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Cannabis is less and less afraid. Canadians would have never been better now that its decriminalization. According to a recent poll, two thirds of the population believe that those who are arrested with small amounts of cannabis should not be punished. Meanwhile, researchers, activists, politicians, artists and even doctors advocate more openly for the illicit drug most popular countries. Look at a change in philosophy.
Chicago has done. California has come as close and Uruguay's seriously considering. And if the Government of Canada is far from being seduced by what is becoming a trend for the decriminalization of cannabis, the population, meanwhile, sees things differently.
"There seems to be more and more people are for this idea," says the executive director of the Quebec Centre for Addiction Prevention, Renée Latulippe. A feeling which results both in the field in the polls. An Ipsos Reid survey commissioned by Postmedia News and Global TV a few days ago revealed that only 66% of Canadians believe that the possession of small amounts of marijuana should no longer be punishable by law. It is in the Atlantic region that people are most favorable, then we encounter the strongest opposition in Alberta.
Things have changed. There are just 10 years, only one in two Canadians supported the decriminalization of marijuana. In 1987, they were less than 40%. So why this shift, which occurs despite awareness campaigns increasingly numerous in schools and, more recently, on television? "There is a trivialization of the impacts of drug use, says Renée Latulippe. People mistakenly think that the pot is less dangerous than simple tobacco, "she said. She believes that advertising on the medical benefits of the plant there is also something.
Marc-Boris St-Maurice, director of the Montreal compassion and founder of the Bloc Pot, also feels the winds. "It's been several years that we notice just by talking with people. It's a shame that the government is slower to change than its population, "he said. Today, artists, singer Uncle Serge example, argue publicly in favor of the drug without anyone to do in case. Even politicians admit, without result, have tried cannabis. At its last convention, the Liberal Party voted not for decriminalization, but for the outright legalization of marijuana.
This avenue is more logical, says researcher Stephen Easton of the Fraser Institute, which conducted a rare study on the issue. According to him, as well as decriminalization, legalization as well. "If we only decriminalize cannabis, the price of drugs will increase with demand and organized crime will grow," he says. By legalizing cannabis, on the contrary, the government could collect millions in taxes, as it does with alcohol or tobacco. "And long term, the price of cannabis would decrease significantly," the expert provides.
This more radical position bolsters support even among doctors. Not for economic reasons, but rather medical. The Board of health workers of British Columbia, for example, is concerned about the growing availability of the substance which, in the absence of regulation, is particularly dangerous at times.
"There are all kinds of stuff in there, confirms Renée Latulippe. Aluminum, tar. This is not the simple grass and few people who smoke with a filter. "
The pot in Canada and around the world
The cultivation and consumption of marijuana for therapeutic purposes is legal since 1996. A prescription is required to make a purchase. In 2010, Californians rejected by referendum a proposed full legalization of consumption, culture and trade of marijuana.
June 27, elected officials have voted to decriminalize possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana by an adult. Persons found in possession of this quantity of drugs are no longer stopped and no mention is made in the criminal record. The culprits, however, must pay a fine of $ 250 to $ 500.
Cannabis use is not in itself an offense. It is considered that own less than 10 g corresponds to personal needs. The offender receives a warning. Possession of a quantity between 10 and 100 g carries a fine of 300 to 3000 crowns. Imprisonment is imposed on holders of more than 100 g.
There is no provision expressly prohibits the consumption of narcotics. If the law prohibits the possession of cannabis, the court may waive sanction a person who has drugs in his possession unless he holds a small amount for its exclusive use.
Cannabis use is not prohibited. Possess without permission is prohibited, however. Possession of a small amount of drugs for personal use is punishable by imprisonment of three months, a fine of up to about $ 3,000 or both combined. The Court of Appeal found that the fine is the most appropriate sanction.
The government presented on June 20, a bill to legalize the production and distribution of cannabis "under exclusive control" of the state. The aim is to combat drug trafficking and to divert consumers of cocaine paste cheap. Many observers fear the U.S. response now.
Cannabis in figures
34 391 kg: the amount of marijuana seized in 2009 by Canadian law enforcement, including 1,845,734 seedlings.
60%: percentage of the marijuana seized in 2009 by the Border Services Agency of Canada from Jamaica. It was for the Ontario and Quebec markets.
41.5% of Canadians have used cannabis, 11% have used in the past year.
44% of Quebecers have already used marijuana at age 16. The average age of first use among youth aged 15 to 24 is 15.6 years.
420,000: number of Canadians use cannabis for medical reasons.
12.2% of men and 6.2% of women regularly consume cannabis in Canada.
Sources: RCMP, Quebec Centre for Addiction Prevention, Health Canada
If you can't control drugs in a maximum security prison, then how can you control drugs in a free society?
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Quote: So why this shift, which occurs despite awareness campaigns increasingly numerous in schools and, more recently, on television? "There is a trivialization of the impacts of drug use, says Renée Latulippe. People mistakenly think that the pot is less dangerous than simple tobacco, "she said.
Maybe because when you expose people to information, they are better informed? Tobacco kills about 45,000 Canadians every year...
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