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My paper on Marijuana and free trade issues with the USA

 
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Amp
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2003 6:46 pm    Post subject: My paper on Marijuana and free trade issues with the USA Reply with quote

I am not entirely sure if this is the place for this paper that I just got an A on, but hey.. here it is.


The Prime minister of Canada has recently stated that a bill will be passed that effectively decriminalizes the simple possession of Marijuana. There will be a fine for possession of one to fifteen grams of pot and a fine or arrest at the police officer’s discretion for an amount in the range of fifteen to thirty grams. The fine will range from 100 dollars as a youth to one hundred and fifty dollars as an adult under normal circumstances. Other circumstances, such as possession while driving or near or on school grounds will result in an increased fine of 350 to 400 dollars. This same law will be in place for the possession of Hash or Marijuana resin, the possession limit will be up to and including one gram.

With its new marijuana bill introduced in the House of Commons, the government is adding 245 million dollars over five years for drug enforcement, education and treatment. But the same bill includes tougher penalties for illegally growing and trafficking pot. Justice Minister Martin Cauchon says the new bill makes it clear that marijuana use is still illegal, but possession of small amounts will no longer make you a criminal.

The reception of this bill in the United States didn’t go over so well.
The Bush Administration threatened to go against many parts of the NAFTA treaty and claimed that trade at the America-Canada border would slow significantly. This is a dark threat, although it doesn’t come as a surprise since they have been breaking many rules of the NAFTA since its being signed.

A Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reporter asked David Murray, assistant to White House drug czar John Walters, what he thought of all this. ''We would have to respond. We would be forced to respond,'' Murray said. The Bush administration has blown a hole a mile wide in US-Canadian relations. A few months ago, ambassador Paul Cellucci chided Canada for not joining the ''coalition of the willing,'' which apparently doesn't mean exactly what its name implies.

Cellucci told the Economic Club of Toronto that many Americans were ''disappointed and upset'' that Canada was not supporting the Bush-Rumsfeld improvement program for Iraq. The reaction in Canada was swift and sure. ''Yours is the only country that has ever invaded ours, and it would do so again in a wink if it thought its interests here were seriously threatened,'' stated Halifax Chronicle-Herald columnist Donald Cameron. ''We need no lectures from Americans about the defence of liberty and democracy.''
Shortly after Cellucci's tirade, President George Bush canceled a state visit to Ottawa. The next day Bush invited Prime Minister John Howard of Australia for a sleepover at the Crawford, Texas, Ponderosa, a diplomatic message ''delivered with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer,'' quoth the Baltimore Sun. This is the message: Australia = good, brave, ''willing'' Commonwealth country; Canada = bad, stoner, un-''willing'' Commonwealth country. In case Canada is hard of hearing, the White House slapped a tariff on its wheat exports to make sure it's paying attention.

The Canadian senate comitee recently released a six hundred page, two year study of marijuana, and determined that it is no more harmful than Alcohol, if not less so, and should be governed by the same sort of regulations. Even the Government thinks that this substance should be decriminalized if not legalized. The only problem remaining is the Bush Administration’s response and actions on this issue.
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