Government Committed To MJ Decriminalization

Government Committed To MJ Decriminalization
Posted by CN Staff on July 21, 2004 at 12:54:09 PT
By Alexander Panetta, Canadian Press 
Source: Canadian Press 
Ottawa -- The federal government is committed to marijuana decriminalization and will reintroduce legislation to make it happen, Prime Minister Paul Martin said in his first statement on the issue since winning re-election. The Liberal government will bring back a bill that died with the election call and re-table it after Parliament resumes sitting in October, he said Wednesday following a meeting of his new cabinet. "The legislation on marijuana - the decriminalization of minor quantities of marijuana - that legislation will be introduced." 
According to the original bill, anyone caught with 15 grams of pot or less would receive a ticket instead of criminal charges. But those caught trafficking more than 15 grams would receive harsher penalties. Critics say the bill could lead to more cases of intoxicated driving and cause traffic snarls at the Canada-U.S. border while American customs agents intensify their search for drugs. They also bemoan the 15-gram ceiling for non-criminal use, calculating that it would become legal for someone to carry more than 30 joints at a time. Detractors have already successfully lobbied the government to drive down the initial maximum amount from 30 grams. Some felt the original limit was so high that it practically made drug-dealing legal. Wednesday's announcement came on the same day as a study concluded that the number of Canadians who have used marijuana or hashish nearly doubled in 13 years. In 2002, an estimated 12.2 per cent of Canadians admitted to smoking marijuana - up from 6.5 per cent in 1989, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday. But Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh, sworn into cabinet just one day earlier, dismissed the suggestion that decriminalization would lead to greater use. "I'm not so sure whether that argument has any validity. I don't know what the correlation is," he said after attending his first federal cabinet meeting. "My view is that, if you make something illegal, some people are more attracted to it. . .If you allow people to possess it in small quantities for personal use, the allure kind of disappears for some people." Martin had also said while campaigning for the June 28 election that he planned to reintroduce the marijuana bill. Complete Title: Federal Government Committed To Marijuana Decriminalization: MartinSource: Canadian PressAuthor: Alexander Panetta, Canadian Press Published: Wednesday, July 21, 2004Copyright: 2004 The Canadian PressRelated Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links Use Surges as Martin Weighs Decriminalization Laws: Only Two Possible Choices -- Canada Archives
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Comment #1 posted by Virgil on July 21, 2004 at 18:24:29 PT
Stay and keep in Canadian law
Everyone is familiar with what might be called the window of legalized herb from July 31/Aug 1 of 2001 and the court rulings of December 7 that somehow suggest that an Ontario Appeals Court or Supreme Court can legislate laws for all of Canada. Anyway there were convictions while the law was dead and did Canada try to make it right? No. Now all the small time charges that were stayed by the court have a time limit. They knew damned well they would not proceed with upcoming trials during the window. Stays end after 6 months for small charges and a year for higher crimes. So the cases are all dead but Canada has not given these people back their property. Turmel is still the person to read on the Canadian situation and the authorities are coping one bad attitude trying to deal with a reality that I believe- there still are no valid laws in Canada with regards to possession or cultivation.
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