Pubdate: Tue, 04 Nov 2003
Source: Fox News Network (US)
Show: The O'Reilly Factor
Contact:  2003 Fox News Network, Inc.
Host: Bill O'Reilly
Guest: Quentin Hardy
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


O'REILLY: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, an Ontario justice in 
Canada says that marijuana possession laws up there are no longer valid. 
His opinion has been overturned, but Canadians are puffing away like crazy. 
And for years, a Canadian pot industry has been booming because of that 
country's lax enforcement.

Now the situation is impacting the USA. Joining us from Washington is 
Quentin Hardy, who wrote the cover story for this week's edition of 
"Forbes" magazine. The piece is called "Inside Dope."

Now why should I care, Mr. Hardy, about Canadians running around getting 
stoned? It's freezing cold up there. There are polar bears. I'd probably be 
stoned, too. Why should I care?

QUENTIN HARDY, "FORBES" MAGAZINE: Well, you ought to be -- you ought to 
care because it's all about U.S. demand. They make it so strong because 
that's what the U.S. market demands.

And I'll tell you something interesting. In the weeks after 9-11, pot 
prices in Canada fell $750 a pound because they were afraid they couldn't 
get it over the border. They found they could get it over the border again. 
Pot prices rose right back up. It's all about what America wants.

O'REILLY: All right, so this -- well consumption in Canada is slightly 
higher than the United States, all right?

HARDY: That's right.

O'REILLY: They have a big youth pot problem there. A lot of 15- to 
19-year-olds -- 54 percent say they use pot.

But are -- you know, if -- they're growing it with impunity. You're saying 
that they're growing so much of it that they can import it and it impacts 
how we use marijuana down here, right?

HARDY: I don't think it's that simple. They're not growing it just with 
impunity. They're growing it out of necessity.

Their timber industry has fallen apart in the face of tariffs. NAFTA took 
out the hog farms. They've been overfished.

They don't have much else going on in a lot of the rural areas, and 
Americans pay a lot of money for this.

And you keep talking about...

O'REILLY: All right. So this is now the major...

HARDY: Well, wait a minute. You talk about -- it is the very major - - I'd 
say the biggest agricultural crop going.

O'REILLY: Really?

HARDY: You talk about demand in -- among Canadian teens. Eighty-five 
percent of American high school students say it is very easy to get 
marijuana in their high school.

O'REILLY: OK. So, basically, do you feel that the government of Canada has 
legalized -- quasi-legalized this stuff because of economic reasons? 
Because it's a pretty liberal government up there.

They're a secular, Western European-type, anything-goes society, but are 
they -- is there another reason, an economic reason they're doing this?

HARDY: Well, I think they're -- you know, there are -- there is economic 
support for this, obviously. In the rural areas, it would have a huge 
impact. It would cause a depression.

Let's get one thing straight. It still is by strict rule illegal to grow 
marijuana in Canada.

O'REILLY: Yes, but you know it's not...

HARDY: There's just a broad social tolerance for it. That's right.

O'REILLY: Right.

HARDY: But, you know, it's a funny thing. I write for "Forbes" magazine. 
You think it's a pretty conservative magazine. I've got more mail on this 
than anything else I've written. I'd say the letters are running eight to 
one for decriminalizing it in this country, too.

O'REILLY: Well, I would. I'd decriminalize marijuana in this country. I 
don't think we should be...

HARDY: Bill!

O'REILLY: ... spending our resources on that. I'll tell you what, though. 
If they go outside and start using pot, I'm fining them big time, more than 
a thousand dollars...

HARDY: Yes, it's...

O'REILLY: ... to pay for drug rehab.

HARDY: Maybe it's a better way to keep it away from kids.

O'REILLY: And if they sell it, I'm sending them to jail. But if you want to 
go in your basement and smoke pot, I don't care.

But I do care that the Canadians are exploiting the situation to send the 
stuff down here, and the American government, because they won't police the 

HARDY: They've got a 5,000...

O'REILLY: ... are just saying, hey, bring it on down.

HARDY: They've got a 5,000-mile border with the U.S. It's a comparative 
advantage for them. as far as they're concerned. There's nothing else left 
to sell up there, as far as they know.

O'REILLY: Now where is it coming in mostly? Through Seattle? Through that 
- -- that area? Vermont?

HARDY: That was -- that was a real hot spot, but, you know, everywhere near 
the urban areas got a lot more policing after 9/11. So, naturally, it just 
spread across Manitoba, Alberta.

The prairies -- you know, you could sneak a herd of elephants across up 
there, and nobody would notice it.

O'REILLY: Yes. But do -- you still have to use roads, and all the roads on 
the American side...

HARDY: No, you don't.

O'REILLY: Well, all right.

HARDY: You can run across. You can chopper it. You can snowmobile it. They 
try everything in the book.

O'REILLY: Now the American government is a little teed off about this, 
right? I mean they...

HARDY: They don't like...

O'REILLY: Behind the scenes, they're telling Chretien, you know, who said, 
by the way, one -- he'd like to smoke pot once he gets out of office -- 
some of us feel that he's been stoned for the last four years, but the 
American government's a little teed off about this, right?

HARDY: They're hating this big time, and that does affect Canadian policy.

Last spring, they might have made some moves to actually make it legal to 
grow, but the DEA came down on them. They said, boy, we'll be searching 
every car, if you do that.

And, in fact, they decriminalized a little bit of possession like you're 
suggesting and upped the possible penalties for growing it.

O'REILLY: All right. But bottom line, borders are wide open with Canada and 
with Mexico, and you can bring in anything you want...

HARDY: What are you going to do?

O'REILLY: ... and make some good dough doing it, right?

HARDY: What are you going to do? Yes.

O'REILLY: All right, Mr. Hardy. There it is.

When we come back, the most controversial story of the evening. How 
Christians should view homosexuals. The issue is tearing apart the 
Episcopal Church in America, as you may know. We'll hear both sides on this 
issue. What would Jesus -- how would Jesus handle it? Upcoming.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jackl