Meeting March 31

I reported on my recent meeting with Sheldon Chumir. We discussed our concert for June 22 and our  kit to test for Paraquat in marijuana.

Garry gave treasurer’s report. T Shirts were printed and envelopes stuffed for mailing.


Pot activists supply own testing device

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Pro-pot activists, concerned by the “lack of action” to reports of contaminated marijuana having been circulated, plan to take action of their own. In a statement released Monday the Alberta Legalization of Cannabis Committee (Calgary) said it is preparing a kit of chemicals enabling marijuana smokers to carry out tests of their own to determine if local supplies of the illegal drug have been contaminated. The move follows a report from health and welfare officials in Washington that a large quantity of Mexican marijuana, now in circulation, was contaminated by a herbicide paraquat during a U.S.-funded drug control program.

Trudeau promises to push pot reform
OTTAWA (CP) – Prime Minister Trudeau promised Thursday to move ahead with legislation that would remove marijuana possession from the Criminal Code if his government is re-elected. He told a news conference he is sorry such legislation has not yet made it through the parliamentary mill. It was like “a lot of other good government legislation” that had been held up by the slow pace of parliamentary work. “Support us and you’ll get it decriminalized,” he added as an apparent after thought, referring to government proposals to remove simple possession of marijuana from the Criminal Code.

Pot testing kit may be available
A kit to determine the presence of a highly toxic herbicide in Mexican marijuana may soon be available to Calgarians. The kit of chemicals, which will enable the consumer to test for the herbicide Paraquat. is expected to be ready for distribution in two or three weeks, the Calgary branch of the Alberta Legalization of Cannabis Committee (ALCC) said Monday. U.S. health department officials announced two weeks ago that about 20 per cent ot recently confiscated samples of Mexican marijuana was contaminated by the herbicide, which is supplied to Mexico by the U.S. under terms of a joint drug control program. Paraquat has been shown to cause permanent lung damage.

Frankly, with a million unemployed

click here to view letter

March 23,1978

Mr. Sheldon M. Chumir
Ste. 210 Standard Life
639 Fifth Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta
T2P OM9 Bldg.

Dear Sheldon:

Frankly, with a million unemployed, continuing record inflation, an 88 cent dollar, and Quebec threatening to pullout of confederation; neither I nor my party have had a whole lot of time left to consider the question of the decriminalization of marijuana.

My own personal view is that with marijuana being so widely used, it is silly to retain on the statutes a law which defines the use or possession of marijuana as a criminal act. I frankly haven’t made up my mind as to whether we should take the next step as well and allow for the legal sale of marijuana. If such a Bill were to corne before the House of Commons, I would be prepared to re-examine all of the available evidence and arguments and then make up my mind but my gut feeling is that attitudes are a state of transition and that it would be premature for the government or for Parliament to make a definitive statement in this regard.

Yours sincerely,

Harvie Andre, M.P.
Calgary Centre

Meeting with Sheldon Chumir

Wayne and I met for coffee with Lawyer Sheldon Chumir, and later in his office, about how to proceed with the objectives of ALCC. He was very helpful in ensuring that we worked within the legal framework and how to frame our application for a grant for a survey from the Alberta Law Foundation.

Sheldon pointed out the inconsistency of application of sentencing for marijuana possession across Canada and provided me with statistics.  He advised me on how to write a letter to the Chief Justice of the Alberta Supreme court about these inconsistencies. Since we were planning to make kits to test for the presence of Paraquat in marijuana, I asked him about the legality of the kits.

He started the Calgary Civil Liberties Association and as far as I could tell, he was one of a few members.

Drink pattern set in high school

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Dramatic rise since 1950
BOSTON (UPI) – Although social and academic pressures may be a factor in heavy drinking among college students,their drinking pattern is probably established before they ever set foot on a college campus. This observation and others come from a study of alcohol consumption in colleges conducted by The Medical Foundation. Inc., a Boston-based agency of the United Way. Dr. Henry Wechsler. research director at the foundation, unveiled the study results to about 100 officials and counselors from colleges and universities.

The survey also indicated a strong relationship between the use of marijuana and drinking. “Among both men and women, about 90 percent I of the abstainers did not use’ marijuana during 1976. In contrast, five out of six of the frequent-heavy drinkers among both sexes used marijuana in 1976,” Wechsler said.

High risk of sprayed marijuana doesn’t worry Canadian officials
By Dave Margoshes (Herald staff writer)
Federal health officials are taking a “so-what” attitude toward the possible danger of marijuana contaminated With a highly toxic herbicide. And in Alberta, pOlice know little about the danger and are taking no steps other than normal ones to stop people from obtaining, or using the illicit but popular drug. “lt’s an individual thing – if butter’s rotten, don’t eat it,” said, Sgt. Dutch Ryba, head of the Calgary RCMP detachment’s drug, squad, Wednesday. The problem, Ryba admitted, is that while rotten butter can be detected, lung-damaging marijuana cannot.

PCs would propose reform of marijuana laws –Clark

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SARNIA, Ont. (CP) – Opposition Leader Joe Clark said Tuesday a Progressive Conservative government would propose reform of the marijuana laws. Speaking on an open-line program on radio station CKJD. Clark said he believes the law should distinguish between trafficking and possession of marijuana. “We should not have a criminal record attached to possession of marijuana,” he said. The opposition leader said it would be two or three years, however, before a PC government turned its attention to the marijuana question.

High Times magazine ban 
Re Eldon Woolliams’ opinion that magazines such as High Times be ,banned from. Canada. Mr. Woolliams’ policy, in effect, tell us what we can read. The police feel that this sort of magazine will lead people to the use of “drugs.” It is the opinion of the ALCC that one would not buy a magazine such as High Times unless they already used “drugs.” High Times does not advertise the use of any drug except some of this “legal grass” or “lettuce opium” that wouldn’t get a fly high.

Mexican marijuana ‘highly toxic’
WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. government is about to warn that permanent lung damage might result from regular or heavy smoking of Mexican marijuana contaminated with a herbicide used in a U.S.-funded drug control program, it was learned Friday. Government sources. who declined to be identified said Joseph Califano, secretary of housing. education and welfare. has postponed from Friday until Sunday his warning about the danger of marijuana laced with herbicide paraquat. They said no reason was given for the delay.

Decriminalization won’t  have much effect locally

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By Dave Margoshes
(Herald staff writer)

Decriminalization of marijuana – as proposed by the federal Liberal party – would likely have little effect in Calgary. Interviews with a number of people interested in drug laws indicate that decriminalization would be welcome but would hardly open the floodgates to a new wave of drug use. “1 don’t really get too excited when people get hot to trot about decriminalization,” said Sandy Park,  one of Calgary’s two full-time drug  prosecutors. “The courts have decriminalized it already.” ‘Added Staff Sgt. Len Esler, head of the city police drug squad: “All that would do is bring it (marijuana possession) in line with what the courts are doing already. And a spokesman for a local group advocating the legalizatIon of marijuana said decriminalization “is a step in the right direction – but, by itself, is foolish. What good is possession of something you can’t legally buy?”

Telephone survey

Instead of our regular Wednesday meeting, five of us phoned people at random from the phone book and asked their views on legalizing marijuana.

“The Alberta Legalization of Cannabis Committee is conducting a survey. We would like your opinion about the following question.”

Out of the 124 people phoned, here are the results:
Do you think that the present laws are
a) too harsh 59 (48%)
b) too lenient 24 (19%)
c) adequate 41 (33%)

Meeting March 1

We decided to conduct a phone survey of Calgarians attitudes towards legalization of marijuana and came up with this question to be asked next Wednesday.

“The Alberta Legalization of Cannabis Committee is conducting a survey. We would like your opinion about the following question. Do you think that the present laws are a) too harsh, b) too lenient, c) adequate? “