HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Canada 'Sells US High-Grade Pot'
Pubdate: Thu, 15 Apr 2004
Source: BBC News (UK Web)
Copyright: 2004 BBC
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Canada is a major exporter of high-potency marijuana, according to the man
who leads the US war on drugs.

White House "drug czar" John Walters says new cultivation methods mean
marijuana sold today in the US is much stronger than in the 1960s.

"We have a growing problem with the expansion of particularly high-potency
marijuana coming from Canada," he said.

Last year the drug produced in British Columbia alone was worth $9bn and
most of it was exported to the US, he added.

High-grade marijuana is grown in nutrient-rich solutions rather than soil,
and sells for as much as cocaine, according to Mr Walters, who heads the
Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Today's pot is on average seven times more potent "than the marijuana
baby-boomer parents may remember from their days of use or
experimentation", he told reporters.

He said the change had led to a doubling of hospital emergency cases
involving marijuana.

Mr Walters added: "Canada is exporting to us the crack of marijuana and it
is a dangerous problem."

The Bush administration has criticised Canadian plans to reduce sentences
for people caught with small amounts of marijuana.

Canada denies being a major contributor the United States' drug problem.

Ottawa says Washington's own data shows that of all the illegal marijuana
seized by US agents, only 1.5% came from Canada.
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