EDMONTON - Fifteen grams of marijuana would last most users one to three
weeks, say local store owners who cater to pot smokers.

The federal government is expected to bring in legislation by next week
that would make possession of 15 grams of pot or less a minor offence,
similar to a traffic violation.

Nobody smokes 15 grams a day, says Colin Rogucki, owner of Shell Shock.
That would be like binge drinking 24 beers in a day.

"You can easily smoke 15 grams with a bunch of friends over an evening," he
said.

"But an average person smokes barely a gram a day."

The store owners say one gram of marijuana would yield one to three joints.

Rogucki says most of his customers smoke one joint at home at the end of
the work day. That's the equivalent of about one-half gram a day, about
average for the typical pot smoker.

Benjamin Currie, manager of True North Hemp on Whyte Avenue, says 15 grams
would last most people one to three weeks.

"For one gram, you would maybe roll two joints and that would be fine for a
night of hanging out at the bar.

"The initial buzz would be pretty strong. You'd get high, sit there for
half an hour, relax and then you're settled in and you'd be fine."

The effect would drop to the equivalent of two beers, he says.

"You'd be relaxed, talkative. You wouldn't lose your motor skills or
communication skills."

The federal government is considering imposing fines of as little as $100
for people caught with 15 grams of pot or less, the equivalent of about
half an ounce.

People caught with more than 15 grams would still be subject to a criminal
record and a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Small-time users would be governed by the non-criminal Contraventions Act,
a little-used act that controls driving on federal wharfs and abandoning
vessels in a public harbour.

The store owners say there's been no increase in sales of weight scales.


Pubdate: Wed, 14 May 2003
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Webpage: http://www.mapinc.org/cancom/a03b2f45-857f-4854-bb6d-f802cb15b0b0
Copyright: 2003 The Edmonton Journal
Contact: letters@thejournal.southam.ca
Website: http://www.canada.com/edmonton/edmontonjournal/