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December 2005
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Politicians want to take Canada backward, Netherlands forward

“bullet” In Canada, conservative Stephen Harper, if elected, promises to get tougher on drugs, including marijuana.

Asked why he would saddle a student who is caught with a small amount of the substance with a criminal record, Mr. Harper said “we believe we have to send a message” that these types of activities are unacceptable. In his talks with people who have become addicted to harder drugs, he said, they almost always say they started with marijuana.

Wow — two top meaningless cliches in one statement — “message” and “gateway.” I would strongly and politely suggest that Canadian citizens not elect this wanker (fully aware that as a U.S. citizen I can’t claim any kind of high ground in terms of the ability to elect non-wankers).
“bullet” In the Netherlands:

A broad coalition of political parties unveiled a pilot program Friday to regulate marijuana farming on the model of tobacco, which opponents say would be tantamount to legalizing growing the drug.

Under the test program, to be conducted in the southern city of Maastricht, existing health and safety standards will apply to growers, but they would no longer be the target of police raids or prosecution.

Coffee shops permitted to sell marijuana would be required to provide consumers with information about the health hazards of smoking – similar to tobacco companies – and the chemical content of the marijuana. The shops would also have to say where they bought the marijuana they sell, which proponents say will deter growers from operating dangerous underground greenhouses.

This would finally end the strange contradiction where coffee shops can legally sell pot, but nobody can legally grow it or supply it to them.
Sounds like a good plan to me.

[Thanks to Tom and Bruce]

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