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Canada will decriminalize pot: mayor

Discussion in 'International Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Sep 10, 2002.

  1. Keith Fraser
    The Province

    Tuesday, September 10, 2002

    As he prepares to give a speech at what's being billed as the "most important event ever" organized in the battle against drug dependency, Vancouver Mayor Philip Owen says he's convinced marijuana will eventually be legalized.

    A Senate committee said last week that the use of pot should be legal for anybody over 16 and could be sold under controlled circumstances. Owen says it's clearly time for a public debate on the issue.

    "I think the public would be in favor of decriminalizing (pot)," Owen said yesterday. "I've always looked upon that as a first step. I'm convinced that eventually it will be legalized. I don't know if it will be next year or in a few years. We're in the same stage talking about marijuana as we were about alcohol in the 1920s when we had Prohibition."

    His comments appeared to go against the city's new police chief, Jamie Graham, who said last week no drugs should be legalized. He believes pot is a "gateway" drug that could lead to more harmful substances.

    But Owen, who has spoken to Graham about the issue, said he believes most people don't agree that pot is a stepping stone to cocaine or heroin and called Graham's comments the RCMP approach -- the "old war-on-drugs approach."

    "That's to me pie-in-the-sky thinking, that's 10 to 20 years old," said Owen, whose Montreal speech will deal with the so-called four pillars approach to attacking drug dependency. The Sept. 22 to 27 forum on drugs is expected to attract 3,000 delegates from 50 countries.

    The 24,000-member National Association of Professional Police, Canada's largest police association, yesterday opposed the Senate recommendation and asked Health Minister Anne McLellan to take the lead in cabinet and view the possible legalization of pot as a serious health and social issue.

    kfraser@pacpress.southam.ca

    © Copyright 2002 The Province
     
  2. well i sure hope it happens. i'm a mother with 2 kids and i think it's about time people started looking at things in a different way. pot is not a gateway drug. if it were i would of been a junky years ago. man it 2002 already! get with it.
     

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