U.S. Faults Canada for Letting Drugs Across Border

U.S. Faults Canada for Letting Drugs Across Border
Posted by CN Staff on February 01, 2003 at 07:44:15 PT
By Paul Koring and Jeff Sallot 
Source: Globe and Mail 
Washington and Ottawa  Ottawa's belated efforts to throttle massive and illicit shipments to the United States of a chemical used to make illegal narcotics were called "inadequate" yesterday by President George W. Bush, adding yet another irritant to growing border disputes.While praising Canadian police, the White House faulted the Liberal government for failing to crack down on soaring exports  likely more than 100 tonnes annually of pseudoephedrine, a key chemical component of methamphetamine, which is also known as "speed."
White House drug czar John Walters said methamphetamine use is rising rapidly in the United States in a deadly echo of the crack epidemic. A substantial portion of pseudoephedrine used to make speed comes from Canada, he said yesterday in an interview, adding that he believes Canadian authorities know that new federal regulations that came into force in January are inadequate and that tough rules to control the illicit export are needed.Solicitor-General Wayne Easter said U.S. concerns about pseudoephedrine have been largely addressed in the new regulations, but if not, Ottawa will review them.Mr. Easter noted that the drug trade is a two-way street and that illegal narcotics come into Canada from the United States. "This is a shared problem."The White House said "the regulations . . . should be stronger." Canada was included for the first time yesterday in an annual U.S. report that names the offenders in the international illicit drug trade. The Netherlands was also in the report for the first time, although neither country was on the 23-nation list of major drug-exporting countries, which was unchanged from last year and included nations such as Burma, Columbia, Guatemala and Nigeria.Canada and the Netherlands were named for failing to stop illicit exports of synthetic drugs to the United States. However, the Dutch government received high praise for its efforts."We are confident that the government of the Netherlands is committed to close collaboration and co-operation internationally to eliminate ecstasy production and trafficking," said Paul Simons, acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.Mr. Simons said Ottawa wasn't doing enough."We would like the Canadians to take a closer look at who it is that's importing these substances," he said.Drug Enforcement Agency officials have claimed that gangs of Arabs in Canada with links to terrorist groups have reaped huge profits from illicit exports of pseudoephedrine to the United States.The RCMP say they have no evidence of links to terrorist groups, and defence lawyers for some of the more than 100 men charged in connection with illicit imports of pseudoephedrine from Canada call accusations of terrorist links a smear campaign.While neither the White House nor the State Department repeated that accusation yesterday, the inclusion of Canada in the President's annual determination of countries contributing to the global illicit drug trade signalled that Washington plans to intensify pressure on Ottawa to crack down further."Although the United States enjoys an excellent level of bilateral co-operation with Canada, the United States government is concerned that Canada is a primary source of pseudoephedrine and an increasing source of high-potency marijuana," the report said.U.S. officials say imports of pseudoephedrine into Canada have soared in the past five years to more than 170 tonnes annually from about 30 tonnes. While the chemical is a legitimate ingredient in cold remedies, Washington believes that most of a huge increase in imports to Canada is being clandestinely shipped into the United States to make methamphetamine."Notwithstanding Canada's inadequate control of illicit diversion of precursor chemicals, I commend Canadian law-enforcement agencies, which continue to support our joint law-enforcement drive," Mr. Bush said.In Ottawa, the Solicitor-General also said Canada has a continuing problem with illegal firearms manufactured in the United States and smuggled into Canada. "They have a different attitude toward guns," Mr. Easter said, but U.S. law-enforcement agencies are becoming more sensitive to Canadian concerns about illegal firearms smuggling because of closer co-operation in recent years on border policing, he said.Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a former agent with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, dismissed the U.S. action as "pure politicking.""The U.S. has been trying to make us a scapegoat for a long time. As far as I'm concerned, it's all just a big, political game. They're trying to pass the buck, but the fact is, it stops with them."Now it's drugs. Before, they accused us of letting in terrorists. And that was bogus, too. The Sept. 11 hijackers didn't come through Canada. They came through the front door."Note: Ottawa failing to crack down on exports of ingredient in speed, White House says.With a report from Peter Cheney.Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)Author: Paul Koring and Jeff Sallot Published: Saturday, February 1, 2003  Print Edition, Page A4Copyright: 2003 The Globe and Mail CompanyContact: letters globeandmail.caWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links Worried by Canadian Marijuana Exports Ripe for Ontario Pot Growers Pot Industry Grows Despite Raids
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Comment #3 posted by afterburner on February 03, 2003 at 17:36:46 PT:
Handwriting on the Wall?
Do Bush and Walters now actually acknowledge that methamphetamine is a greater threat than B.C. Bud? Are they finally backing away from the Schedule One Lie about cannabis? Have they finally accepted that Canada will decriminalize no matter what they say? We can hope.ego destruction or ego transcendence, that is the question.
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Comment #2 posted by Dark Star on February 03, 2003 at 13:03:09 PT
Read the transcript, and you'll realize that the War on Some Drugs is about as likely to succeed as emptying the Atlantic Ocean with a thimble.What idiot will grow cotton when opium nets $500 a kilo? The only way to win is to quit. Legal drugs mean no profits, no crime, and a chance to deal with the issue medically.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 03, 2003 at 12:50:13 PT
Transcripts On Drug Certification
Transcript: U.S. Reports Burma, Guatemala, Haiti Not Strong Fighters in Drug Wars 03 February 2003
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