Marijuana possession will remain a crime in Canada, the country’s new conservative prime minister said yesterday in announcing the end of legislation U.S. authorities worried would weaken anti-drug efforts, the Associated Press reports. Under a proposal from the previous Liberal Party government, getting caught with half an ounce or less of marijuana would have brought a citation akin to a traffic ticket. Possession of marijuana would have remained illegal; the bill was intended to prevent young people from being saddled with a lifelong criminal record.
Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the bill would not be reintroduced by the new Parliament; it died in the House of Commons after the Liberal Party lost elections in January. Harper said his government would move to impose longer jail time and heavier fines on marijuana growers with large operations. Canada has many marijuana farms, particularly in the lush western province of British Columbia. Authorities in July discovered a 360-foot drug-smuggling tunnel beneath the U.S.-Canadian border about 90 miles north of Seattle.