Essential information for an informed debate about cannabis policy.
SUPPORT for Cannabis Law Reform:   OPPOSITION to Cannabis Law Reform:
Conservatives   Conservatives
Liberal   Police Unions
NDP   Other

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
- Upton Sinclair
Police Opposition to Cannabis Law Reform in Canada
Tony Cannavino
Tony Cannavino

Tony Cannavino
Former President of the Canadian Police Association (CPA)

A lot of people in Canada think that it's legal to smoke marijuana and (think) it's not worse than tobacco. Well, tobacco is very harmful for your health. Imagine marijuana.

Source: CTV News

Chief Armand La Barge
Armand La Barge

Chief Armand La Barge
York Region Police

“For many years, there has been a debate in this country about legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana. I'm here to say marijuana is illegal because it is dangerous, it's not dangerous because it is illegal,” Chief Armand La Barge said.

“Drugs have had a significant impact on crime in the past and they continue to play a significant role in today's society.”

Source: 18 grow-ops raided during police operation
May 16, 2008 - Regional News

Chief Barry McKnight
Barry McKnight

Chief Barry McKnight
Fredericton Police Force
*Barry McKnight is also chair of the drug abuse committee of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP)

"Marijuana is a harmful drug. It's as simple as that – no ifs, ands or buts. Period, end of sentence."
Source: Pot busts bounce back
July 9, 2007 - Toronto Star

"Police officers must have the discretion to decide whether to issue a ticket or to send it to court," stressed Chief MacKnight, who does not support outright legalization of what he described as a harmful drug.

Source: Pot busts bounce back
February 10, 2008 - National Post

CBC Radio: The CurrentaudioPotent Pot – UN Report
CBC Radio: The Current

July 12, 2007
Host: Kathleen Petty

audioListen to the show

Barry McKnight
, chair of the Drug Abuse Committee for the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs (CAPC) and the Chief of the Fredericton Police Force.

Lester Grinspoon, psychiatrist and Professor Emeritus at the Harvard Medical School and the author of a number of books on marijuana.

Audio interview with Barry McKnight regarding Canadian drug policy, including use rates and potency of cannabis in Canada.

UN Office on Drugs and Crime representative
Timecode: 02:35
Barry MacKnight
Timecode: 03:40
Lester Grinspoon
Timecode: 11:32
Sum-up: 20:56
Chief Vernon White
Vernon White

Chief Vernon White
Durham Region

Source: Tory stance on pot means continuance of status quo: Chief
April 12, 2006 - Ajax/Pickering News Advertiser

Chief White agrees with the continued prohibition on pot, while at the same time acknowledging a widely-held attitude that people caught with small amounts of it shouldn't be saddled with criminal records. But the chief said the exercising of discretion by cops, not decriminalization, is the way to address that concern.

And the continuing involvement of organized crime groups in the manufacture and distribution of pot warrants continuing the prohibition, he said.

Source: Police chief supports marijuana decriminalization
April 25, 2010 - The Ottawa Citizen

"My support will be in having a frank discussion about whether or not we want people to have criminal records for possession of marijuana," White said.

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police

Police chiefs slam `flawed' pot bill
Chrètien urged to scrap marijuana plan Legislation faces hurdles
Nov. 4, 2003 - Toronto Star

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) and the Canadian Professional Police Association (CPA), joined by representatives of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), condemned the Liberal government's effort to fast-track the bill that would soften penalties for simple marijuana possession offences.

Back in 2001 the CACP supported decriminalization...

"The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has also advocated decriminalization, saying prosecuting people for small amounts ties up scarce resources."

Source: Up in smoke? Canada's marijuana law and the debate over decriminalization
May 2001 - CBC News

...but now they were opposed to the Liberal's "decriminalization" bill because it took away police discretion to lay charges for small amounts of marijuana -- an option police say is needed to deter traffickers and repeat offenders.

Ontario Association Of Chiefs Of Police

Ontario Association Of Chiefs Of Police
OACP Positions: Drug Policy (November 13, 2002)

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (O.A.C.P.) stands firm in opposing any type of legalization of any and all current illicit drugs in Canada, including the possession of small amounts of marihuana or other cannabis derivatives.


Cpl. Gary Frail of the RCMPs Drugs and Organized Crime Awareness Service.
(Cpl Gary Frail is also a Canadian D.A.R.E. Coordinator)

"Drugs are illegal because they're bad; they're not bad because they're illegal," said Frail.

"We refute (legalization) 1,000 per cent; legalization would just lead to more victims of addiction."

Source: Pot Author Urges Legalization
May 5, 2006 - Daily News, The (CN NS)

Julian Fantino
Julian Fantino

Julian Fantino
Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)
(Former Toronto Police Chief)

Toronto Police Chief Julian Fantino likened decriminalizing marijuana to legalizing murder yesterday as he rejected arguments that legal pot would cut down on organized crime operations now growing it. "I guess we can legalize murder too and then we won't have a murder case. We can't go that way," Fantino said.

Source: Legal pot murder on justice
October 20, 2004 - Ottawa Sun

Here's a link to an article from the magazine published by the International Association of Chiefs of Police entitled
"Drug Legalization: Why It Wouldn't Work in the United States."

"I encourage police executives to speak out against drug legalization, and I hope the information in this article has provided some of the resources they need as they prepare to make these speeches."
The Police Chief magazine
Excerpt from March 2005 Issue description:
"This issue of the Police Chief focuses on the drug legalization arguments, marijuana, and methamphetamine laboratories."

Police Services Act - Political Activity, Sec. 46:

No municipal police officer shall engage in political activity, except as the regulations permit.
(Police Services Act)

Related article:
Police union's plan to endorse candidates illegal: lawyer

March 3, 2006 - CBC News

Politicians who support prohibition are supporting organized crime

Cannabis prohibition is expensive, ineffective, and causing significant harms to Canadian society.
For the good of ALL Canadians, it's time to end cannabis prohibition.

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