Fifth Estate # 96, January 8-21, 1970

Ontario May Abolish Pot Laws

OTTAWA, Ont. (LNS)—Canadian Health Minister John Munro has indicated that the Canadian government is considering action within months to liberalize, and possibly abolish, laws which ban possession and use of marijuana.

Munro told a Canadian newspaper that increasingly widespread use of pot showed that harsh penalties were not working as a deterrent. He did not give any indication, however, that the government would change its stiff laws against the sale of grass.

Dr. H. B. Coltram, Ontario’s supervising coroner, stated that marijuana should be legalized and distribution controlled by a federal government agency. He also suggested a study program to investigate the effect of grass on users.

Judge William Little of Ontario’s Juvenile and Family Court agreed with Coltram’s suggestion. The judge said that he would rather see young people smoke marijuana than tobacco.

The judge declared that laws against persons under 16 years possessing tobacco should be enforced despite the unpopularity of these laws. In June, Judge Little convicted a 15-year-old Toronto girl of illegal possession of tobacco—one of the first such convictions in several years in that city.

How to Win Friends

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LNS)—Emerging from a strenuous gala at the Israeli Embassy recently, Martha Mitchell, the outspoken wife of the attorney general, settled into her limousine with Mrs. Gilbert Hahn, wife of the chairman of the city council of the District of Columbia.

“Boy,” sighed Martha, “I’m sure glad to get away from all those Jews.”

Mrs. Hahn, herself Jewish, told the story to all her friends, then denied it when the newspapers began calling. Reporters at Newsweek and Time, and the Washington Post’s gossip columnist Maxine Cheshire, wanted to write the story, but their editors quashed the news.

Peace Ruse Called Off

SAN FRANCISCO (LNS)—The Arizona Peace Festival—a gala desert event supposedly involving beautiful people from John Lennon to John Lindsay—turns out to be a hoax.

The “festival” got a big write-up in Billboard magazine. It was said to have the support not only of the rock world, but also of major corporations and the federal government.

San Francisco Chronicle columnist Ralph Gleason checked it out, however, and reported that it is “simply an attractive idea of a New York press agent.” He has “discussed it with a lot of people, written letters, made phone calls and everybody says, yeah! wow! too much! But nobody at all is either committed to it or actually involved in it. That’s the sad truth.”

High School Underground

CHICAGO (LNS)—A six-page pamphlet to help high school students who are planning to start an underground newspaper is available from John Schaller, Chicago Area High School Independent Press Service, 530 N. Brainard St., Naperville, Illinois 60540. Write for your free copy.