Canadian Senate Committee Says Legalize Marijuana


| September 18, 2002


Canadian Senate Committee Says Legalize Marijuana

Based on an 'exhaustive and comprehensive' two-year study, the Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs is calling for the legalization of marijuana, a bold proposition that could affect the entire continent. In a 600-page report, the Committee sketched out the ineffectiveness of Canada's current marijuana laws as well as the drug's relative harmlessness.

The Committee emphasized that it was not endorsing the use of marijuana, and that marijuana would still be regulated. It notes that marijuana use should be a personal choice, prohibited only when an individual poses harm to others. With that, the Committee proposed legislation to criminalize illegal trafficking, driving under the influence, and selling to children under 16. The report also devised regulatory policies, including licensing, production and selling, and prevention and aid for marijuana abusers.

Certainly, a leap this dramatic would affect the United States' rigid war on drugs and increase the flow across the border. 'Americans should give this a serious look -- and reject the prohibitionist policies that have failed for 2/3 of a century,' said Rob Kampia of the Marijuana Policy Project on DRCNet. But while the committee's report has stirred up supporters and opposers in both countries, the proposition still has a tough crowd to win over: the House of Commons, where members, facing popular election, may be more nervous
about the controversial measure.
--Abbie Jarman
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