US might Slow trade if Canada relaxes marijuana laws
Date: Thursday, October 17 2002
Topic: International News
American officials caution they may be forced to drastically slow trade across the northern U.S. border if the Canadian government relaxes its marijuana laws.
The changes being considered by Prime Minister Jean Chretien's government would make the penalty for getting caught with a joint similar to a traffic ticket.
By contrast, the zero tolerance policy of the United States makes possession of even small amounts illegal.
U.S. drug policy experts say decriminalizing marijuana in Canada will increase drug use in America and trafficking by organized crime elements on both sides of the border. Washington would respond with tighter border checks that could hinder trade crucial to the Canadian economy.