Canadian Mounties Target Medical Marijuana 11/23/97

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Earlier this month, the Ottawa Citizen newspaper featured the story of a group of growers, patients and doctors who were cooperating to supply marijuana to terminally and seriously ill individuals who wanted and needed it. In response, the Citizen this week (11/18) reports that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have opened an investigation with an eye toward prosecuting (

Cpl. Louis Chiasson of the RCMP told the Ottawa Citizen, "We are certainly interested in the activities alleged in the article. It is certainly a distinct possibility we will find there are reasonable grounds to pursue charges."

In a follow-up phone call to the Ottawa division of the RCMP, a spokesman told The Week Online, "We're not specifically targeting people who are sick or dying, but it is against the law to cultivate or possess marijuana in Canada. The job of the Mounted Police is to enforce the law, and if someone has AIDS or some other illness, that's not an excuse for breaking it."

This action on the part of the RCMP comes just one week after a national poll found that 83 percent of Canadians support the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes and 51 percent support the decriminalization of marijuana in general. On 11/21 the Justice Minister was quoted in the Citizen calling for a national debate on medical marijuana (

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Issue #20, 11/23/97 Texas Okays More Prison Construction | NIH Panel Urges Loosening of Restrictions on Methadone | Study Shows that Early Onset of Drug Use Makes Addiction Harder to Break | Brazilian Rock Band Incarcerated for Improper Lyrics | Canadian Mounties Target Medical Marijuana | Six-Year-Old Suspended from School for Sharing Lemon Drops -- Authorities call in ambulance and fire department | BBC Taking Online Poll/Comments on Marijuana Legalization | Public Forum in Minneapolis Drug Policy Reform Legislation in Connecticut | Editorial: Giving Thanks in a Time of (Drug) War
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