Ottawa, Ontario: Proposed legislation to depenalize the possession of minor amounts of cannabis will not be introduced in Parliament, according to public statements made this week by Canada’s new Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper. While campaigning, Harper had vowed to enact tougher penalties for drug offenses.
Harper’s position marks a sharp contrast to that of the previous administration, which had on several occasions endorsed decriminalizing marijuana, but had failed to act on a number of depenalization proposals.
In 2002, a Canadian Senate inquiry recommended legalizing and regulating marijuana for those 16 years and older, while a House inquiry recommended decriminalizing the possession of up to 30 grams (approximately one ounce) of marijuana. However, neither recommendation ever gained significant support from members of Parliament.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500.