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OfflinePhluck
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Happy.
    #1127260 - 12/10/02 01:35 AM (15 years, 7 days ago)

Yay.

Cauchon poised to decriminalize marijuana
By ALLISON DUNFIELD
Globe and Mail Update

Justice Minister Martin Cauchon is poised to make a number of major changes to the justice system, including taking steps in the next four months to decriminalize marijuana.

Mr. Cauchon made the statement after Question Period Tuesday, where he was asked about a report released Monday by a Commons committee studying the non-medicinal use of drugs. That paper recommended that safe injection sites be set up in each city across the country.

Later this week, the Commons Special Committee on the Non-Medicinal Use of Drugs is set to release another report calling on the government to relax current marijuana laws.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the report. We'll see what will be the recommendations of the report. Of course we'll have to analyze all the recommendations," Mr. Cauchon said, adding, "If we're talking about decriminalizing marijuana, we may move ahead quickly as a government."

Mr. Cauchon said he didn't want to give a date or a time frame but said it would happen sometime around the beginning of 2003.

"Give me the four first months of next year," he said.

The Justice Minister has emphasized in the past that while decriminalization is a distinct possibility, to decriminalize doesn't mean marijuana will be legal.

The decriminalization issue has been studied by by a number of parliamentary committees recently.

In September, a senate committee report recommended decriminalizing marijuana. Mr. Cauchon said he looks forward to seeing what the Commons committee says about the laws in other countries.

He said it is important to analyze international experiences.

Mr. Cauchon also spoke about his plan to table legislation in the House of Commons on Tuesday which aim to make divorce a kinder, gentler process.

If passed, the Family Law Reform Act will likely mean the elimination of the terms "access" and "custody" contained in the current in the Divorce Act, replacing them with terms of "parenting orders" and doing away with the connotations of winning and losing custody of children and access rights to them.

"I've been consulting people and of course we need to bring some changes to the Divorce Act," he said after Question Period.

"Custody and to be more precise the notion of custody and access, people are asking the government to move with something else, with a new philosophy, a new dynamic ? something less adversarial," Mr. Cauchon said.



--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Happy. [Re: Phluck]
    #1127275 - 12/10/02 01:39 AM (15 years, 7 days ago)

I noticed an error in this article. It says that the senate report recommended decriminalization in September, which isn't true. It recommended legalization.

The senate report said decriminalization was pointless, and that the only rational solution was legalization.

Almost every time I've had a good deal of knowledge on a news story, I've noticed errors in the newspaper articles about them. It's pretty disapointing.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Happy. [Re: Phluck]
    #1127289 - 12/10/02 01:46 AM (15 years, 7 days ago)

Cool.

Ms. Dunfield is a little sloppy on her facts, however. She writes:

In September, a senate committee report recommended decriminalizing marijuana.

That report recommended a LOT more than "decriminalizing" marijuana, it recommended legalizing it outright and selling (and taxing it, of course) it through a government-run agency, in the same manner that hard liquor is currently sold.

pinky


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OfflinetrendalM
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Re: Happy. [Re: Phluck]
    #1127833 - 12/10/02 05:05 AM (15 years, 7 days ago)

Not many of my friends believed me, but it looks like I'm getting closer to being able to say I told you so  :smirk:


--------------------
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And every line believed
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Reason searched and seized


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Happy. [Re: Phred]
    #1128297 - 12/10/02 11:35 AM (15 years, 7 days ago)

Yep, heh, I beat you to that correction. That was the update on the site, lemme go check to see if they've fixed that in this morning's issue...

Yep, they got it right this morning. The article is a bit better now... I'll post...

Ottawa set to ease pot laws

Cauchon suggests he'll move next year on plans to decriminalize marijuana

By KIM LUNMAN


Tuesday, December 10, 2002 ? Print Edition, Page A1

OTTAWA -- The Liberal government is preparing to move ahead in the new year with legislation to decriminalize marijuana, Justice Minister Martin Cauchon said yesterday.

"If we're talking about that question of decriminalizing marijuana, we may move ahead quickly as a government," he said. Changes will likely be introduced "some time in the new year," Mr. Cauchon said, but he would not be much more specific about when.

"I don't like to give you a date or a time frame, but let's say the beginning of next year, the four first months of next year," he said.

The government signalled in October's Throne Speech that it would move toward decriminalization. Mr. Cauchon had hinted previously that he would consider doing so.

He made his remarks yesterday after a special parliamentary committee issued a report on the non-medical use of drugs that recommended establishing safe injection sites for heroin addicts. The all-party committee of MPs, which has studied drug abuse over the past 18 months, will release its findings on marijuana in a separate report Thursday.

Mr. Cauchon has said in the past that he would consider decriminalizing marijuana possession by removing it from the Criminal Code and making it an offence punishable with a fine instead of a criminal record.

Sources told The Canadian Press yesterday that the report will adopt that position and also recommend letting Canadians grow pot for personal use.

In September, a Senate committee on illegal drugs went further than that, recommending legalizing marijuana for people 16 and older. John Walters, the U.S. administration's drug czar, criticized that report, and Canadian government officials acknowledged privately that the prospect of decriminalization will rile the U.S. government, which has long waged war against illegal drugs.

Under the changes Mr. Cauchon is considering, an individual found with marijuana would get a warning under the Civil Code, something like a traffic ticket, instead of facing criminal charges.

Similar measures are expected to become law next year in Britain.

Canadian Alliance MP Randy White, vice-chairman of the parliamentary committee, said he would not oppose decriminalization for personal consumption if the amount of marijuana was five grams or less.

"It has to do with criminal convictions for being caught smoking a joint," Mr. White said. "Far too many people are smoking it."

Alliance MP Keith Martin has introduced a private member's bill recommending decriminalization of marijuana possession for people found with 100 grams or less.

"We know the status quo is a failure," he said. "The war on drugs has been a failure."

Dr. Martin, a Victoria physician, said he believes consumption of marijuana would decrease if it were decriminalized.

The maximum amount at which possession would be decriminalized is expected to be a topic of debate.

About 600,000 Canadians have criminal records for possession of marijuana, and about 1.5 million people, or 5 per cent of the population, smoke it recreationally, the Canadian Medical Association says.

Canada made pot illegal in 1923 and spends about $1.3-billion a year in marijuana-related police and prosecution costs.

When asked about the suggestion in yesterday's report that the government back pilot projects for safe injection sites for drug users in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, Mr. Cauchon said: "Just give me the time to read the report, see the recommendations, and as Justice Minister, I'll get back to you."

The report called for supervised injection sites for heroin users and for making methadone available to addicted prison inmates.

"We must have a significant shift in the way we think about substance abuse," said Liberal MP Paddy Torsney of Burlington, Ont., chairwoman of the Commons committee. "There's a huge body of evidence that tells us doing the same things we've been doing will have the same results. Those results are unacceptable."

She refused to say whether the committee would back the Senate report's recommendation to legalize marijuana.

The Commons committee's report, which had 39 recommendations, also proposed the appointment of a Canadian drug commissioner, increased funds for the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and treatment programs for fetal alcohol syndrome.

"We're not suggesting anybody be soft on drugs," Ms. Torsney said. "We're suggesting that people deal with the health issues and societal issues that are causing concerns across this country. And we need to deal with those issues aggressively."

The recommendation to try safe injection sites, decried as "shooting galleries" by opponents, also brought criticism from police and opposition MPs.

Supervised sites, already established in some European countries, are controlled health-care settings where drug users can inject themselves using sterile equipment under the supervision of medical personnel. Proponents say it leads to rehabilitation and prevents overdose deaths.

Mr. White, vice-chairman of the committee, said there's no evidence the sites work.

"They have been shown to be an addict magnet," he said. "They don't get people off the drugs. That's why I call harm reduction harm extension."

"Our concern is that we're sliding down a slippery slope to the point where it won't be long that we'll be getting calls for dispensing drugs in those sites as well," said David Griffin, executive officer of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.

The report also recommended that Correctional Service Canada develop a three-year plan to reduce "substantially the flow of illicit drugs into prison." In addition, it urged improved access to rehabilitation programs and methadone treatment for heroin users and setting up two pilot detoxification prisons.



--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Happy. [Re: Phluck]
    #1128324 - 12/10/02 11:47 AM (15 years, 7 days ago)

Wow -- that is just sooooooo fantastic!

I hate to be a pessimist, but I have to say that when I was still living in Canada I saw the Canadian government renege on many, MANY promises, most of which involved issues a hell of a lot less controversial than this one. It will be pretty damn difficult for the Canadian government to resist pressure from the US government on this issue, and I'm not sure the current government has the balls to stick to their guns.

If they do go ahead with it, though, it will be a MAJOR victory for freedom. Huge, in fact. It's been a long time since I felt anything but mild (and often not so mild) contempt for the government of the country of my birth.

That's certainly not the case today!

Woo-hoo!!!!!!!

pinky


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Happy. [Re: Phred]
    #1128389 - 12/10/02 12:13 PM (15 years, 7 days ago)

Yeah, it isn't even a promise yet. The house report won't be out until the end of this week.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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InvisibleFrog31337
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Re: Happy. [Re: Phred]
    #1128394 - 12/10/02 12:15 PM (15 years, 7 days ago)

In reply to:

That report recommended a LOT more than "decriminalizing" marijuana, it recommended legalizing it outright and selling (and taxing it, of course) it through a government-run agency, in the same manner that hard liquor is currently sold.




This is why I don't understand why the US doesn't legalize. Money talks and I know I would go out to purchase a pack. Think of all the money they could collect not only in direct sales but in the extras, snack foods, etc.


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OfflinetrendalM
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Re: Happy. [Re: Frog31337]
    #1129860 - 12/10/02 08:05 PM (15 years, 6 days ago)

Links to current news coverage on the issue of prohibition in Canada:

http://ca.fullcoverage.yahoo.com/fc/canada/medical_marijuana/


--------------------
The story book's been read
And every line believed
Curriculum's been set
Logic is a threat
Reason searched and seized


BTC - 1KqrSHZ1C3NsQP4g3PkHhppBnhdgyXr6sB


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