August 2012 NORML Canada Newsletter
St. Marys, Ontario, Considering NORML Canada Motion to Tax and Regulate Cannabis
On July 24, 2012, Graham Kittmer and Paul Lewin, on behalf of NORML Canada, attended before the St. Marys’ town council and presented a motion to tax and regulate cannabis. Council is considering the motion.
Motion Presented to St. Marys’ council:
WHEREAS cannabis prohibition efforts have failed to effectively limit the availability of cannabis, especially to our youth;
WHEREAS cannabis prohibition has created a large financial opportunity that has fuelled an increasingly violent illegal market with expanding organized crime involvement;
WHEREAS academic, law enforcement and health experts, including the Health Officers Council of BC, believe that a strictly controlled public health oriented regulatory framework for cannabis control has the potential to reduce rates of cannabis use, raise substantial tax revenue, undermine organized crime and save law enforcement time and expenditures;
WHEREAS municipalities are increasingly bearing the financial burden of failed policy approaches that emphasize enforcement of cannabis prohibition over evidence-based policies, consuming significant portions of municipal budgets and diverting law enforcement attention away from criminal activities where police involvement can better improve community safety; and
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that St. Marys Town Council supports the taxation and regulation of cannabis to address the ineffectiveness and harms of cannabis prohibition and write to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and Provincial and Federal Ministers in the Justice and Health departments to inform them of our support.
The motion is based on the Stop The Violence BC campaign. NORML Canada thanks Graham Kittmer for his capable advocacy on this issue.
NORML Canada salutes Neil Magnuson as he once again heads out across Canada on Freedom Tour 2012, a five month long coast to coast cannabis awareness campaign that sheds light on the costs of attempting to prohibit “drugs” and the value of hemp/cannabis. He is speaking with municipals officials, city/ town councils and police forces across the country about the harms being caused by this flawed government policy. The Freedom Tour started June 26th in Victoria B.C., goes to Sydney NS, hits all points in-between and ends in Ottawa for November 11th, Remembrance Day.
Freedom Tour Schedule for August:
Aug. 1st – Lethbridge Alta.
Aug. 3rd – Calgary
Aug. 6th – Coronation
Aug. 8th – Edmonton
Aug. 12th – Saskatoon, Sask.
Aug. 15 th – Regina
Aug. 20th – Brandon Manitoba
Aug. 24th – Winnipeg
Aug. 28th – Kenora Ontario
For the full schedule and more details, visit the Freedom Tour Facebook page.
Toronto City Council held a meeting on July 31, 2012 for lounge owners and interested parties to consider the future of vapor lounges in Toronto. Most of the vapor lounge owners, customers and Professor Alan Young attended the meeting and spoke on behalf of the vapor lounges. City councilors, health officials and police will be meeting separately.
NWAC Movie screening
NORML Women’s Alliance of Canada (NWAC) and the Liberal Party of Canada (Quebec) hosted a recent screening of the critically acclaimed film The Union in Montreal on July 31, 2012. Fine work was put in by Kelly Coulter, Andrea Matrosovs, and all the others at NWAC.
“Just as we saw the harms of prohibition of alcohol in the twenties and thirties, Canada has suffered for generations because of the prohibition of cannabis. Our laws are hypocritical to allow for the adult use of alcohol and tobacco, but not cannabis. Millions of dollars and hours of law enforcement for cannabis prohibition could be channeled to far better uses. Revenue from the cannabis industry could be taxed and legal, instead of allowing organized crime to reap its profits. Education could promote safe and responsible use if we were to regulate the adult use of cannabis. These are the reasons that the NORML Women’s Alliance of Canada is mobilizing the collective voice of women across the country…”
– Andrea Matrosovs, Spokeswoman for NWAC
The Honourable Marc Garneau, M.P. for Westmount -Ville-Marie and Ms. Alexandra Mendes, President of the Liberal Party of Canada (Quebec), were present for the screening, as well as members of NWAC and local cannabis activists.
The 10th Anniversary of the 2002 Senate Report on Cannabis!
NORML Canada is commemorating the 10 year anniversary of the landmark September 2002 Senate Report on Cannabis with an educational campaign to remind Canadians, and especially our politicians, about the important findings and conclusions of this comprehensive report (senatereport.ca).
“The continued prohibition of cannabis jeopardizes the health and well-being of Canadians much more than does the substance itself.”
– Report of the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, 2002 [emphasis added]
The committee concluded that leaving cannabis to the black market is resulting in much more harm than good, and recommended that cannabis be made legal and regulated for sale to adults, similar to the way alcohol is sold, for the sake of Canadian society.
“We know our proposals are provocative, that they will meet with resistance. However, we are also convinced that Canadian society has the maturity and openness to welcome an informed debate.