Conservatives Attack Liberals Over Marijuana Decriminalization

CANNABIS CULTURE – Conservative Members of Parliament criticized Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff during Question Period in the Canadian House of Commons over comments he made last week in support of marijuana decriminalization.

At a stop on his cross-country Open Mike tour last week, Ignatieff said that his party has plans to reintroduce legislation that would eliminate criminal penalties for possession of under 15 grams of cannabis and replace them with fines.

Conservative MPs and the Minister of Justice responded on Friday with the same tired Conservative rhetoric and fear-mongering about the dangers of drugs we’ve all heard so many times before.

“Monday’s open mike night in in Montreal hosted by the leader of the opposition shows just how out of touch he is with Canadians,” Blaine Calkins, Conservative MP for Wetaskiwin, Alberta said. “During the event he committed to reintroduce the bill to decriminalized marijuana for recreational use but made no mention of what he would do to combat the serious drug traffickers and producers that threaten the safety of our communities.”

He asked Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson to address Ignatieff’s comments.

“The Government of Canada does not support the decriminalization of marijuana in this country,” Nicholson told the House.


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Abbotsford MP Ed Fast also stood and added his comments.

“The Liberal leader offers very few solutions when it comes to getting tough on crime,” Fast said. “He panders to the drug users rather than joining our government in getting tough on traffickers and producers of drugs.”

Other Conservative MPs including Richard Harris (Cariboo—Prince George), Shelly Glover (Saint Boniface), and Jacques Gourde (Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière) attacked the Liberal plan during Statements by Members. Click here to read the full Hansard transcript.

Members of the Liberal Party did not respond to Conservative statements in Question Period or afterwards. Calls by this reporter to the Liberal Party press department and Micheal Ignatieff’s office for a statement have not been returned.

The Liberal Party, who have backed various attempts to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in the past, seemed to change their tune recently when party MPs and Senators backed and passed Conservative anti-drug legislation C-15, which included mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana offences. Luckily, the bill was killed when Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives prorogued Parliament and it did not become law.

The same legislation came back this year in the form of Bill S-10, and activists were worried that the Liberals may again fall into line and support this new dangerous legislation that would give mandatory 9-month sentences for growing as few as 6 cannabis plants, and give mandatory 18-month sentences to anyone who bakes and shares pot cookies, hash, or other extracts.

Some marijuana activists were relieved after reading Ignatieff’s recent comments about decriminalization, though some suspect it may be a covert attempt to increase enforcement.

Whatever it may be, the plan is notably better than the Conservative plans for our Justice System, which would see scores of medical marijuana users and young Canadians locked away in expensive new prisons.

When it comes to progressive drug policy reform, Canada has definitely fallen behind its southern neighbour, or parts of it, at least. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill last week that FULLY decriminalizes possession of under one ounce of marijuana in the state, and in November, citizens will vote on Proposition 19, a ballot proposition to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.

Now is the time for pressure: Contact Liberal Party Leader Michael Ignatieff and (politely) tell him that you support the FULL decriminalization or legalization of marijuana, but won’t stand for sneaky, back-door legislation that may lead to increased enforcement – Email: [email protected] or call (613) 995-9364 for his office in Ottawa.

In related House of Commons/cannabis news, medpot activist Sam Mellace sparked a joint in the House of Commons on Monday to protest Canada’s medical marijuana rules.

“My wife can’t smoke her medication because she has lung cancer, so I make the butter and smoothies,” Mellace told the press. “It’s ridiculous to think that I could go to jail for easing my wife’s suffering.”

Find out more about the dangerous Bill S-10 at WhyProhibition.ca

Comments

10 Comments

  1. Anonymous on

    We’ll remind him come election time :)

  2. Anonymous on

    The problem in Canada is feminism and Steven Harpers wife, they are hard core feminists, The harpers are the enemies of Canada, Canada is not a peaceful country, Canada needs change and they need to oust Harper on the streets of New york where he belongs, Harpers a terrorist, and feminism will always be my target like any Gotti, The Gotti’s sais that no one has ever made money for a Gotti like the police, think about the lives they live, Misery!!!!
    any feminist will be at the end of my barrel even Kristin Davis, the Gotti running for the governor of New York State, America really is fucked… No one likes police and the americans are a police state for ever, prop19 means the states of california will leaglize cannabis for personal use and the feds say they will continue prosecutions against cannabis under all federal cannabis laws, remember the feminists are the feds, the ones from California(CIA), the only way of detecting biological and nuclear substances is by smoking cannabis, the feminists said that “high quality cannabis could be lethal but in fact it is the chemicals/poisons and radiations they mix it with that will kill you, theres a chemical reaction when mixed with cannabis, i will always try to kill off feminists and there lovers with guns, feminists are terrorists, america fully support feminist terrorism and that means america supports democide with biological and nuclear oxided weapons of masss destruction even the Obama’s raped a 85 year old lady, if your with israel or america your a terrorist.

  3. Dr Byzanton on

    When your going down for cannabis use, in front of a judge, jury and all, its a highly confrontation & arduous thing, this itself can be damaging(its nearly guarantee acaculy). How to get over it? Be more determined to smoke a joint than ever before.

    America has highest incarnation rate in world. “That’s unbending prohibition for ya!”

  4. Anonymous on

    haha check out the sign language lady. she pantomimes like shes smoking a joint whenever he says marijuanna

  5. malcolm kyle on

    Here are some facts concerning the situation in Holland. –Please save a copy and use it as a reference when debating prohibitionists who claim the exact opposite concerning reality as presented here below:

    ”Cannabis coffee shops” are not only restricted to the Capital of Holland, Amsterdam. They can be found in more than 50 cities and towns across the country. At present, only the retail sale of five grams is tolerated, so production remains criminalized. The mayors of a majority of the cities with coffeeshops have long urged the national government to also decriminalize the supply side.

    A poll taken earlier this year indicated that some 50% of the Dutch population thinks cannabis should be fully legalized while only 25% wanted a complete ban. Even though 62% of the voters said they had never taken cannabis. An earlier poll also indicated 80% opposing coffee shop closures.
    http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2010/02/public_split_on_cannabis_legal.php

    It is true that the number of coffee shops has fallen from its peak of around 2,500 throughout the country to around 700 now. The problems, if any, concern mostly “drug tourists” and are largely confined to cities and small towns near the borders with Germany and Belgium. These problems, mostly involve traffic jams, and are the result of cannabis prohibition in neighboring countries. “Public nuisance problems” with the coffee shops are minimal when compared with bars, as is demonstrated by the rarity of calls for the police for problems at coffee shops.

    While it is true that lifetime and “past-month” use rates did increase back in the seventies and eighties, the critics shamefully fail to report that there were comparable and larger increases in cannabis use in most, if not all, neighboring countries which continued complete prohibition.

    According to the World Health Organization only 19.8 percent of the Dutch have used marijuana, less than half the U.S. figure.
    In Holland 9.7% of young adults (aged 15–24) consume soft drugs once a month, comparable to the level in Italy (10.9%) and Germany (9.9%) and less than in the UK (15.8%) and Spain (16.4%). Few transcend to becoming problem drug users (0.44%), well below the average (0.52%) of the compared countries.

    The WHO survey of 17 countries finds that the United States has the highest usage rates for nearly all illegal substances.

    In the U.S. 42.4 percent admitted having used marijuana. The only other nation that came close was New Zealand, another bastion of get-tough policies, at 41.9 percent. No one else was even close. The results for cocaine use were similar, with the U.S. again leading the world by a large margin.

    Even more striking is what the researchers found when they asked young adults when they had started using marijuana. Again, the U.S. led the world, with 20.2 percent trying marijuana by age 15. No other country was even close, and in Holland, just 7 percent used marijuana by 15 — roughly one-third of the U.S. figure.
    thttp://www.alternet.org/drugs/90295/

    In 1998, the US Drug Czar General Barry McCaffrey claimed that the U.S. had less than half the murder rate of the Netherlands. “That’s drugs,” he explained. The Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics immediately issued a special press release explaining that the actual Dutch murder rate is 1.8 per 100,000 people, or less than one-quarter the U.S. murder rate.

    Here’s a very recent article by a psychiatrist from Amsterdam, exposing “Drug Czar misinformation”
    http://tinyurl.com/247a8mp

    Now let’s look at a comparative analysis of the levels of cannabis use in two cities: Amsterdam and San Francisco, which was published in the American Journal of Public Health May 2004,

    The San Francisco prevalence survey showed that 39.2% of the population had used cannabis. This is 3 times the prevalence found in the Amsterdam sample

    Source: Craig Reinarman, Peter D.A. Cohen and Hendrien L. Kaal, “The Limited Relevance of Drug Policy”
    http://www.mapinc.org/lib/limited.pdf

    Moreover, 51% of people who had smoked cannabis in San Francisco reported that they were offered heroin, cocaine or amphetamine the last time they purchased cannabis. In contrast, only 15% of Amsterdam residents who had ingested marijuana reported the same conditions. Prohibition is the ‘Gateway Policy’ that forces cannabis seekers to buy from criminals who gladly expose them to harder drugs.

    The indicators of death, disease and corruption are even much better in the Netherlands than in Sweden for instance, a country praised by UNODC for its “successful” drug policy.”

    Here’s Antonio Maria Costa doing his level best to avoid discussing the success of Dutch drug policy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lExNjEhdSkY&feature=related

    The Netherlands also provides heroin on prescription under tight regulation to about 1500 long-term heroin addicts for whom methadone maintenance treatment has failed.
    http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/free-heroin-brings-everyone-a-bit-peace

    The Dutch justice ministry announced, last year, the closure of eight prisons and cut 1,200 jobs in the prison system. A decline in crime has left many cells empty. There’s simply not enough criminals
    http://www.nrc.nl/international/article2246821.ece/Netherlands_to_close_prisons_for_lack_of_criminals

    For further information, kindly check out this very informative FAQ provided by Radio Netherlands: http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/faq-soft-drugs-netherlands
    or go to this page: http://www.rnw.nl/english/dossier/Soft-drugs

  6. RobOnt on

    “The Government of Canada does not support the decriminalization of marijuana in this country,” Nicholson told the House.

    Would someone kindly remind the “Honorable” Minister that the Government is there to serve the people’s will and not their own.

  7. Anonymous on

    The whole of Canada does not want a Conservative Majority? The only way with Harper as Prime Minister could the Conservative win a majority is by using the same non paper trail voting machines Bush rigged to win the 04 election in Ohio. I say the Conservatives will lose 5 or six seats over all. Harper leadership will seen as a failure and his career will end in the political shame the neo con trash deserves. If you are afraid, all you have to do is get 2 other people to vote and so on and so on. Do what ever you have to do to get your 2 to the polls. There are more then enough eligible voters who disagree with the the neo right, who together can make Harper politics, over!

  8. Bhonze on

    Those idiots have lost their freaken mind!!! They are scared of a joint; just remember theirs always skeletons in a conservative’s closet!

  9. Anonymous on

    the cons just won here in NB, a Liberal stronghold, and won pretty handily. 42 Conservative seats to 13 Liberal seats, none for any other parties. The Cons are going to get a majority federal govt too, it’s inevitable. Who the fuck votes for these fuckers anyway? certainly not I.

  10. Anonymous on

    The Conservatives would win a majority if they legalized marijuana!