Tory Senator Smoked Pot, Yes, Oh Yes

Tory Senator Smoked Pot, Yes, Oh Yes
Posted by FoM on May 01, 2000 at 07:26:08 PT
By The Canadian Press
Source: Edmonton Sun
The chairman of the Senate committee on drug use lets out a hearty laugh when asked if he's ever smoked pot. "Yes, oh yes," Senator Pierre Claude Nolin says enthusiastically. "Twenty-five per cent of the population has tried drugs, according to some studies, and I'm certainly one of them." 
The multi-party, five-member committee is expected to begin hearings this fall on decriminalizing recreational use of all drugs. Nolin, 49, says taxpayers aren't high on seeing money poured into making criminals out of thousands of people for simple possession. Laws have failed to curb drug use, he said, just as the U.S. prohibition on alcohol in the 1920s failed to stop drinking and made a few gangsters rich. "The money in drugs is immense, huge, and ends up in legal operations," he said. The senator, named to the chamber of sober second thought in 1993, said his unelected status gives him something MPs don't have - the ability to review legislation without looking over his shoulder. "Elected politicians are afraid of tackling some issues because of perceived sensitivity by their constituents." Admissions that politicians have inhaled used to be considered news, but Canadian Alliance leadership candidate Stockwell Day's confession to drug use as a teen barely raised an eyebrow. "The population is smarter than some would give them credit for," Nolin said. "They're less concerned with drug use and don't see it as the problem it once was thought to be." Nolin quotes figures showing 600,000 Canadians have criminal records going back over 40 years for simple possession. Among his background papers, Nolin produces an assessment of drug laws for the Fraser Institute, a conservative think-tank. "It is hard to imagine policies better suited to generating and perpetuating violence, corruption, organized crime, needless death, misery and social dysfunction that the prohibitionist schemes that Canada's policy makers and parliamentarians have concocted over the last 85 years," lawyer Eugene Oscapella wrote in Nolin said the committee wants to hear from Canadians about the kind of laws they want for the 21st century. Ottawa Published: May 1, 2000Copyright  2000, Canoe Limited Partnership. Related Article:Senator Demands Review of Drug Policy
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