1. Alfa

    Annual Report Criticises What It Calls Lax Treatment of Marijuana

    WASHINGTON -- An annual White House report on countries with drug
    problems says Canada's relatively lax penalties for marijuana
    producers and moves toward decriminalizing pot could be an
    "invitation" to organized crime that hinders police and

    Canada isn't on the president's list of 22 major illicit
    drug-producing and transit countries, which includes Mexico and some
    South American countries that supply the vast majority of drugs to the
    United States.

    But the report cited Canada's "lack of significant judicial sanctions
    against marijuana producers" and marijuana reform legislation as

    "We are now working intensively with Canadian authorities to address
    the increase in the smuggling of Canadian-produced marijuana into the
    United States," said a White House release.

    The report noted the Canada, in turn, has expressed concern about the
    flow of cocaine and other illegal substances from the U.S..

    "The two governments will continue to work closely in the year ahead
    to confront these shared threats," said the release.

    Officials in President George W. Bush's administration have long
    complained that Canadian regulations, which allow marijuana use for
    medical purposes, are increasing the pot problem.

    Under the federal marijuana medical access regulation, Canadians can
    be authorized to grow, possess and use marijuana.

    A recent federal initiative to decriminalize marijuana died on the
    order paper prior to the June 28 federal election. Police say more pot
    plants are seized in Quebec and British Columbia than any other
    province. They cite increased production because demand has risen.


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