the way to a trouncing.There is still the issue that a court cannot revive a law that was declared dead. It takes the legislative branch to make new laws and the Courts cannot do it. Many people do not believe there are any valid laws prohibiting cannabis use in Canada because the laws died on Terry Parker Day on July 31, 2001. They are still dead. That is the importance of not passing this terrible bill. Had the bill passed the legislature would have made sure there were prohibition laws. Now there are none.There is an issue for the NDP of what to do with all those railroaded through a hateful conviction in the courts of Canada after Terry Parker Day. They were convicted with a dead law and justice has not sought to clean up its own mistake. The Liberals are to friendly with the American imperialist when the #1 issue with Canadians is sovereignty. All the Liberal scandals and corruption are going to advance an NDP and the NDP will lead the closing chapter on Cannabis Prohibition in Canada.
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Comment #6 posted by mayan on May 08, 2004 at 05:54:56 PT
Have a laugh, it's Saturday! This Modern World: This Modern Week presents: The physics of war
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Comment #5 posted by RasAric on May 08, 2004 at 05:49:07 PT
Mayan....The bill really was evil
Yes, the bill was worthless and deserved it's slow death. It would have doubled time for growers and the only ones guaranteed no criminal record are those with a tiny amount of headstash and that's only if it was their first time. Even though they might not wind up with a criminal record, they would still be getting sucked into the greedy system and be fined for doing nothing wrong.
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on May 08, 2004 at 05:23:56 PT:
The nice thing about parliamentary systems
is that they allow for other parties...such as the NDP. After the Liberals foolishly allow this issue to be sidetracked, smirking behind their hands in thinking they have finessed the drug law reformers of Canada, they will soon see how many of their voters in their riderships begin switching parties - to the NDP. And how many of *those* begin to - as Alison Myrden has done - not only become more politically active but also become players in the process by running for office. Which embarrasses Liberals even more by pointing out their legislative cowardice; by necessitating that ordinary people enter into the process to rectify the problems left behind by gutless, conniving 'professional' politicians.It would appear for the Liberals that Canadian sovereignty is indeed, not only negotiable, but also quite cheaply purchased. If there was ever any doubt as to the Liberal's inclination to be Washington's water-boys, this transparent attempt to placate the Drug Warriors below the 49th Parallel should remove it once and for all. Some days, I wish I were a Canuck; then I'd be registering and voting as NDP.
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Comment #3 posted by mayan on May 08, 2004 at 04:59:59 PT
Oh, Well...
The bill sucks anyway. Alan Young called it. Any meaningful reform will come through the courts. Parliament will stall until the end of time. Apparently, that's been their plan all along.Here's more on Montel in case anyone missed it...Montel Williams Supports Medical Marijuana: way out is the way in...Former FBI Translator Sibel Edmonds Calls Current 9/11 Investigation Inadequate:'s Craven Behavior: THE 9/11 COVER-UP - A 9/11 WIDOW SPEAKS OUT: Managers Destroyed 9/11 Tape: Destroyed 9/11 Air-Traffic-Control Tapes:,2933,119281,00.html9/11 International Inquiry - Toronto, May 25-30:
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Comment #2 posted by BigDawg on May 08, 2004 at 04:30:00 PT
If I were Canadian I think I would heave a sigh of relief knowing that bill died a slow death.It would have opened a whole new can-o-worms.They can do better.
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Comment #1 posted by dapoopa on May 08, 2004 at 02:54:11 PT:
Liberals can't avoid the issue
It appears that the Liberals are trying to duck and avoid the issue by letting this bill die. But now, it will only become a hot issue during the upcoming election campaign. So from a political standpoint, I think this move may backfire.They have now also opened themselves up to criticism from the New Democratic Party (NDP) as to the reasons for their inaction. And unless they win an outright majority (which is unlikely), they will need to form a coalition with the NDP, which has advocated outright legalization and regulation of cannabis.So maybe the fact that C-10 is being shelved is a good thing in the longer term. For sure, there are plenty of critics of this bill for its 'net-widening' effect. So it's probably better to avoid passing flawed legislation, even if it initially seems like a setback for Canada's decriminalization effort. I also wonder how many votes this is going to *cost* the Liberals to the benefit of the NDP. Have their pollsters considered that? Guess we'll find out soon enough.
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