HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Legalize Pot, Travelling Committee Told
Pubdate: Wed, 17 Apr 2002
Source: Daily News, The (CN NS)
Copyright: 2002 The Daily News
Author: Beverley Ware
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


The federal government should consider legalizing marijuana and 
allowing limited use of other illegal drugs, say a couple of Maritime 
university professors.

Legalizing pot should be given serious attention, William McKim of 
Memorial University in Newfoundland told a Commons committee into the 
non-medical use of drugs yesterday. Changing the legal status may in 
fact be quite beneficial.

The committee is holding national hearings and will hear a second day 
of testimony in Halifax today.

McKim also recommended easing patients access to other drugs, 
including morphine and heroine, which have the same effect on the 
brain as the over-the-counter-drug codeine.

Morphine has limited medical use, but McKim said both drugs can help 
patients suffering painful deaths.

Theres a lack of rationale in our public policy when it comes to the 
use of drugs, he said. In the last 30 years, there's been an 
unbelievable increase in understanding what drugs are, what they do 
and why people take them, (but) there's been virtually no change 
whatsoever in public policy or legal statutes on any of these drugs.

Existing legislation, he said, is based on history and politics, not 
knowledge of the drug.

McKim and fellow Memorial psychology professor Robert Adamec said 
they support the movement toward harm reduction, which promotes 
needle exchanges, safe shoot-up sites and methadone programs. The 
intent is to reduce the harmful effects of drugs on both the user and 

Adamec said legalizing marijuana is a form of harm reduction.

Committee vice-chairman Randy White said that will be a hard sell for 
the Canadian public.

A lot of parents aren't going to accept that, he said.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Josh