Time for Discussion on Easing Canada's Drug Laws

  Time for Discussion on Easing Canada's Drug Laws

Posted by FoM on August 03, 2001 at 08:57:43 PT
By Les Perreaux, National Post 
Source: National Post 

Allan Rock, the Minister of Health, said it was time for an open discussion on liberalizing Canada's drug laws as he toured the government's official marijuana growing plant yesterday."When I was justice minister, I paid lawyers to prosecute these drug cases, many of them involving people, young people, with very small amounts. The question often arose as to whether or not this was a good use of dollars and the justice system. I think it's time for a discussion in Canada about all of this," he said.
Mr Rock spoke after touring an underground mine in Flin Flon, Man., where the first official crop of government-sanctioned pot is being grown.Just outside this northern mining town, an exhausted nickel and copper underground shaft has been turned into a giant greenhouse for marijuana plants. Last year, Prairie Plant Systems, the Saskatoon-based greenhouse operator, was awarded $5.7-million to produce 185 kilograms of weed this year and about 450 kg each year for four more years.The so-called medical marijuana will be made available to sick Canadians who are granted government approval to smoke it for the alleviation of pain and the debilitating symptoms of various diseases.Mr. Rock said Canada's medical marijuana policy is based on "compassionate" grounds and he predicted it will eventually be matched by other nations."I'm absolutely convinced we've made the right choice, we're on the right path. And we're going to improve the lives of many people."Mr. Rock noted that members of Parliament decided in May to establish a special committee of MPs that will begin cross-country hearings this fall looking at the issues surrounding marijuana.Mr. Rock said that as the father of three teenagers, he worries about the drug culture and the "messages we're sending kids and where we draw lines."One possible approach, he suggested, would be to treat possession of marijuana like a traffic offence, in which the offender would be slapped with a ticket and a fine rather than be charged with a criminal offence."I think there's a lot to think about here. I'm glad that the committee is going to be working on it. I'm glad that people are going to be asking these questions and looking at different approaches," he said.As Mr. Rock inspected Canada's new, legally sanctioned grow operation, about two dozen reporters and camera operators stood at the rocky mine opening and watched a pool of four journalists -- pre-screened for security reasons, we were told -- descend into the mine with Mr. Rock.They all wore shiny rubber boots, yellow safety helmets, goggles and blue jump suits. "I'm not used to this much paraphernalia for people growing marijuana," said Mr. Rock, a Baby Boomer who once persuaded John Lennon to come to Ottawa for a peace conference."As a former attorney-general of Canada, I'm keenly aware there's a right against self-incrimination in this country," he once grinned when asked if he ever smoked pot. "And I fully intend to invoke that right."After a 20-minute descent by pickup truck, they reached the entrance to the chamber where the pot is grown. A sign read: "No trespassing. Restricted and secured area. Any attempt to enter this area will trigger alarms and will be treated as a break-and-enter. Violators will be apprehended and charged."Just inside the greenhouse, its whiterock walls pulsating from 10,000-watt lighting, a new sign was unveiled at the entrance to the operation: "The Rock Garden."Inside the growing area, marijuana planted six weeks ago is two metres tall. The plants thrive, company officials said, under the controlled temperature, humidity and artificial light. Plants ready for harvest in October will be processed into cigarettes and loose form. "That's for those who might want to smoke it in other ways, in a pipe or otherwise," Mr. Rock said.Jackie Masich, the head of the Flin Flon growing operation, will not say how many plants have been sown or how far underground the greenhouses are. Later, a mine worker is admonished as he nearly lets the secret slip. Questions about what will be done with any surplus drug that is produced are swiftly brushed aside. Security considerations, Ms. Masich says.Rumours swirl in town that the facility is more secure than the federal laboratory in Winnipeg, 740 kilometres to the southeast, which houses deadly viruses, including ebola and anthrax.However, one man, Eric Angst, a long-time marijuana user, said: "The whole thing is kind of ludicrous, isn't it?"Mr. Angst was busted in 1997 for growing his own supply to ease the pain of arthritis and bowel problems. Last year, Mr. Angst was awarded 12-months probation for growing 12 plants in his trailer home near Saskatoon.Mr. Angst, who had a drug conviction in the 1970s, served a year's probation.He has applied for an exemption that would allow him to join about 300 Canadians who can grow pot for medicinal use.Mr. Angst is usually not shy about his drug use. During his trial for growing the marijuana, he admitted to smoking a joint during a court break. It was the only way he could endure sitting on the wooden bench of the prisoners' box, he said at the time. He was not quite as forward this week when asked how he is controlling his pain."I'm doing what I have to do. that's all I'll say, whether I have to go to the dealer or if I have pot out in the country somewhere ..."Mr. Rock was asked to explain the difference between the government-sponsored operation, which is creating dozens of jobs at Health Canada and Prairie Plant Systems, and Mr. Angst's operation."There is no ethical difference," Mr. Rock stated. "It's the law that you can't grow or use certain drugs. That's the law."Note: 'A lot to think about': Health Minister tours country's first legal pot garden.By Les Perreaux, National Post, with files from Ottawa Citizen.Complete Title: Time for Discussion on Easing Canada's Drug Laws, Rock SaysSource: National Post (Canada) Author: Les Perreaux, National PostPublished: August 3, 2001Copyright: 2001 Southam Inc. Contact: letters Website: Related Articles & Web Site:Canadian Links 'Open' To Legal Marijuana In The Ground Lies The Marijuana Farm Articles - Canada 

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Comment #12 posted by FoM on August 05, 2001 at 10:12:14 PT
SWAMPIE and Freedom Fighter
Thanks for the information. I don't check out grow sites because mostly it's about seeds and that just doesn't interest me. I haven't been in High Times site in a long time ( except the link Dr. Russo sent me ) and never checked out what you said SWAMPIE but I will. They don't sell seeds do they? That clutters my head! LOL!
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Comment #11 posted by SWAMPIE on August 05, 2001 at 02:05:47 PT
"What kind of pot is that"?It's Flin-Flon,Mon!That was the most ragged-out looking weed I have ever seen!I grew better looking sativa in an infertile field 30yrs. ago with no fertilizer!How many millions did they spend?I guess that they are just trying to pacify the law for now.Check out,go to cultivation,full browse.there is enough information to choke a horse there!No pun intended,FoM!LoL! swampie  
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Comment #10 posted by freedom fighter on August 04, 2001 at 22:39:34 PT
Sativa plants
Looks like sativa plants.. Onc can start flowering the plants after 8 weeks of veggie.Bushy types are more of indica types. The plant that I got busted for was indica type. My plant was only 30 inches long and had 50 or so stems growing out of the main stalk.It took me only 10 weeks. I started to flower the plant and three days, it died in courtesy of the growbusters.Also, it is important to note that the distance of light is very important. They had 10000 watts of lights. To me, it is worth only 20 good plants depending on the species of cannabis. I know of growers who prefer to devote 1k watts per plant. Their plant grow about 6-8 feet long and are heavy with buds.(1-3pds) I grew mine with 150watts HPS light. The distance between my light and the plant was only 8-12 inches apart. If my plant had been left alone, it would have grown to about 60 inches at the most at the maturity stage. According to the "evidence", my plant had budded out about 3-4ounces of buds. Alot of good growing info can be found at http:/ \/ff
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on August 04, 2001 at 17:04:13 PT
I was kidding when I made my post but really how did a plant flower in 43 days? These are not clones but from seed so that is confusing. They have very weak stems which will not be good when they get top heavy. How did they sex them that fast? All kinds of questions. Everything I've ever read doesn't seem in sync with this.
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Comment #8 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on August 04, 2001 at 09:48:46 PT:
Good Points
Dan, I have recently seen incredible crops of medicinal cannabis grown properly and it does not look this picture. There are many possible reasons including genetics (they used seized seeds!), failure to cut back seedlings, improper cultivation conditions, etc. A serious question arises as to why available proven strains, and available expertise may not have been utilized.
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Comment #7 posted by Dan B on August 04, 2001 at 07:49:11 PT:
Where's the bush? LOL
You're funny, FoM. Great picture, by the way.Those plants are tall, but they sure are skinny, too! I'm no expert, but I have seen enough pictures of quality homegrown to know that they look like the work of someone who doesn't quite know what he is doing. Those plants need to be cut back and allowed some room to branch out.I'd be interested to know what greenfox thinks of the picture.Here's a clue, Flin Flon growers: they're bushes, not stalks. If you want industrial hemp, grow stalks; if you want quality marijuana, grow bushes. Simple as that.Dan B
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on August 03, 2001 at 13:32:07 PT

Here's Mine
Hope mine doesn't make you not be able to eat your soup kapt! LOL!Here's mine.Hey Flin! Yeah Flon! How did we grow the Ganja that big in 43-days? Not sure Flin but they got the beans from someone named Jack!
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on August 03, 2001 at 12:33:35 PT:

Eeeeoooo! Jorma, PLEASE!
I thought 4D had the corner on gross-outs, but that just took the prize! (ROFLMAO) It never fails; I have to eat a late lunch because of work load, come in 'here' to get the latest CNews...and now I can't eat my egg-drop soup. Damn...But I have to admit, that was a keeper. :)
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Comment #4 posted by jorma nash on August 03, 2001 at 12:18:31 PT

hey, come to think of it, wouldn't that be a great sci-fi novel?the world gets nuked and the only plant life that survivesis the Flim Flam, Manitoba cannabis......the anti's insist people eat cockroaches because eating hemp seedswould send the wrong message to their (three-eyed) chil-run...
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on August 03, 2001 at 12:00:55 PT

Just a little humor
Hi Everyone, This whole story about the Flin Flon marijuana mine could make a great comic book series! Call it something like, Adventures of the Flin Flon brothers at work! LOL!
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Comment #2 posted by jorma nash on August 03, 2001 at 11:55:52 PT

A rickety fence and a big dog would be enough to cause would-be thieves to score on a street corner of any Canadian city instead...i think the Farm that could survive a nuclear attackup in Flim Flam, Manitoba will become a symbol for thesurreal quality of the whole mess rather quickly.
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Comment #1 posted by Fanatic on August 03, 2001 at 10:40:33 PT

Finally the Rock has come back
To reality.
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