‘Marijuana is a gateway drug’, won’t support easing enforcement

‘Marijuana is a gateway drug’, won’t support easing enforcement

Premier Alison Redford has roundly rejected any loosening of Canada’s marijuana laws.Speaking to media in Lethbridge on the weekend, Redford said she can’t support a resolution by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police calling for police to be able to hand out tickets, rather than lay charges, in cases of pot possession.“We actually believe marijuana is a gateway drug into harder drugs. It’s a serious drug. It leads to addiction and we don’t believe it to be harmless,” she said.The political debate around marijuana has sparked up lately with federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s call for full legalization — and his admission he had smoked a joint since being elected as an MP.Redford said she doesn’t support legalization or decriminalization of pot.“We think it’s important that it still be considered to be a serious enough criminal activity that there are consequences beyond ticketing and fines because we want to keep our communities safe. And we don’t think that resolution allows us to keep our communities safe,” said the former provincial justice minister.The police chiefs say they don’t favour legalization but argue that criminal charges place a significant burden on police and court resources.The Opposition Wildrose Party refused to comment Monday, saying the issue was within federal jurisdiction.But Liberal MLA Kent Hehr said he backs marijuana legalization and believes public opinion is “changing dramatically.”“Locking people up for small amounts of marijuana just doesn’t make sense and is not good for either individuals, communities or the public purse,” he said.Hehr — who noted he last smoked pot 18 years ago — believes there will be little fallout from Trudeau’s revelation.“You have a great many Canadians, a great many Albertans, who simply find it a legitimate form of relaxation or entertainment. It’s fairly mainstream and I don’t think he’s offside public opinion.”source: http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/politics/Redford+Marijuana+gateway+drug+support+easing+enforcement/8835154/story.html

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