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Another Great Us-can Policy Rift

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U.S. drug czar says Canadians ashamed of PM

WASHINGTON - The White House's drug czar lashed out yesterday at Jean Chrétien for relaxing marijuana laws and said Canadians are "ashamed" at the Prime Minister's recent jokes about smoking pot when he retires...

...Canada is "the one place in the hemisphere where things are going the wrong [way] rapidly," he added. "It's the only country in this hemisphere that's become a major drug producer instead of reducing their drug production."...


so let me get this straight...

the US leads (by far) all first world nations in gun deaths..

has among the highest incarceration rates for drugs, especially low income blacks....

still looses thousands of lives from alcohol and tobacco EVERY YEAR...

almost 40,000 americans die on highways everyyear...


as far as i know no Canadian OR american has ever died from smoking weed.

who the hell does this guy think he is?

we can save millions in $$ by not treating pot smokers just the same as rapists and murderers, and put that towards real practical solutions in health care and education.

american lecturing canada on culture and society is like saddam lecturing on democracy or osama on the geneva convention. its sickening.

as we have seen in some european nations, weed is HARMLESS compared to handguns, alcohol and tobacco. we will only become a better nation by discouraging but not incarcerating every kid with a joint.

my god, the ignorance of someone to say that. especially speaking on behalf of CANADIANS!! look in your own backyard first moron, tally up the deaths from guns, alcohol and tobacco and compare them to weed overdoses.

talk about out of touch policies. some middle aged white guy can guzzle pills from a bottle and its a medical problem, some young black smokes a joint and its right to jail beside violent criminals? nope, doesnt make sense.


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"They're ashamed." As an entire sentence does not strike you as strange? I doubt the question was:

How do most Canadians feel about Jean Chretien’s comments about possibly smoking pot when he retires?

I am often wrong but this smacks as being out of context.

Your accusation of hypocrisy has validity however.

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here is the transcript. using the world ashamed isnt like some giant leap of believability or anything. and its not like the national post cant get the basic jist of the story right.


Let me briefly mention Canada. It is the one place in the hemisphere where things are going the wrong way rapidly. The domestic politics in Canada and policies aside, I've had conversations with Canadians at some length and many of them are concerned about the behavior of their Prime Minister now joking that he's going to use marijuana in his etirement. They are ashamed that he doesn't get the message that this is a serious matter, serious matter for young people, and the statements of leaders make differences that simple prevention programs can't change. Many of them are hopeful that the new leadership in Canada will aggressively turn around. They need to stand up now. The legislation that may be pushed through the Canadian Parliament is not simply a domestic matter for Canadians. By their own estimates, up to 90 percent of the high potency marijuana being grown in Canada is being shipped to the United States.

Canada has been the single largest supplier of seudoephedrine for the making of methamphetamine for the United States market of any supplier. We have had great cooperation from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other Canadian police agencies. The problem is the laws in Canada are utterly inadequate by their own admissions. People do not get serious jail time unless you commit a violent crime or harming another person. Trafficking does not get you serious jail time. Aggressive efforts to control the marketing of these products are impossible in the current legal environment and the courts in Canada have made this worse. Again, their domestic policy as a sovereign country is their business. Shipping poison to the United States is our business. ........

We're not kidding about this, this is not 19

some kind of culture war with Canada. This is about 20

the center of the drug problem in the United States, 21

and I think it's pretty clear to most people who've 22

listened, the current Prime Minister of Canada doesn't 23


get it. We're hoping that it's time for the people 1

who I've talked to in the Canadian Parliament to stand 2

up and say, "Enough is enough," and not let the 3

continued growth of this export make the Canadian 4

border look like the Mexican border. It is the only 5

country in this hemisphere that is becoming a major 6

drug producer rather than reducing its drug 7

production, and it's time for Canada to have the 8

leaders who have talked privately stand up publicly.


just to recap..

americans are willing to pay top dollar for every conceivable type of drug....and WE have the drug problem?

my god, the US gov lecturing canada on ANYTHING other then military power is laughable. we are decades ahead of them in terms of social policy.

who do these people think they are? maybe they will find some BC weed in iraq and label it WMDs


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I don't understand your outrage. Walters was criticizing Chretien, not Canadians. And I believe he had every reason to do so.

First off, Chretien's ill conceived comment was inappropriate for a head of state. Chretien is supposed to be a role model while occupying the PMO and musing aloud about what drugs he's going to try in retirement was insulting to the office he holds. Chretien's stubborn insistence on legalizing pot inspite of possible negative repercutions to Canadian society as a whole as well as adding strain to relations with our biggest trading partner is selfish. All Chretien is thinking about is leaving a "legacy" not what is best for the country long term.

Regardless of how harmless you personally believe that pot is, others don't share your view. Recent research studies indicate a link between pot use and schizophrenia and depression and that young people are particularly vulnerable.


As well, other studies have raised concerns about brain cell damage with long term use. It's no secret that many health workers and drug counselors believe pot can be labeled a gateway drug.

If something is not proven to be safe for recreational use by the general public, why legalize it? We already have cigarettes and alcohol causing social and health problems in society, why make available another risk factor? Those who currently use pot behind closed doors can continue to do so. Like Walters says, laws are lax in Canada so no cops have been breaking down doors on a regular basis to bust anyone for smoking pot.

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As well, other studies have raised concerns about brain cell damage with long term use.

Chretien probably isn't worried about this.

"Me lose brain? Ha ha ha! Why'd I laugh?"

-- Homer Simpson

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A teenager with little amout of weed should not have a criminal record. Putting him in jail does not solve anything. US war on drug is a joke. Time to make new laws.

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