Pubdate: Wed, 23 Jun 2004
Source: Huron Expositor, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 The Huron Expositor
Author: Cheryl Heath


Legalize it.

That two-word phrase best sums up the campaign platform of Glen Smith,
the Marijuana Party candidate.

Smith, of Tiverton, is running under the Marijuana Party banner for

He says legalizing marijuana, and regulating it in a style similar to
alcohol under the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, could spell relief
for Canadians in more ways than one.

Smith, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in political
science and economics, is a first-time contender in the federal scene
though he was president of the student council while studying at the
University of Toronto.

"We feel the legalization of marijuana could bring a lot of money to
the table," he said, noting the proceeds from tax collection and
government-regulated sales could help fund health-care and take care
of the needs of the ageing Baby Boomer population.

Smith, who notes not everyone is taking him seriously on the campaign
trail, said though Huron-Bruce is traditionally conservative in its
views, voters seem ambivalent about the possibility of legalizing marijuana.

He said the biggest concern seems to be the perils of second-hand

"Anything smoked in large amounts is not good for the lungs," he

Smith said studies show marijuana is not addictive - nor does it lead
to the behavioural problems associated with alcohol and hard-drug

Smith said the Marijuana Party adheres to the belief that marijuana
should not be permissible everywhere. For instance a ban should remain
on inhaling and driving. "There should be no smoking behind the
wheel," he said. "When you do it, relax responsibly."

Smith, who has been canvassing door-to-door in a number of communities
including Kincardine and Goderich, believes the Canadian government
would have to beef up its military if marijuana is legalized.

"Realistically, there would be a huge backlash in the United States,"
he said. "It would be a huge concern to the U.S. if we legalized it."

Though the Marijuana Party officially carries a one-issue platform,
Smith does have views on some of the more contentious issues of this
election campaign. For one, he is against the idea of Canada getting
involved in the war on Iraq.

He also suggests the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) crisis
could be addressed by licensing beef producers to grow marijuana as a
cash crop if they so choose.

"It sort of buffers against BSE," he said.

Smith said he is pro choice and in favour of same-sex

Smith, whose wife and child wish to remain unnamed for privacy
reasons, sells marijuana seeds at his Tiverton business that is mostly
an Internet-based enterprise.

He notes it is legal to sell the seeds because they are not
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