Newshawk: CMAP (http://www.mapinc.org/cmap)
Pubdate: Wed, 28 May 2003
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Jason Botchford
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mjcn.htm (Cannabis - Canada)
TOKERS COOL TO REFORM
Don't expect to see Toronto's cannabis users dancing in the streets when the federal government's proposed legislation becomes law.
Pot advocates in Toronto are fuming over the new marijuana legislation which packs up to $400 fines for those who are found with 15 grams or less and stiffer penalties for growers.
Although possessing 15 grams and less will no longer mean a criminal record, tokers said they feel let down by the proposed Bill 38 which is a similar to the hard-line decriminalization in 12 U.S. states.
"We expected a much more relaxed law," said Dom Cramer, president of the Toronto Hemp Company. "I think we were duped."
Toronto lawyer Alan Young, a major figure in the legalization movement, called the bill a watered-down proposal which preserves the status quo.
"I think what it will result in is confusion; on one hand they are liberalizing the law, on the other they are telling people using cannabis is wrong," he said. "At first I was ready to support it but the more I think about it, the more upset I get," he added.
Those on the other side were equally disappointed. Police Chief Julian Fantino said the bill is at odds with policies to trim smoking and get people off drugs.
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