Pubdate: Wed, 04 Nov 2009
Source: Pique Newsmagazine (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Pique Publishing Inc.
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)
Bookmark: (Ecstasy)


Member of Parliament John Weston introduced a private member's bill 
in the House of Commons last week that would make it an offence to 
procure the ingredients to manufacture methamphetamine drugs such as 
ecstasy and crystal meth.

Weston's bill goes further than another similar bill put forward by 
Peace River MP Chris Warkentin that died on the table as a result of 
last year's snap election. Weston's bill allows for conditional 
sentences for offenders, while expanding its scope to include ecstasy.

"The Attorney General asked me if I would introduce this bill, and I 
leapt on it because I feel it speaks to the needs of the people in 
our riding and what I'm hearing from educators, coaches and others," 
said Weston. "There is a lot of public awareness and concern over 
these two drugs."

As a father of three, Weston said he is concerned that youth are 
particularly vulnerable.

"Kids who experience these drugs can drop out of school. In some 
cases their futures are ruined, they end up on the streets in some 
cases. There are families that have been destroyed. Some embark on 
criminal careers to support their habits. And no family is immune, no 
matter what demographic group they belong to or their economic class."

Weston is also concerned that Canada has been identified 
internationally as an exporter of both drugs, while the drugs 
themselves can endanger lives if they include toxic or poisonous 
substances. Doses are not regulated or uniform in any way, and as a 
result people can overdose on what they believe is a small amount.

Private Member Bills are selected for reading based on a lottery 
system, but can remain on the docket until an election is called. 
They seldom become law because of the sheer number of bills in the 
hopper, and the limit of 20 bills to be discussed in rare Private 
Members' Hours in the House of Commons.

However, Weston is confident Bill 475 will move ahead.

"I've worked hard to liaise with opposing parties, and I'm hoping to 
get 20 members to co-sponsor with me in the House to show the 
widespread support... I also have the support of the Attorney General 
so I'm fairly optimistic," he said.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom