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OfflinemotamanM
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Washington Turns Up Heat on Canada Over Marijuana Plans
    #1554916 - 05/16/03 09:24 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=2760257

Washington Turns Up Heat on Canada Over Marijuana Plans
Fri May 16, 2003 03:52 PM ET
By David Ljunggren
OTTAWA (Reuters) - The head of U.S. drug policy launched one of his strongest attacks on Friday on Canada's plans to relax penalties for marijuana possession, and dismissed as "ridiculous" one of Ottawa's main reasons for pushing ahead with the idea.

The Canadian government will introduce draft legislation later this month that would replace jail terms and criminal records with fines of perhaps C$100 ($73) for possession of 15 grams (half an ounce) or less of pot.

John Walters, director of the White House office of National Drug Control Policy, said he feared this would hamper U.S. efforts to cut the amount of powerful Canadian-grown marijuana from being smuggled across the border.

"The problem now is that the high-potency marijuana business is growing uncontrollably in Canada... You're sending us the crack equivalent of marijuana and that's bad for both countries," he told CBC television.

"What we've been trying to do with Canadian officials (is learn) 'What's the plan to make this smaller as a harm to the United States?' And there isn't one now, that's the problem," he said.

Canadian Justice Minister Martin Cauchon, who will introduce the legislation at the end of May, criticizes existing marijuana laws for being largely ineffective and enforced unevenly.

Supporters of the legislation say it would allow police to focus on catching organized crime gangs dealing in drugs rather than arresting and charging small-time pot users.

But Walters strongly questioned this argument, saying there was no evidence Canadian law enforcement officials were cracking down on marijuana users.

"It's completely ridiculous to suggest that Canada is locking up users in significant numbers. That's not happening. In fact, to claim they're even being arrested in large numbers is a distortion. That's what Canadian law enforcement tells me," he said.

Walters complained that penalties for drug users were not harsh enough in Canada and suggested -- as he has done in the past -- that border security might have to be tightened if the law were passed. This could have a crushing effect on Canadian exporters, which are heavily reliant on the U.S. market.

Canadian Solicitor-General Wayne Easter, in overall charge of law enforcement, said Walters should wait to see the details of the legislation.

"When the entire strategy comes out, as will happen in the last two or three days of the month, I think Mr. Walters as well as others in the United States will see that we are in fact making fairly major moves forward," he told reporters.

"Our objective is to make those borders secure and to do what we have to do to eliminate the movement of high quality (marijuana)... anyone caught smuggling the product across the border will face very severe penalties."

Cauchon says an estimated 100,000 of Canada's 30 million people are using pot daily and the numbers are increasing. He has said that marijuana would remain illegal, even if no longer criminal, and that penalties would be toughened substantially for marijuana-growing operations.

Several U.S. states, including New York, California, Oregon and Ohio, have already relaxed laws on simple possession and issue fines to those found with small amounts of marijuana.

($1=$1.37 Canadian)


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http://heffter.org


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OfflineDreamer987
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Registered: 04/15/03
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Re: Washington Turns Up Heat on Canada Over Marijuana Plans [Re: motaman]
    #1555095 - 05/16/03 11:26 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

"the crack equivalent of marijuana "

Suggesting weed is on the same level as hard drugs. That ones a classic. They never tire with that old manuever.


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OfflineHans_Moleman
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Registered: 04/07/03
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Re: Washington Turns Up Heat on Canada Over Marijuana Plans [Re: Dreamer987]
    #1556415 - 05/17/03 05:23 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

yup


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One of the reasons marijuana is illegal today because growers in the 30s lobbied against hemp farmers -- they saw it as competition, because It is not chemically addictive as is nicotine, alcohol, or caffeine.


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Invisibledownwardspiral
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Registered: 04/28/03
Posts: 98
Loc: Canada
Re: Washington Turns Up Heat on Canada Over Marijuana Plans [Re: Hans_Moleman]
    #1561648 - 05/19/03 11:24 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

Weed does a lot more to me than coke...mentally, and physically...and i've done each more than enough times. If anything, I'd say weed is a stronger drug.

Sure, say coke is addictive, though expect me to hit back saying weed can be too...very very psychologically, at least...


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Invisiblesir tripsalot
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Registered: 07/10/99
Posts: 6,486
Re: Washington Turns Up Heat on Canada Over Marijuana Plans [Re: downwardspiral]
    #1562002 - 05/20/03 01:35 AM (13 years, 11 months ago)

You're probably using marijuana to self medicate another mental illness if you "think" it is messing with your head that much. It's time for parents to take responsibilty for their kids if they dont want them to have weed and adults to be able to choose for themselves.


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"Little racoons and old possums 'n' stuff all live up in here. They've got to have a little place to sit." Bob Ross.


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InvisibleAdom
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Registered: 09/30/01
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Re: Washington Turns Up Heat on Canada Over Marijuana Plans [Re: sir tripsalot]
    #1562946 - 05/20/03 02:51 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

I don't think I understand, so the americans are pissed at the Canadians for not having enough drug offenders in jail?


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Invisiblesir tripsalot
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Re: Washington Turns Up Heat on Canada Over Marijuana Plans [Re: Adom]
    #1563284 - 05/20/03 05:03 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

They are pissed because as it stands now we are more lenient on drug offenders. They don't like the message we would be sending if we became even MORE lenient. We are supposed to follow the American model, not stray from it.


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"Little racoons and old possums 'n' stuff all live up in here. They've got to have a little place to sit." Bob Ross.


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