Committee Invites Advice on Legalizing Marijuana

Discussion in 'Marijuana News from The USA' started by Superjoint, Jun 5, 2002.

  1. By Deborah Thomas, The Telegram
    Source: The Telegram

    A Senate committee studying illegal drugs made its way to Mount Pearl Monday looking for answers. The committee, which is stopping in only five cities across the country, will prepare a senate report that will look at decriminalizing marijuana use in Canada.
    RCMP Sgt. Jim Power presented his view to the committee, chaired by Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, and was adamant he, and the other members of the RCMP, do not support legalizing marijuana in any way.

    He suggested that before the RCMP would even consider supporting the issue many things would have to happen, such as a national drug policy review, research determining the effect on the justice and policing systems, and the implementation of an effective legislation enabling testing measures and detection for drivers.

    “In Newfoundland and Labrador the most popular illicit drug is marijuana,” he said. “What message are we sending to youth as we try to educate them on the harms of drugs while changing the laws to legalize?”

    Power told the committee, which includes senators Tommy Banks and Ethel Cochrane, that marijuana is everywhere in this province. There are several grow operations which he said are getting more and more sophisticated every day.

    “It is easy to get in the schools and on the street,” he said.

    In his presentation to the senate committee, Power said the Association of Canadian Police Chiefs supported the RCMP's position on the issue.

    However, in April 1999 that association came out and asked the federal government to consider decriminalizing simple possession of marijuana and hashish.

    Dr. Bill McKim is a professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, who lectures on the topic of drugs and behaviour.

    He presented a more philosophical approach.

    McKim, author of Drugs and Behavior - now in it's fifth printing - spoke of the correlation to drug use and the way one lives his or her life.

    “The way the brain is, drugs are attractive and we are drawn to repeat acts (like that), anyone who smokes knows that,” he said.

    “It increases power over them and the drug itself is not the issue.”

    Banks quizzed both on their thoughts regarding research and whether or not it was the government's responsibility to pay for it.

    Both agreed before any decisions were made, extensive testing and research would have to be done to study the effects of the drug on the body, and on a society.

    The only member of the public to express an opinion was retired economist Gerald Royce.

    He expressed concerns over the stigma surrounding marijuana and what it can do to the employability of a person.

    The committee continues this morning with expert testimony relating to the issue.

    The committee's report will be released to the public in August.

    Source: Telegram, The (CN NF)
    Author: Deborah Thomas, The Telegram
    Published: June 4, 2002
    Copyright: 2002 The Telegram
    Contact: letters@thetelegram.com
    Website: http://www.thetelegram.com/

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