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The Senate Report (PDF Files)

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Senate calls for legalization of pot

Members also recommend purging of drug offences from police files

OTTAWA (CP) - Canada should legalize the use of marijuana by adults, a Senate committee recommended today.
The special committee said the current system of prohibition doesn't work and should be replaced by a regulated system, perhaps like that used for alcohol.

"Scientific evidence overwhelmingly indicates that cannabis is substantially less harmful than alcohol and should be treated not as a criminal issue but as a social and public health issue," said Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, the committee chair.

The committee also recommended amnesty for anyone with a criminal record for possessing pot.

An estimated 600,000 Canadians have been convicted of simple cannabis possession.

The report follows a two year study of public policy related to marijuana.

It's not clear if the committee's recommendations will ever be adopted. There is broad support in Parliament for decriminalization of marijuana, but the Liberal government has not signalled whether it will introduce a bill to do that.

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