Canadian PM Says Backs Marijuana Decriminalization

Canadian PM Says Backs Marijuana Decriminalization
Posted by CN Staff on May 14, 2004 at 12:27:38 PT
By Martin Croteau
Source: Reuters 
Levis, Quebec -- The Canadian government will reintroduce legislation to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana if it wins the next election, Prime Minister Paul Martin indicated on Friday.Parliament is currently debating a bill which would hand out fines rather than court sentences to people found with 15 grams (half an ounce) or less of marijuana. That legislation will expire after an election call expected next week.
The proposal to water down fines for pot use is deeply unpopular in Washington, which fears a surge in smuggling of potent Canadian marijuana across its borders.But Martin said that if he won the election -- almost certain to be on June 28 -- he would reintroduce the marijuana bill and draft legislation to protect whistle-blowers."Both are going to proceed," he told a news conference in the town of Levis, not far from Quebec City.Canadian officials estimate 100,000 of the country's 31 million people use pot daily and say 20,000 are convicted each year for using marijuana."I've already said I don't believe a young person should have a criminal record because they're caught with a very small quantity (of pot)," said Martin."I also believe at the same time, however, that much stiffer penalties have got to be put in place for those who grow...(and) who distribute."Canadian police say they worry about the proposed law, in particular how to deal with drivers found high on pot.Some U.S. officials say a relaxed marijuana law could force a clampdown at the border, jeopardizing the Canada-U.S. trade relationship -- the world's largest.Washington says Canadian laws are already too soft on traffickers and insists marijuana shipments to the United States -- worth billions a year -- are booming.But Ottawa says Washington's own data shows that of all the illegal pot seized by U.S. agents, only 1.5 percent came from Canada. It also points out that at least 10 U.S. states already have similar laws on pot possession. Source: Reuters (UK)Author:  Martin CroteauPublished: May 14, 2004Copyright: 2004 Reuters Related Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links Prepared To Allow Marijuana Bill To Die of Canadians Inhale Despite Pot Laws Lighten Up on Pot Growers, Canada's on a Roll 
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on May 14, 2004 at 14:41:24 PT
Related Article from The CBC
Bills Will Die if Martin Calls Election Written by CBC News Online Staff Friday, May 14, 2004 OTTAWA - More than a dozen parliamentary bills will die if Prime Minister Paul Martin calls an election, which he is expected to do next week. However, Martin said Friday that the Liberals are committed to two high-profile bills  whistleblower legislation and decriminalization of marijuana  which he said will resurface after an election. Parliament was considering legislation that would introduce fines for possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana. "I've already said I don't believe a young person should have a criminal record because they're caught with a very small quantity," Martin said at a news conference on the pre-election trail. At the same time, however, Martin said he would introduce stiffer penalties for those who grow and distribute marijuana. The Liberals have also been promising whistleblower legislation to protect civil servants from retribution when they come forward with information about government misdeeds. Other bills that will die if the writ is dropped include an amendment to the Criminal Code to create stronger laws against child pornography and the creation of taxation powers for First Nations. Copyright: CBC 2004
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Comment #5 posted by Lehder on May 14, 2004 at 13:39:19 PT
Canadians should seek freedom in Russia
Proximity to the U.S. is hazardous to liberty and Common Sense."Round the world! There is much in that sound to inspire proud feelings; but wherto does all that circumnavigation conduct? Only throgh numberless perils to the point whence we started, where those that we left behind secure, were all the time before us." --MelvilleRound and round again, eh, Canucks? Keep it up. We'll have your water, your oil, your coal and your lumber. You can have our drug war. 
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Comment #4 posted by WolfgangWylde on May 14, 2004 at 13:32:23 PT
Their version of "decrim"
...stinks. You have to ask yourself, what would be the difference in Canada if Martin lost. Would the other side crack down heavily? Or maintain the status quo? If its the latter, then Martin has got to go.
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Comment #3 posted by Ganda on May 14, 2004 at 12:59:02 PT
going by the US polls, 
The new canadian president won't have to put up with a that bad christian across the border!
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Comment #2 posted by Ganda on May 14, 2004 at 12:55:49 PT
the boy who cried wolf
yes we'll decrim it, come have a look....then the next time there's an election, who's to say they won't do it again?is there a party that will LEGALISE it? and adopt a policy like in Netherlands, who have a good record on tackling drug use!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 14, 2004 at 12:39:56 PT
It's Gone No It's Back
I declare this is too much. It just won't go away will it? Maybe legalization would help stop this see-saw effect.
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