PM promises to decriminalize
pot if re-elected
Written by CTV.ca News Staff
Last Updated 04 Jun 2004
Prime Minister Paul Martin pledged Friday that he would decriminalize
simple possession of small amounts of marijuana if Canadians re-elect his
Liberal Party in the coming federal election.
Speaking at a day care centre in Halifax, Martin told reporters he remains
committed to passing legislation that would bring fines -- not criminal
sentences -- to people caught with 15 grams of pot or less.
An initial decriminalization bill brought forward under Jean Chretien's
government died when Martin took over as PM, but was later re-introduced.
That second bill also died when parliament was dissolved last month following
the election call.
Martin said he planned to "bring back the legislation that died on
the order paper."
His position on pot was echoed by Conservative Leader Stephen Harper.
Speaking in Ontario, Harper said marijuana should remain illegal, but said
he preferred fines rather than jail term for possession under five grams.
Both leaders joked with reporters on questions related to personal drug
Martin made reference to a story dating from the 1960s that he and wife
Sheila had eaten brownies laced with hashish.
"Did I smoke it? No. Therefore I didn't inhale. But there is a rumour
going around that I've eaten brownies," he said.
Harper, meanwhile, said alcohol had ruined his shot at getting high.
"I was offered a joint once and I was too drunk," Harper said. "But
the serious answer is that I'm an asthmatic, so I've never smoked anything."