“We believe … that the continued prohibition of cannabis jeopardizes the health and well-being of Canadians much more than does the substance itself or the regulated marketing of the substance. In addition, we believe that the continued criminalization of cannabis undermines the fundamental values set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and confirmed in the history of a country based on diversity and tolerance.
… It is for this reason that the Committee recommends that the Government of Canada amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to create a criminal exemption scheme, under which the production and sale of cannabis would be licensed, [and] … to permit persons over the age of 16 to procure cannabis and its derivatives at duly licensed distribution centers.” – Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs. 2002. Cannabis: Summary Report: Our Position for a Canadian Public Policy. Ottawa.
“Cannabis … is less harmful than other substances (amphetamines, barbiturates, codeine-like compounds) within Class B of Schedule 2 to the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971. The continuing juxtaposition of cannabis with these more harmful Class B drugs erroneously (and dangerously) suggests their harmful effects are equivalent. This may lead to the belief, amongst cannabis users, that if they had no harmful effects from cannabis than other Class B substances will be equally safe. The Council therefore recommends the reclassification of all cannabis preparations to class C under the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971.” – British Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. 2002. The Classification of Cannabis Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. British Home Office: London.
“We accept that cannabis can be harmful and that its use should be discouraged. However, … we do not believe there is anything to be gained by exaggerating its harmfulness. On the contrary, exaggeration undermines the credibility of the messages that we wish to send regarding more harmful drugs. We support, therefore, … reclassify[ing] cannabis from Class B to Class C … [so that] possession of cannabis would cease to be an ‘arrestable offense.’” – British House of Commons Home Affairs Committee. 2002. Home Affairs Third Report. British Home Office: London.
“The Commission, after reviewing the most up-to-date body of medical and scientific research, is of the view that whatever health hazards the substance poses to the individual, … these do not warrant the criminalization of thousands of Jamaicans for using it in ways and with beliefs that are deeply rooted in the culture of the people. … Accordingly, the National Commission is recommending that the relevant laws be amended so that ganja be decriminalized for the private, personal use of small quantities by adults.” – Jamaican National Commission on Ganja. 2001. A Report of the National Commission on Ganja. Office of the Prime Minister: Kingston.