U.S. Warns Pot Plan To Clog Border

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

  1. By Bill Curry
    Source: National Post

    U.S. drug czar John Walters warned yesterday that Canadians could face problems at the border if Ottawa proceeds with the decriminalization of marijuana.
    Mr. Walters travelled to the Canada-U.S. border at Buffalo to deliver his message on the same day a Commons committee called for the possession and cultivation of less than 30 grams of marijuana to be decriminalized.

    Mr. Walters, the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said RCMP officials recently told him that 95% of all marijuana grown in Vancouver is sent to the United States.

    "The RCMP informed me that many of the organizations, some of them ethnically based, Vietnamese organizations and others, that are doing the grows in British Columbia are now moving groups across Canada to Ontario and Quebec to begin to supply larger parts of the United States," he said.

    "It's bad for people in Canada and the consumption and dependence problems it creates, but also, their estimates are the bulk of that marijuana is headed for the United States and it's large quantity, high-potency and it builds on the threat that we now believe we have underestimated and we're trying to address.

    "It makes security at the border tougher because this is a dangerous threat to our young people given what we see and it makes the problem of controlling the border more difficult," he said.

    Mr. Walters dismissed claims marijuana is not addictive or a serious drug, saying the level of psychoactive THC is much higher than it used to be. "That's archaic views of what marijuana was, left over from the Cheech and Chong years of the '70s," he said, cautioning against "reefer-madness madness."

    Even as Mr. Walters was warning of trouble at the border, news emerged of co-operation on security issues. Global National reported last night that the two countries are close to signing an agreement that would enable police in each country to instantly access criminal records of the other country's citizens using cutting-edge fingerprint-scanning technology.

    In Ottawa, Wayne Easter, the Solicitor-General, responded to Mr. Walters' speech by stating that Canada is free to make its own laws.

    Mr. Easter said he will raise the issue when he meets with John Ashcroft, the U.S. Attorney-General, next week. "Mr. Walters is entitled to his opinion. We make our laws in this country based on the decisions and the debates in the House of Commons. Laws change as time goes on," Mr. Easter said.

    On the fingerprint front, the Global National report cited senior government officials in Ottawa and Washington who confirmed that Mr. Easter would discuss fingerprint sharing with Mr. Ashcroft during a meeting of the countries' top lawmakers in Washington on Tuesday. The report said a deal to swap criminal records could be signed at that time.

    The "live-scan" technology allows law enforcement officers to obtain fingerprints via an electronic scanner. The information can then be instantly cross-referenced against criminal-records databases.


    Complete Article: http://www.freedomtoexhale.com/cbr.htm

    Source: National Post (Canada)
    Author: Bill Curry
    Published: Friday, December 13, 2002
    Copyright: 2002 Southam Inc.
    Contact: letters@nationalpost.com
    Website: http://www.nationalpost.com/

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