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Activist To Bring Dope To His MP


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PORT ALBERNI -- A well-known Vancouver Island pot activist will be huffing and puffing outside his local MP's office at high noon Monday.

"I would bring a big pot plant, but it's too cold out," said Michael Mann.

Mann will be at Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney's Port Alberni digs to protest Bill C-26, which aims to enact mandatory minimum jail sentences for certain drug offences.

But according to Mann, Bill C-26 -- currently being debated in the House of Commons -- could be interpreted to classify sharing a joint as being akin to trafficking or having connections with organized crime.

"They want to jail people for using cannabis is what this boils down to," he said, adding the bill has sparked a nationwide grassroots campaign by marijuana activists and supporters of the legalization of pot to inform the public.

At noon on Dec. 17, Canadians are expected to gather at their local MP's offices to ask them to vote against the bill.

According to marijuana activists, mandatory minimums have failed to curb drug use and sales in the United States and will only fill jails with non-violent marijuana offenders.

"We'll have to build more jails if this bill passes," he said. "It's such a waste."

Mann has had a legal licence to grow marijuana for his personal medicinal use for seven years. However, he said that since the Conservatives took over in Ottawa, disturbing signs have arisen that the "moral right" is unhappy with current laws that allow a small number of residents to grow and use cannabis legally.

He's concerned there may be a steady push to terminate the program that allows some 1,400 Canadians to use and legally produce marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Telephone messages left for Lunney were not returned.

Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Times Colonist
Contact: letters@tc.canwest.com
Website Victoria Times Colonist
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