Pubdate: Sat, 18 Nov 2017
Source: StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)
Copyright: 2017 The StarPhoenix
Author: Pamela McColl
Page: A8


In 2016, the world drug prevention community met at UNGASS in New York
to reconfirm their commitment and ratification of the long-standing
drug conventions. I was in the General Assembly when the minister of
health for the Government of Canada stood to announce Canada's plan to
introduce legislation to legalize marijuana in the spring of 2017.

I can report that the world was less than pleased. Canada's move to
legalization will take our country offside of these global agreements
and out of step with our international partners.

This radical move also takes Canada offside of the Rights of the Child
Treaty which specifically calls for children to be protected from the
use of psychotropic substances. Bill C45 allows for the smoking of
marijuana in the homes where children reside; it also allows for
plants to be grown in the family home.

This should, and in all probability will, not only bring further
criticism from our international partners, but see a challenge brought
under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Children's rights must
always come before the rights of adult drug users and legalization has
this important issue backwards.

In 2015, one million signatures were presented to the UNODC asking for
a firm resolve by the UN to not deviate from the drug conventions and
prohibition of marijuana. This in all likelihood will cost Canada
dearly, including any opportunity to gain a seat on the UN Security

Pamela McColl, Vancouver
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