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The Hamilton Spectator
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A sober second thought
A panel set up by Canada's Senate recommended on Wednesday that the government legalize the use of marijuana, saying it should be sold on a regulated basis like alcohol.

The report by the Senate -- the unelected upper house of Parliament -- adds to a growing debate over what to do about the widespread use of marijuana and the attraction the illegal drug holds for organized crime.

The report was immediately denounced by police and is also likely to trigger alarm in the United States, where some politicians are already unhappy about the amount of Canadian-grown marijuana crossing the border.

Justice Minister Martin Cauchon said in July he was considering whether to decriminalize marijuana but the Senate's special committee on illegal drugs urged him to go much further.

"Essentially, the committee recommends from now on that marijuana be legalized and available for restricted use, so Canadians can choose whether to consume it or not," said committee chairman Sen. Pierre Claude Nolin Source.

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Thursday September 5, 2002