Vancouver To Press Ottawa To Legalize and Tax MJ

Vancouver To Press Ottawa To Legalize and Tax MJ
Posted by CN Staff on June 08, 2005 at 13:01:33 PT
By Frances Bula, Vancouver Sun 
Source: Vancouver Sun
Vancouver, B.C. -- A City of Vancouver report backed by the mayor recommends Canada legalize and regulate marijuana as part of a comprehensive drug-abuse prevention strategy for everything from methamphetamine production to alcoholism among seniors.The marijuana recommendation, one of two dozen in the report being released today, would allow people trying to prevent drug abuse to talk to teenagers about it realistically, the way they do with alcohol and cigarettes, and also limit dangerous use.
It's a strategy that Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell endorses wholeheartedly, saying it's preferable to decriminalization, which imposes a fine instead of a criminal charge for use, but doesn't address the issue of supply."I think the decriminalization doesn't do anybody any good. It sends the message that it's okay, but that it's a crime to obtain it." He says if marijuana were legalized, the community could benefit by being able to tax production.Campbell, a one-time RCMP drug officer, acknowledges that Vancouver's stand won't produce immediate change."It's a talking point, but clearly it's something that has to be done in Canada."The report goes to council June 14 and then out for public discussion, before final approval likely next January.Others say that putting marijuana on the same level as alcohol and tobacco legally would allow teachers and prevention counsellors to talk about it strategically, rather than just avoiding the topic."All that teachers can do now is say it's illegal," says the city's drug policy coordinator Don MacPherson, who wrote the 67-page report.If marijuana was treated like alcohol, he said, teachers could provide the same kind of advice they do when trying to prevent teenagers from risky drinking behaviour.However, he also emphasized that Canada should learn from the mistakes it made with alcohol and tobacco, which have been turned into commercial products, heavily advertised and promoted, which has led to problems stemming from the abuse of those two substances that far exceeds those of illegal drugs.The report notes that "even with the best prevention strategies anywhere in the world, we are limited in what we can do unless there are changes to the legal frameworks for psychoactive substances. The current system of prohibition for illegal drugs, this plan argues, has failed in its goal to reduce the availability of illegal substances and to prevent harm from their use."It also argues that prohibition leaves governments unable to regulate the drug, ensures that it stays in the hands of organized crime, and makes it impossible to use the kinds of public-education strategies that have been so successful in reducing tobacco use and dangerous drinking.The report's other recommendations include public education starting with young children and extending to seniors, whose problems with alcoholism and prescription-pill addiction are often ignored in discussions about drug abuse.Campbell said he likes the recommendations in the report, which has been a couple of years in the making, because it is so comprehensive."It recognizes that this can't be done just by Vancouver, so it's bringing in all the other levels. And it's looking at all the drugs, including tobacco and alcohol."The report is the latest offensive in Vancouver's attempt to tackle the city's drug problems, which have contributed to an epidemic of HIV and hepatitis infections unequalled in North America, the deterioration of the city's inner-city Downtown Eastside neighbourhood, and a property-crime rate among the highest in Canada.It's part of the city's Four Pillars strategy, which emphasizes an approach that is an equal mix of law enforcement, prevention, treatment and harm reduction for drug users. That policy was adopted four years ago, amid some controversy because of the harm-reduction aspects, which included a recommendation to create a health facility where users could go to inject drugs under the supervision of health-care workers.Campbell was elected as mayor in 2002, in part because he and his party said they would work to aggressively implement the policy. The supervised injection site was opened in the fall of 2003.Drug Use: A New Approach 10%Proportion of casino revenue that cities would earmark for drug-abuse prevention under a recommendation by the City of Vancouver report.Other recommendations within the City of Vancouver's report on drug-abuse prevention strategy:* Create an agenda that would monitor the use of psychoactive substances in B.C., which would identify early trends in drug use and provide information to the public on the purity of illicit drugs.* Initiate a "safer bars" pilot program.* Advocate for stricter regulation of the chemicals needed to manufacture crystal meth and work with other agencies to address the potential threat of secret meth labs.Note: Mayor Larry Campbell backs controversial proposal as part of strategy to fight drug abuse.Complete Title: Vancouver To Press Ottawa To Legalize and Tax MarijuanaNewshawk: CelayaSource: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)Author: Frances Bula, Vancouver Sun Published: Wednesday, June 08, 2005Copyright: 2005 Vancouver SunContact: sunletters png.canwest.comWebsite: Related Articles & Web Site:CannabisNews Canadian Links May Urge Canada To Legalize MJ's Time for Canada To Legalize Cannabis Panel Backs Legalizing Marijuana
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on June 09, 2005 at 12:00:39 PT
Related Article from The Globe and Mail
Mayor Backs Proposal To Legalize Marijuana:
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Comment #9 posted by jose melendez on June 09, 2005 at 09:41:40 PT
They stopped laughing.*
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mahatma Gandhi (Indian Philosopher, internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolent protest, 1869-1948) - - -Exactly one of the 71 U.S. Attorneys with whom filed my affidavit* called back. When she kindly expressed she was unsure that my avenue for relief was appropriate, I respectfully reminded her that it's nearly been 100 years, and that we were going to do what we had to do to get our complaints on the record.She said she would submit it, and I say:Fair enough. - - -" . . . who are our leaders?"Jamal WNYC callerSo many feel that nothing will happen if they express their opinion. Prohibitionists count on our division by instilling fear by application of the full force of law.Earlier, I was listening to a stream on WNYC where they ware discussing overt and latent racism, and its effects on the community. The discussion touched on how the population act against their own interests when they accept media portrayals without question.Hence, the demonization of people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson . . .Anyway, as I was considering how assumptions that nothing will result from speaking out against injustice are entertwined with fear of reprisal, FoM kindly posted the link to Mark Fiore's "Pain Man"In a moment of clarity, I realized that the meaning of the phrase "You have the right to remain silent." is being abused to suggest we should buy their poisons or shut the bleep up and die.I expect that if any of the media run this cartoon, Mr. Fiore's work would be as famous as jib-jab. course, they were hired by Budweiser . . . Anheuser-Busch Hires Jib-Jab Creators, Chronic Candy should hire Mark Fiore. - - -Sunset Provisions"Letting those provisions expire would leave law enforcement in the dark."- POTUS GWB June 2005 Data-warehousing giant LexisNexis' Instant ID solution offers a Web-based "robust and high quality tool which financial institutions can utilize to verify and validate the identity of a person opening a new account…fast, convenient and effective solution to assist financial institutions in complying with the USA PATRIOT Act by verifying the identity of new account applicants." The government "watch lists" used to verify the customer's identity are maintained by the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). OFAC's purpose is to implement and enforce economic sanctions against known terrorists, drug dealers, and the like, "to accomplish foreign policy and national security goals." OFAC publishes and regularly updates a list of "Specially Designated Nationals" (SDN's), known or suspected terrorists and accomplices, and makes it available on its website.OFAC itself does not mandate that financial institutions comply with identifying potential suspects ("hits") on the watch list. It instead leaves the duty of compliance up to individual financial regulators and the many companies that have stepped into the breach to provide identity verification.see the talking point pattern: an appeal to give up our rights for fear of terror on the grounds that we've accepted giving up our rights for fear of drugs:from:  the President will point to how the Patriot Act has been successful in tracking down and bringing and terrorists to justice. It has strengthened law enforcement and given our intelligence and law enforcement community the tools they need to pursue terrorists -- that these are the same tools that they have long used against drug dealers and white-collar criminals. The legal tools it provides are backed up by a process requiring judicial review; they are the same tools authorities have used for decades in dealing with drug dealers and organized crime. FBI asks US Congress for new power to seize documentsThe Senate Intelligence Committee is taking initial steps to greatly expand the power of the FBI under the USA Patriot Act. On Tuesday the FBI formally asked Congress for sweeping new powers to seize private records without first securing approval from a judge. According to the American Civil Liberties Union this power would let agents seize records from medical facilities, libraries, hotels, gun dealers, banks and any other business, without having to appear before a judge, and without any evidence that the people targeted are involved in any criminal activity. see also:
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on June 09, 2005 at 08:29:39 PT
CTV Poll: Should Marijuana Be Legalized?
Current Results:Yes -- 61%No  -- 39%
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Comment #7 posted by CorvallisEric on June 09, 2005 at 02:21:28 PT
Chain saw (comment 1)
Interesting story. What really bothers me is the following (edited for clarity):... Despres was questioned for two hours before he was released. During that time ... customs agents employed "every conceivable method" to check for warrants or see if Despres had broken any laws in trying to re-enter the country."Nobody asked us to detain him," ... "Being bizarre is not a reason to keep somebody out of this country or lock them up. ... We are governed by laws and regulations, and he did not violate any regulations." ...On the same day Despres crossed the border, he was due in a Canadian court to be sentenced on charges he assaulted and threatened to kill Fulton[murdered by chain saw the previous day]'s son-in-law, Frederick Mowat, last August.In other words, there's no working system to prevent a convicted violent criminal due for processing from crossing the border. But there sure is lots of concern about "laws and regulations"! (like for a joint)
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Comment #6 posted by CorvallisEric on June 09, 2005 at 01:36:09 PT
The Report
The Vancouver report and other stuff can be found on this page: under "Latest News" on the right:Read the draft plan [link to PDF file]Read the Council report [link to PDF file - seems to be the same as the draft plan with an additional long cover letter to the City Council]A revised version with improved formatting will be available June 13.From a brief glance it looks interesting. It's not all legalese like the quotes below.The bottom line (page 7 of the draft plan - page 13 of the Council report):20. Recommendation: That the Federal Government implement further legislative changes to create a legal regulatory framework for cannabis in order to enable municipalities to develop comprehensive cannabis strategies that promote public health objectives, include appropriate regulatory controls for cannabis related products, and support the development of public education approaches to cannabis use and related harm based on best evidence.21. Recommendation: That the Federal Government take a leadership role at the national and international levels to initiate reform of current drug laws and move towards creating regulatory frameworks for psychoactive substances that will allow municipalities to better address the harm associated with the trade and use of these substances at the local level.
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Comment #5 posted by AOLBites on June 08, 2005 at 16:09:12 PT
FYI -.pdf link
had to tinyurl that link..its a .pdf [just warning ya...]try googling: non-commercial products
for more stuff...
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Comment #4 posted by AOLBites on June 08, 2005 at 16:06:27 PT
which have been turned into commercial products ... Non-commercial alcohol often takes the form of traditional beverages that reflect the
local drinking culture and occupy a particular place within a given society. These
beverages may be distilled, fermented, or brewed from a wide range of different
ingredients. For example:*In Brazil, cachaça, a distillate made from sugarcane, is the national alcohol
beverage. Cachaça is produced both legally and illegally. While exact figures are
lacking, there is evidence that the overwhelming proportion of production is illicit.
Out of the distilleries in just a single Brazilian state, for example, only 10% are
registered. The remaining 90% produce non-commercial cachaça.* In Mexico, traditional alcohols run the gamut from tequila to pulque and aquardiente.
While tequila and aguardiente may be both legally and illegally produced, pulque,
fermented from the agave plant, is a non-commercial beverage type found most
commonly in rural areas.
etc etc ...sounds like homegrown to me =)
Non-commercial alcohol 
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Comment #3 posted by AOLBites on June 08, 2005 at 15:52:38 PT
i think that he is refering to simply a ban on advertising and promotion, like discounts and tv and print ads that sort of thing ... and yea i saw that, and besides the bloody chainsaw, "wandering down a highway in a sweat shirt with red and brown stains. " he was WEARING BLOODY CLOTHES!!! i mean, how stupid do they have to be... oh wait, nevermind. i forgot its POT thats dangerous... 
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on June 08, 2005 at 15:12:13 PT
"However, he also emphasized that Canada should learn from the mistakes it made with alcohol and tobacco, which have been turned into commercial products, heavily advertised and promoted, which has led to problems stemming from the abuse of those two substances that far exceeds those of illegal drugs."So, he's trying to justify persecuting MJ users because of the mistakes made with alcohol and tobacco? How ridiculous! These policies aren't set in stone - if it was a mistake to allow alcohol & tobacco advertising....then pass a law to ban it! Don't punish peaceful people growing plants on their deck.
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Comment #1 posted by firedog on June 08, 2005 at 13:37:20 PT
Off topic... but have you seen this? April 25, Gregory Despres arrived at the U.S.-Canadian border crossing at Calais, Maine, carrying a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, brass knuckles and a chain saw stained with what appeared to be blood. U.S. customs agents confiscated the weapons and fingerprinted Despres.Then they let him into the United States. Of course, if he'd been carrying a joint... things would have been different!
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