Pubdate: Tue, 18 May 2004
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Jody Pressman
Cited: Fill the Hill


Re: Liberals leave decriminalization bill to die, May 14.

As someone who attended the decriminalization bill hearings by a House
of Commons committee during the fall, I feel this bill was designed to
die from the outset.

Critics on both sides found something in it to attack, ensuring its
demise. The majority of witnesses polled by co-chair Randy White
argued that this bill did not improve the status quo.

So while this bill is dead, few will mourn its loss. One is left to
wonder what Canadians are left to do with consumption rates, seizures
and grow-op busts higher than ever and a recent Statistics Canada
report that showed that 75 per cent of all drug offences in 2003 were
marijuana-related (and of those, most involved young people). The
number of Canadians who hold a criminal record for possession is
likely to continue to grow beyond its already staggering rate of
600,000, and more young people will be subject to search, arrest and
detention for an act no more harmful than consuming alcohol.

Canadians deserve change, but won't see it until the winds of public
opinion give our politicians licence to act boldly. I am part of a
group of concerned Canadians who hope to offer Canadians a unique
opportunity for national expression on this issue. Our rally for
overdue political change is Sat., June 5 at 1 p.m. on Parliament Hill.

Jody Pressman,


Fill the Hill co-ordinator 
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