By Alfa · Mar 4, 2005 ·
  1. Alfa

    DELEGATES to the Liberal Party convention next month will debate a motion to legalize and tax marijuana sales, bringing in billions in new tax revenue. Parliament is already debating legislation to decriminalize marijuana, but a resolution by Alberta Liberals would go much further.

    It would tax the proceeds of legalized pot sales, which the resolution says would bring in $3 billion in revenue each year.

    "Legalizing marijuana would be a serious blow to drug dealers and organized crime financially," says the resolution for the March 5-6 gathering.

    Delegates are told part of the money could go to drug awareness.

    "Resolved that a portion of these tax revenues be used to educate youth against drug use and to provide treatment for those who are adversely affected by use of marijuana."

    It's just one of dozens of policy proposals obtained by the Canadian Press that will be debated by delegates to the Ottawa convention.

    Another resolution, from British Columbia, asks for stiffer sentences for those involved in marijuana grow-ops.

    Gay Marriage Issue

    Meanwhile, a party group called the Senior Liberals Commission is asking delegates to urge the government to enact legislation to respect what it calls "alternative forms of social lifestyle," but to not alter the definition of marriage.

    But Liberal youth activists are working on a campaign called "It's the Charter, Stupid," with rallies and demonstrations to lobby delegates to support the government's same-sex marriage legislation before Parliament.

    Some resolutions will be chosen as priority issues by party officials and automatically be included for a vote by all delegates.

    Others, like the legal pot resolution, must make it through debate in a workshop in order to be presented for approval or defeat by all delegates.

    As expected, Quebec delegates are asking the party rank and file to reject an invitation by the U.S. to join the missile defence project.

    The issue is a hot-button issue for the Liberals, particularly in Quebec, where missile defence has little support.

    Parliament has yet to vote on the concept. Conservative MPs are more likely to endorse it than the governing minority Liberals. Prime Minister Paul Martin has said he, too, would reject the weaponization of space, but has not rejected joining the U.S. proposal out of hand.

    Martin faces an automatic leadership review but is expected to sail through unscathed as there is little appetite to change leaders during a minority government.

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