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Canada: Trudeau Pushed For Pot.

By admin | September 29, 2004

Calgary Sun
Sept. 28, 2004.

Former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau thought Canada’s penalties for potheads were “rather harsh,” according to 30-year-old cabinet documents. As the current Liberal government moves to decriminalize marijuana, historic records from 1973 just released by the National Archives suggest the former PM was pushing his cabinet to relax the laws while facing stiff opposition from within his own ranks.

“The prime minister commented that the penalties recommended for first offenders for illicit possession seemed rather harsh,” one document reads.

“( Health Minister ) Marc Lalonde reported that he had found caucus members to be rather rigid in their views and to have considered his proposals somewhat lenient.”

The divisive nature of the raging pot debate remains three decades later, as Prime Minister Paul Martin prepares to re-introduce a decriminalization bill that would fine those caught with a small stash of less than 15 grams.

Records of the closed-door pot discussions are among scores of secret documents that offer a glimpse into how Trudeau’s minority government stickhandled sensitive issues of the day.

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