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CURRENT AFFAIRS - 2001

November 7, 2001

The second reading of Bill C-344 in the House of Commons [ House of Commons Debate ]




22 October 2001

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

22 October 2001

Ottawa: Dr. Keith Martin, Member of Parliament for Esquimalt - Juan de Fuca, praised the Government’s decision to allow his Private Member's Bill C-344, An Act to Amend the Contraventions Act and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (marijuana), to become votable.

The Bill provides for the decriminalization of marijuana by introducing a system of fines for simple possession.

Dr. Martin said, "It is important that the House of Commons debate the issue of decriminalizing marijuana. For far too long, we have wasted the valuable time and resources of law enforcement agencies and the courts on a failed policy of minor drug enforcement. My Bill will save these agencies $150 million every year, and allow us to focus resources on apprehending the drug traffickers, growers and organized crime gangs, while fining those who only possess a small amount of marijuana".

Bill C-344 will come up for debate on November 7th 2001. At that time, Dr. Martin will call for all parties to support the decriminalization of simple marijuana possession.

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For further information, call:

Kerrie Woods at 613-996-2625

Link: Government debate on C-344
http://www.canadianalliance.ca/hotissues/



For information on House of Commons cannabis debates:

Parliamentary Debate on M-381 - Cannabis for medical purposes
November 7, 2001 - The second reading of Bill C-344 in the House of Commons


July 31, 2001

The new regulations for medicinal cannabis come into effect. They will be implemented by Office of Cannabis Medical Access


May 17, 2001

A committee will also be appointed in the House of Commons to study all non-medical use of drugs. Both parliamentary chambers will be discussing cannabis, drawing more attention to the issue:

HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
37TH PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

JOURNALS
No. 064 - May 17, 2001

Mr. Randy White (Langley-Abbotsford, Canadian Alliance) moved:

That a special committee of the House be appointed to consider the factors underlying or relating to the non-medical use of drugs in Canada and make recommendations with respect to the ways or means by which the government can act, alone or in its relations with governments at other levels, in the reduction of the dimensions of the problem involved in such use;

That the membership of the committee be established by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs;

That the Standing Committee report the membership of the special committee to the House within five sitting days after the adoption of this motion;

That substitutions may be made from time to time, if required, in the manner provided for in Standing Order 114(2);

That the committee shall have all of the powers granted to Standing Committees in Standing Order 108; and

That the committee shall present its final report no later that June 1, 2002.


May 4, 2001

Bill C-344 which seeks to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis had a first reading in the House of Commons. [ Read Summary ]


March 15, 2001

A Senate Committee will examine the approach taken by Canada to cannabis, its preparations, derivatives and similar synthetic preparations:

ORDER OF REFERENCE

Extracts from the Journals of the Senate, Thursday, March 15, 2001:


Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Nolin, seconded by the Honourable Senator Molgat and on the motion in amendment by the Honourable Senator Kenny, seconded by the Honourable Senator Nolin:

That a special committee of the Senate be struck to examine:

The approach taken by Canada to cannabis, its preparations, derivatives and similar synthetic preparations, in context;

The effectiveness of this approach, the means used to implement it and the monitoring of its application;

The related official policies adopted by other countries;

Canada's international role and obligations under United Nations agreements and conventions on narcotics, in connection with cannabis, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other related treaties; and

The social and health impacts of cannabis and the possible consequences of different policies;

That the committee present its final report no later than August 31, 2002; and that the committee retain the powers necessary to publicize its findings for distribution of the study contained in its final report for 30 days after the tabling of that report.



For more information:

Senate Committee Homepage
Presentations from Witnessess





Recap and Future Highlights

Alberta Report (Click on image for story)

From the beginning of this new decade, many events in relation to cannabis occurred in Canada, keeping it in the media spotlight. Interest is peaking, both internationally and domestically because Canada is in a position of becoming a reluctant world leader rather than a US puppet. Deciding once and for all what our direction will be is almost a national pastime. Merely decriminalizing, which would be a big step forward, is only the tip of the iceberg, and will ensure the pressure persists by some experts and civilians alike for politicians to do the right thing and remove the whole iceberg.

What transpired to bring about these events were an accumulation of years of working within the infrastructure, warranting public attention when brought to light by a cataclysmic event.

An example of this was the inclusion of the Marijuana Party in the federal election of 2000. It was modelled after the Bloc Pot, who made it's debut in the Quebec provincial election in 1998, but outside of that province, it was relatively unknown that pot and politics were officially combined. Only when the historical new national entity, with it's one-issue agenda, forced discussion about cannabis throughout the election and across the country, was national awareness heightened by the media.

Recounting other events that created publicity and may create more, was the government tendering for a domestic grower, awarding the contract, and issuing the licence to supply research cannabis.

A historic court decision in July also contributed a great deal to awareness, and a reworking of Canada's drug policy to allow for the medicinal use of cannabis was produced as a result, with the final version slated to be in effect by July 2001.

Another newsmaker in the works is the Supreme Court of Canada decision which will be announced sometime near the end of 2001 or in 2002, regarding three cannabis test cases that have been winding their way through the court system for years, and could possibly spell and end to cannabis prohibition.

For more information:

The Marijuana Party
Court decisions
Proposed Marijuana Medical Access Regulations and Responses
Government information about cannabis
Cannabis and Canada: The Year 2000 in Review,




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