Letter from Prime Minister P.E. Trudeau

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Ottawa KIA OA2,
January 17,1978.
Dear Mr. Charbonneau:

Thank you for your January 6 letter. In 1974 we initiated in the Senate a cannabis bill, Bill S-19. The Senate passed it in June of 1975, and after that the House of Commons gave it first reading. The Commons, however, was unable to find the time to give the bill further attention; so it died on
the order paper when the last session of Parliament ended.

At present three departments, Justice, the Solicitor General, and National Health and Welfare, are reviewing the provisions of Bill S-19. They’re working to make certain the legislation we introduce strikes a proper balance between concerns over the potential health risks associated with cannabis and concerns over the personal and social effects of penal laws aimed at discouraging its use.

I’ve asked my staff to send you a statement outlining the major provisions of Bill S-19.

Yours sincerely,

P.E. Trudeau

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If Mississippi is ‘reformed’, can Canada be ready, too?

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Marijuana laws:
If Mississippi is ‘reformed, can Canada be ready, too?

by Leonard Shifrin
Shifrin,an Ottawa lawyer and
ner director of the National
Council of Welfare, is Canada’s
only columnist specializing in social
policy

Just how far behind Mississippi does Ottawa think Canadian social attitudes are? Ever since the Le Dain Commission report six years ago, a succession of federal health ministers have been promising to reform Canada’s archaic marijuana laws under which possession of a single marijuana cigarette is punishable by as much as seven years’ imprisonment. But somehow they have never gotten around to delivering on their promises.