Essay about Decriminalization of Marijuana in Canada

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Introduction Marijuana is currently a hot topic of debate throughout Canada, and has been for the past few years. Marijuana was first banned in 1923 under the Opium and Drug Act, but since 1997 the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act have controlled it. In 2000, over 30,000 Canadians were charged with possession of marijuana. Currently, the marijuana laws are not enforced equally across the country, which has prompted the interest in changing the laws or possibly decriminalizing marijuana. Also, those convicted of marijuana related crimes usually don't go to jail, but they do receive a criminal record. There are currently two committees researching the possibility of legalizing marijuana in Canada. One committee is the Special…show more content…
One argument of these supporters is that the current penalties for marijuana possession are too harsh. Realistically, there is not chance that marijuana will ever be completely decriminalized in Canada, as the effects from this would be damaging to Canada's relationship to the United States. President George W. Bush has already stated that full decriminalization of marijuana would lead to longer and more thorough border searches, due to the possibility of increased drug trafficking across the border. This is why the Canadian government is leaning more toward decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana rather than legalizing it. The theory behind the decriminalization of the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use should be tied to a national drug strategy that promotes awareness and prevention, and provides for comprehensive treatment. The government would sponsor programs to educate youths about the dangers of marijuana, and also support programs to aide citizens who have addictions to marijuana. Opposition to the Decriminalization of Marijuana There is also strong support on the other side, opposing the decriminalization of marijuana. Their argument is that by legalizing, or even decriminalizing small amounts or marijuana will lead to an increase of the use of other drugs. They also contradict the view of those who support the decriminalization of marijuana by stating the marijuana is indeed a gateway drug that will
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