Pubdate: Tue, 17 Sep 2002
Source: Esquimalt News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 Esquimalt News
Author: Matthew M. Elrod
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


While I appreciate MP Keith Martin's recognition that our cannabis laws do 
more harm than good, (MP welcomes senate report on changes to cannabis law, 
Esquimalt News, Sept. 11), I have to wonder if he read the senate committee 
report before critiquing it.

Martin argues legalizing marijuana would increase the level of trafficking 
of cannabis from Canada to the U.S.

The senators wrote, "We are keen to avoid replicating, at the Canada-US 
border, the problems that marked relations between the Netherlands, France, 
Belgium and Germany over the issue of drugs-tourism between 1985 and 1995. 
This is one of the reasons that justifies restricting the distribution of 
cannabis for recreational purposes to Canadian residents."

In Recommendation 6, the Senators wrote, "The committee recommends that the 
Government of Canada amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to 
create a criminal exemption scheme. This legislation should stipulate the 
conditions for obtaining licences as well as for producing and selling 
cannabis; criminal penalties for illegal trafficking and export; and the 
preservation of criminal penalties for all activities falling outside the 
scope of the exemption scheme."

I think that if we use our imaginations we can come up with a 
made-in-Canada solution that does not entail punishing adult cannabis users 
and leaving the trade in the hands of criminals to appease American drug 

Matthew M. Elrod Metchosin
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom