- OTTAWA, Oct. 3 — Now Canadians can understand why Prime Minister Jean Chretien seems to be in such a hurry to push through a law decriminalizing marijuana. Chretien, 69, said in an interview published on Friday that he might give pot a try once it is no longer a criminal offense — presumably after he retires in February. Under the new law, pot users would only pay a fine if caught with small amounts.“I DON’T KNOW what is marijuana,” Chretien said in an interview with the Winnipeg Free Press. “Perhaps I will try it when it will no longer be criminal. I will have my money for my fine and a joint in the other hand.”
Over the objections of the U.S. administration, Chretien’s government has introduced a bill which would end criminal penalties for possession of 15 grams (half an ounce, or 15 to 30 cigarettes) of marijuana. It would remain illegal, however, but only tickets would be handed out.
Some members of Chretien’s Liberal Party oppose the bill, however, and it is uncertain whether it will pass in time for his retirement — or after.