Why Marijuana WILL NOT Be Decriminalized In Canada
-the Canadian Press reported that the number of people busted for pot possession has jumped by more than one-third in several Canadian cities.
-16.8% of Canadians said they smoked pot in the past 12 months
One of the first things that the Harper government did when they came into office was to toss out the proposed legislation that the Liberals were touting to lessen penalties for minor possession of small amounts of cannabis.
Personally, I believe that the Liberals had no intention of passing any such measure. If they were truly committed, they would have acted in a timely manner. Neither former PM Jean Chretien nor Paul Martin were interested in decriminalization.
The Liberals have had decades in power to do the right thing.
Back as far as 1969, Pierre Trudeau's Liberal administration initiated Canada's first serious inquiry into marijuana use in the nation. In June 1970 the Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs (The LeDain Commission) delivered an interim report, calling for the decriminalization of marijuana..
Nothing ever came of the recommendations under subsequent Liberal administrations.
In 2002 the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drug Use studied cannabis issue extensively in Canada for a second time. Once again, their unanimous recommendation was that cannabis be legalized in a regulatory framework similar to alcohol.
"We know our proposals are provocative, that they will meet with resistance. However, we are also convinced that Canadian society has the maturity and openness to welcome an informed debate."
- Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, Cannabis: Summary Report September 2002.
"The decision to criminalize cannabis was made "without any apparent scientific basis nor even any real sense of social urgency."
- Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, 2002. P. 274
"There has never, in history, been a good reason presented for marijuana being illegal," said Banks. "It's fundamentally important for people to understand that it's never been based on the facts. It's non-toxic, it's not addictive and has no provable, long-term irreversible effects."
Senator Tommy Banks, Deputy Chair of the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs.
July 16, 2003
Nothing ever came of these recommendations either.
The issue of decriminalization brings the wing-nuts out of the woodwork. Police unions see it as a 'job security' issue and loudly condemn ANY thought of law reform. This scares the crap out of law makers. They do not want to go head to head with rank and file police union members.
The right wing rank and file drag out their idiotic logic and proclaim that marijuana is a 'gateway' drug - 'use of cannabis leads directly to heroin addiction.'
There is also a 'Cheech & Chong' factor in the existing decriminalization movement. Whacked out proponents talking to reporters at the most recent 'Smoke-In' do not portray a positive message in the debate for the 6:00 evening news.
It’s time to recognize what the problem is here. Until such time that an orderly method of producing, processing, packaging, marketing and TAXING marijuana can be found, nothing will happen, and Canadians will continue to be arrested and retain criminal records for a practice that fully 1/5 of our fellow citizens conduct.
Welcome to Prohibition in Canada. The popularity of the Speakeasy continues!
“The law is a ass — an idiot.”