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Senate Says Pot is Not a Gateway Drug

The Canadian Senate Studies the Legalization of Marijuana in Canada

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Dateline: 08/24/02

Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs

The Canadian Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs went on the road in May and June 2002 to find out what Canadians think about the legalization of marijuana in Canada.

A discussion paper released by the Senate committee says that marijuana should be treated more like tobacco than like harder drugs. The Senate committee also says marijuana is not a "gateway drug," and does not lead to the use of harder drugs such as cocaine and heroin.

The Senate committee is examining Canada's public policies on marijuana. They reviewed research reports and listened to experts for a year. Then they decided to share their preliminary findings and talk to Canadians before they make their final recommendations.

Marijuana Issues in Canada

The main issues the Senate committee has been investigating are:

  • does marijuana use lead to using harder drugs, like cocaine and heroin?
  • does marijuana create dependency?
  • what are the negative effects of marijuana on health?
  • is marijuana use related to crime?
  • are young people victims of marijuana?
  • does marijuana impair driving?
  • what are the public policy options?

The Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs is chaired by Senator Pierre Claude Nolin with Senator Colin Kenny as deputy-chair.

The Senate committee on Illegal Drugs delivered its final report "Cannabis: Our Postition for a Canadian Public Policy" in September 2002.

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