Letter from the Minister of National Health and Welfare

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Mr. A.D. Charbonneau,
Alberta Legalization of Cannabis Committee (Calgary),
1721-24 A Street, S.W.,
CALGARY, Alberta.
T3C lJ5
Dear Mr. Charbonneau:

Thank you for your letter of November 3, 1979, concerning cannabis legislation.

I am aware that the news media recently reported that a very large percentage of cannabis possession cases are granted an absolute or conditional discharge, a figure which does not accord with the statistical information gathered by the Bureau of Dangerous Drugs, in my Department. I nonetheless thank you for your interest in setting the record straight.

The issues surrounding the question of appropriate cannabis legislation are complex, and public understanding of them is certainly not assisted
by erroneous statistical reports in the press. A discussion paper has been in preparation which would outline the health and social issues and the policy options available. It was my hope that this paper would help public discussion of the issues before consideration of the legislative questions by Parliament.

As you know, Parliament has been dissolved, and it is unlikely that there will be opportunities for adequate public comment on our discussion paper
prior to the forthcoming election.

I want to thank you again for forwarding your comments on this important issue.

David Crombie

Hope all is well. Take care.
In the Minister’s absence,
this letter was signed by
his Executive Assistant,
David Armstrong.

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