Redefining a Crime 

Redefining a Crime 
Posted by CN Staff on May 05, 2002 at 10:44:03 PT
Source: Toronto Star
They are unlikely revolutionaries; five senators, ranging in age from 51 to 72, who have taken it upon themselves to review Canada's laws on cannabis.The Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs released its first discussion paper this week. Although the senators stopped short of endorsing the decriminalization of marijuana, it is clear that they are leaning in that direction. They invited Canadians to address a series of questions at public hearings across the country:
"Research evidence we have received to date does not appear to support criminalization of and penalization of cannabis. Do you share this view?""Studies appear to indicate that the current policy approach may cause more harm than good. Do you agree?""If Canada were to adopt a different, more liberal approach to cannabis, should it take into account the reaction of the United States?"There is a quixotic quality to this exercise. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien has made it clear that he has no interest in loosening Canada's marijuana laws. Just last month, the Liberal government killed a private member's bill that would have decriminalized marijuana possession.Nevertheless, the committee, chaired by Tory senator Pierre Claude Nolin, a Montreal lawyer, is determined to take an "open, objective, impartial'' look at Canada's anti-drug policies. In the first phase of its inquiry, it heard from doctors, pharmacologists, police officers, lawyers, federal bureaucrats and the head of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission. Now it wants to bring ordinary Canadians into the dialogue.This effort deserves to be taken seriously, no matter how dismissive the governing Liberals appear to be.More than 30,000 Canadians are charged with marijuana possession every year. Hunting down pot users costs taxpayers millions of dollars — money that could be spent preventing kids from getting into more serious forms of drug abuse.Marijuana is less addictive, and less dangerous, than tobacco or alcohol, both of which are legal. There is no credible evidence that it leads to the use of more potent drugs. Nor can police point to any clear link between cannabis use and crime. The senators acknowledge that it is best not to use psycho-active substances such as cannabis. But they strongly suggest that there are better uses for public funds than trying to eradicate a widely used and relatively harmless recreational drug.It is a refreshingly sane point of view. The government may find that millions of Canadians share it. Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)Published: May 4, 2002Copyright: 2002 The Toronto Star Contact: lettertoed Website: Related Articles & Web Site:Canadian Links The Debate Over Decriminalization We Treat Pot Like Tobacco? Senators Ask 
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Comment #17 posted by qqqq on May 06, 2002 at 17:00:36 PT
American Drug Pig Empire!!!!
...Does anyone think that the US Drug War Regime will not do anything and everything possible to prevent Canada from easing up on Marijuana laws?....Think about it, they have huge resources,they have more funds than they know what to do with,,,they will go visit the Canadian big dog politicians,,offer them a cigar,,and light 'em up with a stack of fresh 100 dollar bills!.....I will be pleasantly suprized if,and when Canada tries to lock horns with the DEA,and the Amerikan empire....I dont know if I can imagine Canada making such a bold move...Even California ,and other states cannot escape the federal overlords of the DrugPig empire.....I love Canada,and I'm half Canadian,,but Canada is not really known for taking bold steps that defy the US regimes laws,,,,,but,, then again,, come to think of it,during alcohol prohibition,there was alot of fine Canadian whiskey coming across the border,,but I dont think it was because it was legal in Canada,I think it was bootleg....
. In my teenage years growing up in Seattle,,we would make frequent visits to Vancouver BC to go drinking....In Washington state,you had to be 21 to buy liquor,,but in Canada,drinking age was 18,,and showing ID was unheard of....I'm not proud of it,,but one night I got so drunk in Vancouver,,that I almost drove halfway to Alaska before I realized I was going the wrong direction...luckily,my girlfriend was passed out so she never knew how stupid I was.,,in fact,I finally realized I was going the wrong way when I pulled over so she could barf in the ditch!,,,she had already spray-barfed out the window of my 68 GTO,and left a large brocade of vomit slathered on the car,(I later found that the caustic barf had indelibly etched the paint!),,,,.(.I guess I'll finish the story,quit reading now if you are offended by off topic rambling.),.......Anyway,,I had to go to school in the morning,and had promised my girlfriends mom,,(who could be best described as a stern,sullen,bitter Joan Rivers type),that I would have her daughter home by 1:00 AM...I crossed the border at Blaine Washington abot 3:30 ,,,,I was in a big hurry,and my GTO effortlessly cruised at 110 miles per hour.My girlfriend is passed out,I was still far from sober,,,then,just past Bellingham,,I see a cop turn on his lights about a half mile ahead of me!,,,so,,I slowed down,and pulled in right in front of him,he didnt even have to move......He comes walkin' up to the car,and says,;"Do you know how fast you were going?",,,,,and I said"A little over 100.",,,,,,he said,"I got you locked in on my radar at 112 miles an hour!"..he asked where I was going,and where I had been...I briefly explained my situation....I was white as a ghost with fear,,and I was shitting my pants in my mind!. ..  then,,this Washington State Patrolman hands me back my license,,and says,,;"well,,ya better slow down the rest of the way home,because there's at least three more radar traps between here,and Seattle.....It was surreal,,,that was about 1973......A kinder,gentler time,,,when there were still cops who would pull you over,,,make you dump out the rest of your beer,,,take away the lid of weed they found on you,,and send you home......
...well,,it looks like once again I have said way too much,and strayed irretrievably off wherever I started... ..I'm kinda like some lonesome spinster at the beauty parlor,,getting a perm,,,gabbing and yacking out endless tales of times gone by that are drowned out by the drone of those strange hairdryer chairs that have the big science fiction electro-bonnets which are lowered onto grotesque beehives of bobby pins and curlers......Good grief! 
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Comment #16 posted by idbsne1 on May 06, 2002 at 16:35:05 PT
Soon....I HOPE.....
I HOPE.....everyone see Shawshank Redemption?I really hope that all of us can hang together SOON oneday....again FoM, thanks for all your work....I wish everyone realized what could be accomplished if everyone just did a little....You, Martha, do volumes.....and with Cnews, I know the truth will get out there....I was also thinking, maybe the billionares on our side, would get there hands dirty in Canada? To counter anything the US Government would do? Grease a few palms...yada, yada, yada, know, maybe play their game?Either way, I believe (I HOPE) that this time, those decrim studies will actually do some good... with the UK AND Canada AND Jamaica doing studies at similar times, all with the same results.... the Nixon tapes being released, etc....I get excited just thinking about it...I get this feeling that the rest of the world would like, in some way, to tell the US to "piss off"... I think it's been a long time coming....9/11 was horrible....but it's like a bad thing happening to a bad feel bad, but not too bad...and I think it made the rest of the world feel more courageous to stand up to the US (after the initial shock/support)...our bullying is no longer impressing the people of the world...maybe the rich folks, but not the general populous...add to the fact it's the new millenium, and I get the feeling people WANT a change....Oh BOY.... I HOPE.........idbsne1 
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Comment #15 posted by Dark Star on May 06, 2002 at 14:14:43 PT
Oh, Canada!
Canada should not care a rat's rectum what Amerika thinks! Now is the time that the Great White North should tell the hosers in the government down here that they are big boys now, and will follow their own path, eh? With the USA ignoring NAFTA and treating Canadians like provincial hicks, it is important for them to know that many of us admire Canada greatly and will spend tons of loonies there to reward their progressive posture.
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Comment #14 posted by scott on May 06, 2002 at 14:08:40 PT
happy times
"If Canada were to adopt a different, more liberal approach to cannabis, should it take into account the reaction of the United States?"I hope that Canadians have the courage not to care. However, our friends up north (thanks from the bottom of my heart for Hockey) need to know that the "reaction of the US" will come from two distinct groups: 1) Our political hacks who don't have courage of thier own, and, more importantly, 2) those of us who will cheer loudly and spend a lot of money on vacations in Canada.
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Comment #13 posted by goneposthole on May 06, 2002 at 11:02:07 PT
Sovietization of capitalistic America
Communism is state capitalism. All profits belonged to the central government. The Soviet Union was the first country in the world to legalize abortion; the year was 1928. It was discovered that after the sixth or seventh abortion a woman did not need to have one anymore. They were sterile.Crops went unharvested for three years. Tractors would breakdown in the fields and remained there. Starvation set in and people cooked and ate their own children.Those were fun times in the new Soviet Russia. It was 75 years later before any change was realized.  
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Comment #12 posted by boppy on May 06, 2002 at 07:47:24 PT
Won't you be my neighbor?
I sure wish all of you could be my neighbors. I would feel much safer.
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Comment #11 posted by dddd on May 06, 2002 at 03:29:53 PT's true.....
..we are a community...a very special community.....I think Lookinside summed it up quite well ..:
"If they legalize Cannabis tomorrow, CNews will still have a mission. Although the focus is on Cannabis, Civil Rights has always(in my humble opinion) been the core of this site. The laws against Cannabis are only a part of this fight. There will always be those who wish to diminish our freedoms. Only with sites like this, can truth reach us."
This rings true..Even though our focus here is Cannabis,,the very fact that we are having to fight for such a basic freedom,makes it obvious that much larger issues are involved.
Once again,,I will warn everybody,,,,Like the village idiot banging a gong in the town square.... We must remember how this community came to be,and how it continues to exsist...If or when the day comes that any and all websites are banned,if they are deemed to encourage drugs,,,then this community will no longer exsist. I think the whole terror/drug war is continuing to spin out of control. .. I was struck by the comments recently about the disappearing library books.Kap told of titles that vanished from the biggest library in the world!.. If books can mysteriously vanish,,then how long till websites start to vanish....I know I am always being an alarmist ,and a doomsayer ,but if you consider the corporate domination of all media and communications in the last few years,,then I guess it will come as no suprize when the internet is owned by the same entities.
...Keep in mind;;;;We would never have happened without the internet,(and ,of course FoM)....Remember, the internet is very special,in that it is the LAST remaining place where people can freely communicate.There is no bigger threat to a government that seeks to dominate and control a country,than a free press,or an unregulated forum in which people can interact,and form communities,and alliances...
..I like how EJ talks about the Soviet paralells...In 1976,I spent 3 weeks in the Soviet Union, ,Moscow, Kiev, Kharkov,Odessa,and Leningrad..I collected a stack of propaganda booklets that were availiable everywhere for western tourists. It was an experience I will never forget.I learned alot,,but one thing that always stands out ,,is the realization that the most important element of controlling a group of people,is to control their sources of information...There is Nothing that compares to the internet,,and there will never be anything like it in the forseeable future.... If,or when the internet is overseen by corporate/government interests,,"communities"
such as we have here will cease to exsist!..... Of course,,some will say that this could never happen,because the outcry from the general public would prevent such a monopolization of freedom.., but keep in mind,that protests ,or outcrys, are only significant if they can be heard..with limited internet access,,that is more centralized ,it will allow supervisions of messages,and restrictions of access to sites that are "not allowed"...ACCESS DENIED"!
....I admit,,I am somewhat of a withered West Coast hillbilly Hippie intellectual soothsayer,, but I am convinced that there will eventually be an internet that is owned and controlled in much the same way as national media,and cable TV are owned and controlled...then,,I believe that people who want unfiltered internet access will be subscribing to sattelite ISPs....Eventually ,the internet will be under control of the powers that be... Let's hope my cracklpot theories are the product of a delusional mind,and the empire will crumble in disgrace,and the Sheeple will gain control of the faded democracy...........but dont count on looks to me like things are going downhill...I'm sorry,,although I always maintain a certain "hope",deep within,(Hope is all we got!),,,,,, I am not gonna fake myself out,and pretend that things are going to take a turn for the better...Maybe that's why I'm such a clown... Have fun while you can.. laugh if you get the opportunity....dont let my bitter ramblings bum you out.
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Comment #10 posted by freedom fighter on May 05, 2002 at 22:08:04 PT
We are a community....I believe in each of everyone that are part of this community.With alot of utmost respect for everyone who are part of this community,We shall overcome.ff
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on May 05, 2002 at 20:54:14 PT
Thanks EJ
What can I say but thank you. I'm really just one person who really cares. I'm aware of the value of cannabis and I find it hard to understand the war against it anymore. They don't have one solid answer to tell us why it should remain illegal. It concerns me though that they don't understand how wrong they're thinking is about cannabis. If they can't get it about cannabis my lord what really important issue can't they get? That's down right scary. I watched PI the other night and Carrie Fischer (sp) was one of the guests. She implied that people who like to drink use cocaine so they can drink more. They were referring to the president. 
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Comment #8 posted by E_Johnson on May 05, 2002 at 20:13:55 PT
Nicely said FoM
Yes we are a community. A distance learning organism growing on the Internet.You are a freedom fighter, like the Soviet dissidents who published Chonicle of Current Events, the samizdat journal that kept track of the Soviet repression of human rights activists.I met one of the guys who manufactured and distributed that illegal journal, both his parents were political prisoners.That was a community similar to this one. The borderless timeless community of resistance to ill behavior by organized government.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on May 05, 2002 at 19:27:47 PT
That is very kind of you. The reality is that Cannabis News is more then news. It's more then comments. It's a community and a growing one and we survived 9-11 and have made progress. We've been through many sad and happy times together. Peter and Tom and Rollie. Our friends who are dealing with issues in Canada and the states. I could go on and on. It's fascinating to watch all this happen day after day. My husband when he gets home he asks, so what's happening in the news and I tell him. He never means news from CNN etc. but here. Thanks again and please tell Jean hello from me.
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Comment #6 posted by lookinside on May 05, 2002 at 18:48:45 PT:
If they legalize Cannabis tomorrow, CNews will still have a mission. Although the focus is on Cannabis, Civil Rights has always(in my humble opinion) been the core of this site.The laws against Cannabis are only a part of this fight. There will always be those who wish to diminish our freedoms. Only with sites like this, can truth reach us.Don't expect to retire anytime soon.As I've said before, thank you for your extraordinary efforts.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on May 05, 2002 at 14:34:49 PT
Most of what you said went over me head because I don't understand what portals are. When I get my satellite hooked up I will be able to have time to think. That might sound weird but when you constantly must make a decision to go check out a web site or not because it takes so long to load I will be able to think and do more then. Thanks for the vote of confidence. It is really appreciated. I wondered when 9-11 happened if C News would have a purpose anymore but it does and it will and I'm so darn glad!Of course I would remember you if I need to get a staff but that's way off in the future and I'd much rather retire. Only kidding but I want to get the laws changed and Cannabis legalized so C News won't have a purpose anymore. 
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Comment #4 posted by Dan B on May 05, 2002 at 14:12:47 PT:
FoM . . . Since You Asked,
long ago, about what I think of using CN Staff, I wanted to finally respond (I've been quite busy lately and thus unable to visit C-News as much as I normally would like to). I think it's great. First, it's a sign that C-News continues to grow, which means that more people are getting informed, and which also means that the entire drug reform movement is growing (and it is, make no mistake about it). Second, it sounds professional, and I think that new readers will appreciate something they can more easily interpret (you are correct, in other words, that FoM may puzzle some, but CN Staff will likely puzzle nobody--particularly if they are aware of the name of the site they voluntarily entered!). Still, I noticed that you continue to use FoM in your posts, and I am glad for that. It gives us old-timers a sense of continuity and familiarity.Third, it means that if you want to make the most of it, you already have a huge base of support, and that could work to the advantage of Cannabis News and the drug policy reform movement (particularly with regard to cannabis law reform) if you ever decide to make C-News into a full-fledged web portal (or if you go into a partnership with such a portal, like Ya-Hooka). Of course, if you did decide to do such a thing, it would be better to make your own web portal; partnerships have a way of compromising the integrity of both partners.Fourth, thank you so much for continuing this site. And if you do decide to hire on someone to help out at some point, please consider Dan B (me) a potential candidate for the job (although there are many other more qualified individuals here who would, I am sure, drop everything to work for you). : )Take care!Dan B
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on May 05, 2002 at 13:00:00 PT
DCP Thank You So Much!
No staff just me. It sounds more professional and generic and at this pace I will need a staff! Just kidding but heaven knows. The satellite is sitting here waiting for the technican to call to make an appointment to install it and I can't wait. I'll be able to join newsgroups and make more pages and archive more articles and that's all I've thought of so far but I know I'll find many more interesting things to do and challenges. I like to work and don't like waiting. I was talking to a friend and C News regular on the phone last week and I told him that I can ask a page to load and go do a load of laundry and it might be loaded when I get back and he said that's what they must mean by multi tasking and I busted up laughing! Thanks so much!
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Comment #2 posted by DCP on May 05, 2002 at 12:48:46 PT:
Attntion Cannabis News Readers
Off the SubjectHave you noticed the postings from CN Staff? FoM has got
STAFF!! Wonderful.ATTN: Faithful Readers of CN. I just mailed a contribution to Cannabis News to help with the cost and operation of the new satellite system. This will be a help to us all. CN is one of the best news services on the net and I know that we all appreciate FoM’s efforts. How about it? Let’s help. Mail your contribution to: DrugSense PO Box 651 Porterville, CA 93258 and mark your check or money order for: Martha, at CN.  We are winning, but all you readers of CN can help. DCP
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Comment #1 posted by WolfgangWylde on May 05, 2002 at 10:55:54 PT
Don't Hold Your Breath...
...unless your favorite color is blue.  These committees and commissions, panels and reviews, are nothing but a way to fool the people into thinking the Gov't is addressing their concerns. Its the political equivalent of a hamster wheel. Marijuana is one of the most studied plants on the planet. These review panels have been convened many times in many countries dating back the 1900's.  They all have two things in common: 1) They all came to the conclusion that marijuana should be legalized, and 2) They were all soundly ignored by the governments that commissioned them. Enough already, don't pin your hopes on the people in power - vote them out of office, and let them know why.
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