Pubdate: Thu, 04 Nov 2010
Source: Metro (Edmonton, CN AB)
Copyright: 2010 Metro Canada


Marijuana Decriminalized In California, Not Legalized

Activists Say It Would Have Been Step In Right Direction

Despite Proposition 19 -- to outright legalize marijuana -- going up
in smoke in California on Tuesday, a local pot advocate said certain
U.S. states are on the right track when it comes to marijuana laws.

Keith Fagin, founder and director of Alberta 420, said marijuana
should be regulated and taxed just like cigarettes and alcohol, and
the focus should be on education and treatment rather than

"Throwing people in jail and destroying families over a plant is not
working. It hasn't worked and it won't work," Fagin said.

"Drug policies do need to be changed. They need to be based on science
and facts and not on ideology and morality."

In the U.S., 15 states have passed medical marijuana laws. Canada has
them as well.

But north of the border, the federal government is debating passing a
law that would see minimum sentences handed out to people caught with
a certain amount of plants.

"To give these kids a criminal record over their whole lifetime over
possessing a joint is insane," he said.

"I don't like kids consuming pot or cigarettes, or anything for that
matter. But we have to be truthful and we have to educate."  
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