U.S. Fears Change in Marijuana Laws

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Dec 14, 2002.

  1. By Kim Lunman
    Source: Globe and Mail

    The man known as President George W. Bush's "Drug Czar" in the U.S. war against drugs said Canada will pose a "dangerous threat" south of the border if it brings in laws to decriminalize marijuana.
    John Walters, Director of the National Drug Control Policy in Washington, D.C., made the comments at a news conference in Buffalo hours after a special parliamentary committee in Ottawa recommended decriminalizing possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

    Mr. Walters said any moves to liberalize marijuana laws in Canada could result in longer waits and tougher scrutiny at the border, already heightened in the wake of the U.S. terrorist attacks last year.

    "It's not my job to judge Canadian policy," Mr. Walters said. "But it is my job to protect Americans from dangerous threats, and right now Canada is a dangerous staging area for some of the most potent and dangerous marijuana at a time when marijuana is the single biggest source of dependency-production in the United States.

    "That's a problem. We have to make security at the border tougher because this is a dangerous threat to our young people and it makes the problem of patrolling the border more difficult."

    The report by the special parliamentary committee on the use of non-medical drugs recommends decriminalizing the possession and cultivation of up to 30 grams of cannabis for personal use.

    In its list of 41 recommendations, the committee of MPs concluded marijuana be treated as a regulatory offence and not land someone a criminal record.

    It recommends the possession of cannabis continue to be illegal and trafficking of marijuana remain a crime.

    "Smoking any amount of marijuana is unhealthy, but the consequences of conviction for a small amount of marijuana for personal use are disproportionate to the potential harm," said Liberal MP Paddy Torsney, who chaired the committee.

    Ms. Torsney said nearly one-third of Canadians have admitted to using marijuana and that it makes sense to redirect policing resources to the prosecution of more serious crimes.

    Possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana would still be considered illegal but would not result in a criminal record under the recommendation.

    It would be treated instead like a traffic ticket and punishable by fines.

    Martin Cauchon, the Liberal Minister of Justice, said earlier this week that he would be introducing legislation in the new year to decriminalize marijuana.

    In September, a Senate report called on Ottawa to legalize and regulate the distribution of marijuana.

    At the time, Mr. Walters said such a move could strain relations between Canada and the United States, which has a zero-tolerance policy toward drugs.

    "I think Mr. Walters should not worry about Canada," said Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, a Progressive Conservative who chaired the Senate report on illegal drugs.

    Mr. Nolin said the report yesterday "stopped short" of and will not result in any meaningful change in Canada's drug policy.

    "It's going to be business as usual," he said. "Prohibition all the way."

    Mr. Cauchon brushed off Mr. Walters' comments. "Other countries are actually living in a situation where they have decriminalized . . . in small quantities."

    Note: Canada will pose a 'dangerous threat' if it decriminalizes pot, drug czar says

    Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Author: Kim Lunman
    Published: Friday, December 13, 2002 – Print Edition, Page A9
    Copyright: 2002 The Globe and Mail Company
    Contact: letters@globeandmail.ca
    Website: http://www.globeandmail.com/

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  2. Let me be the first to express my embarassment over the likes of Walters representing "American views" to the world..... he knows not of what he speaks.... pay no mind to that Drug Czar of America (doesn't this sound like the label to be applied to the worst dealer, rather than the LE officer responsible for control drug use?)
  3. John Walters is an ass. I watched an interview with him recently and he's a patronizing dick who really knows nothing about marijuana except that it's illegal and that he wants to keep it that way.

    "Dangerous threat"...that's craziness invoked by propaganda. There are killers on the loose right now...they are a dangerous threat...not a plant that produces a happy, peaceful feeling in people who smoke or eat it and neither is the country that's finally discovered that out for themselves.

    Something has to change within the federal government soon or we're going to be dealing with even tougher laws. I really don't understand what the hell they're all thinking up there or even if they're thinking at all.

  4. RMJL, you are exactly right. I've read a few interviews with him, and I think he comes off as a narrow minded idot.
  5. We should form a coalition or movement of sorts to focus on getting this guy out of office. It's easier to get a politician removed from office than it is to get the laws he upholds to change.

    Just an idea.


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