Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Saw this on Yahoo and had a chuckle. I'm sure that the U.S. government is unhappy about this. They are unhappy about anything that they can't control by bullying and scare tactics.

The government down south of the border is so stupid. Don't they see that by decriminalizing it, it'll cut down on the so-called abuse and criminal activity that they are so concerned about. I wish they had the balls to do the same thing that our government is doing. It's not making it legal to sell or grow, just to possess. Talk about making mountains out of mole-hills.

U.S. Unhappy About Proposed Canadian Law on Pot
By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The United States drug czar on Wednesday said Canada's decision to decriminalize marijuana would increase drug use and crime and would therefore pose a threat to U.S. citizens.

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien on Tuesday said he would soon introduce legislation to decriminalize the possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana to prevent casual users from gaining a criminal record.

But John Walters, director of the White House office of National Drug Control Policy, said the policy made little sense and would not cut crime.

"We have to be concerned about American citizens... when you make the penalties minimal you get more drug use, you get more drug addiction, you get more drug production, you get more drug crime," he told CBC television from Washington.

"That's what seems to me to be a little bit in denial in the debate I'm hearing from Canada. It's your decision but I don't think the facts line up in a way that's consistent or makes much sense, especially given the brutal history you've watched right across the border here in the United States."

Chretien stressed he did not intend to legalize pot use and said the new law on decriminalization would be accompanied by a crackdown on the drugs trade.

U.S. police say Canada, with an estimated illegal drug market of C$14 billion ($9.8 billion), has surpassed Mexico as a source of illegal drugs for the United States.

Washington, which is concerned about the increasing amount of potent Canadian marijuana flowing south, has suggested it could tighten controls on the two countries' long joint border if Ottawa presses ahead with decriminalization. This could have a crippling effect on the Canadian economy.

Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham said Ottawa would discuss the proposed law with U.S. officials and pointed out that some U.S. states had taken similar measures on pot.

"I hope we'll be able to explain to our American colleagues that we're working on this... we have to eliminate the use of drugs but (the) way in which we're going to do it is similar to (that chosen by) many of their own states," he told reporters.

Ottawa is looking into a proposed system whereby people possessing and cultivating marijuana in amounts less than 1.1 ounces (30 grams) would receive a ticket -- similar to that for a traffic violation -- and a fine. About 20,000 Canadians a year are convicted for the use of marijuana.

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