WHITE HOUSE LASHES CANADA'S POT LAWS
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
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.