Pubdate: Fri, 12 Nov 2004
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Tim Meehan


Re: Looser pot law would plug border: U.S. envoy, Nov. 10

Once again, U.S. Ambassador Paul Cellucci is trying to meddle in
Canadian affairs with more "reefer madness" about our newly
resurrected pot bill.

However, anyone with a basic handle on economics and history knows
Cellucci is yet again making idle threats.

On Sept. 21, 1969, the Nixon Administration began Operation Intercept,
which involved searching all vehicles crossing into the U.S. from
Mexico for marijuana. Border traffic was paralysed. After protests
from the American business community, the operation ended three weeks

Canada supplies more raw materials today than Mexico did 35 years ago,
and American companies will be the ones hurt most by any border
slowdown. Young Canadians, who Cellucci says will be discriminated
against disproportionately under an anti-pot border program, will
simply stay home and spend their dollars here, hurting U.S. retailers.

Business knows this, and so do northern governors, who have lobbied
hard against any type of politically motivated border squeeze in the
past. Besides, with the trade restrictions already in place for beef,
lumber and other Canadian products, and given that the vast majority
of marijuana used in the U.S. is grown domestically, could this simply
be another case of good old-fashioned American protectionism?

Tim Meehan,

Director of Communications,

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in Canada
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