Monday, September 18, 2017
Will We Have to Wait Longer for Marijuana to Be Legalized?
We've been talking about legalizing marijuana in this country for about fifty years, since the Le Dain Commission delivered its report.
Which was completely ignored, as was another report produced by the Senate.
So I'm glad that our next Canada Day is also supposed to be Cannabis Day, the day the insane War on Weed finally ends.
But as that day approaches, those who would like that war to continue are becoming more and more vocal.
There is a touch of reefer madness in the air. Again.
And this is disturbing.
Canada's police services say there is zero chance they will be ready to enforce new laws for legalized pot by next summer.
They said Tuesday they need more time to properly train officers about the new laws and more than double the number of police officers who are certified to conduct roadside drug impaired driving testing. There also needs to be more time for public education, the police said.
So is this.
The police request for a delay comes after Canada's premiers warned the federal government in June that they may not be ready with provincial laws and regulations to accompany the federal bill by next summer.
And with Andrew Scheer vowing to vote against legalization, claiming that the government’s "artificial deadline" is rushing a major shift in Canadian society.
As only he could...
Or as only his Cons could...
In their never-ending attempts to try to destroy Justin Trudeau.
One really has to wonder whether those prohibitionists will succeed in kicking the cannabis can down the road.
Which is a real problem, because we've already waited long enough to end that madness.
And we do need a deadline.
The legalization of marijuana has been debated in Canadian politics since the 1970s and studied by task forces and committees for decades. It has been official government policy for two years. There are still 10 months before it is slated to be legal in July. Sure, there are significant details to work out – but this is not Mission: Impossible.
It's one thing for the provinces and police to say they haven't yet got all the details of the legislation. But the plan to legalize marijuana has been coming at them in slow motion through consultations and a task force led by former justice minister Anne McLellan.
If there was no deadline, the details would keep being troublesome, and unresolved, for years.
There is absolutely no evidence that legalization will lead to a huge increase in the number of Canadians using marijuana, since those who do so can already obtain it from dealers all over the country.
And the only difference legalization will bring, is that those Canadians will no longer have to feel like or be treated like criminals, for consuming a drug that is measurably safer than alcohol.
In a country that is sodden with booze, and where the greatest drug threat to young Canadians is not marijuana...
It's binge drinking.
Or opioid use.
Or the possibility of being busted, and being sent to jail, or getting a criminal record that will haunt them for the rest of their lives, for absolutely no reason.
Millions of Canadians of all ages have already been victimized by the insane war on marijuana, and enough is enough.
The premiers and the police need to get their act together.
And end this reefer madness once and for all...
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Overall, tobacco is by far the most dangerous drug, but binge drinking is a particularly grave danger among youth. Especially in combination with another substance that gets the pass, petroleum. The combination greatly increases the risk of harm to others.
The medical specialists here in Québec are being unrealistic with their proposal of an age of 21. That guarantees that many young people will be saddled with a criminal record.
There are particular problems such as the tragedy of substance abuse in Indigenous communities, but prohibition has been of no use whatsoever. The young substance abusers are pretty much trying to kill themselves, and often succeed.
That horrific situation calls for measures to value Indigenous youth and give their life meaning, not more punishment.
Bull Hockey. Lets see, how much effort do the police put into pot enforcement now? Its like saying we could not stop running numbers because under 18 will be playing the lottery.
I rarely smoke weed but good policy is good policy. It's time to legalize it.
Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari is a must read!
I don't understand why Canadian politicians, police chiefs etcetera haven't taken the time to talk to jurisdictions like Colorado to see how they handled the legalization issue. After all, they've had since October 2015 to start working on this file.
The requirements to be a police officer is a 26 week course in Regina RCMP Academy Depot so why do they require more than 9 months to get training for legalization of pot, is it that much harder to train than all the other laws and regulations they learn over 26 weeks? When the most extreme danger of using a drug is the punishment for having it, we as a law abiding, but free, society have failed miserably.
As someone who suffers from anxiety this can't come soon enough. I want to be able to buy which strain I want. Right now it's hit and miss.
I never smoke weed because I can't abide smoking. I could certainly have access to other forms of cannabis if I should so desire because I have arthritis. For me the most important thing is ensuring that young people don't get saddled with a criminal record over such a trifling matter. Followed by reducing organised crime involvement; even legalisation won't eliminate that, but could reduce it.
I rarely see teens who might be 17, might be 19 lining up to buy lottery tickets at the dep. More middle-aged and older people who seem to have lost hope and want a small miracle.
Actually, one of the things that I worry about with Justin Trudeau being brave enough to go against the Reefer Madness dogma is the reaction he'll get from the U.S. The notoriously racist, punishment-obsessed A.G. named for not just one, but two Confederate generals -- Jefferson Beauregard "Jeff" Sessions III, which means there were two others before him -- has vowed to leave nothing on the table in terms of amping up the drug war to such extreme levels as to make Reagan look like Tommy Chong. Right now the focus is on punishing Mexico and the rest of Latin America with possible "military solutions," instead of acknowledging that it's the black market that creates and empowers the cartels. But the D.E.A. has their eyes on Canada and is only increasing their scrutiny of Justin and his government as traitors who threaten to throw a monkey wrench in their draconian enforcement and revenue scheme.
Let's say hypothetically that Canada decides to trade marijuana as a cash crop with Mexico (which would, therefore, weaken the cartels and strengthen Mexico's economy), and twists the Americans' arms on matters of drug policy like they did with labor protections becoming a condition of NAFTA. Or starts pressing the U.N. to reexamine their various drug treaties. I don't think the D.E.A. or Sessions would go so far as to call for the outright assassination of the world's most popular international leader, but that doesn't mean they won't do something to exert their muscle and put Canada and Justin in their place one way or another. Especially now that the U.S. government is willing to let itself become a partner and/or puppet of the Kremlin in order to impose their fascist, totalitarian, hyper-moralistic global hegemony.
There's too much money tied into keeping it illegal, whether it's the pharmaceutical lobby or the weapons manufacturers and the militarization of cops or the private prison contractors or what have you. America is the "strong father" archetype that will not abide the "little woman" in the upstairs attic challenging or undermining its authority to punish anyone they feel like and bring home the bacon for itself "because they said so." Justin is doing the right thing from both a rational and humanitarian perspective. But that doesn't tend to bode well for the "nice guys" who ruffle the feathers of the school bully who is both hall monitor, principal, and district administrator all in one.
God save Justin Trudeau.
Is it actually beneficial for mental health disorders? I remember Margaret saying in her autobiography that her own physician told her she needed to quit marijuana because it exacerbated her bipolar condition. Almost like an allergic reaction. From what I've seen of the studies (which are extremely limited in the U.S. because it's illegal for even scientific researchers to possess marijuana), the effects are hit-or-miss too.
I suffer from the Maggie disease myself. I do live in a U.S. state where a limited prescription of medical pot is legal, and have thought about exploring such possibilities. But FWIW, it just seems too much like playing with fire. (The fact that the feds are basically looking to nullify "state's rights" in terms of drug policy also causes anxiety about getting arrested, but I digress.) I know it's very good for cancer patients and has had miraculous results for epileptics, but mental health is a unique beast in and of itself, and I personally wouldn't want to make things worse.
I do hope it is helpful for you, and with far fewer negative trade-offs than the pharmaceutical "solutions" that you always hear about having suicide as a paradoxical side effect. I just don't know if it should be regarded as a universal panacea. A tool, perhaps, one of many in a holistic whole-person regimen, with pluses and minuses and tweaks here and there for each individual patient depending on their chemical makeup. But not the miraculous, chameleon cure-all that some of the advertising and advocacy is making it out to be.
Not to mention the opioid crisis. Pharmaceutical companies are terrified of losing money if patients are able to grow their own painkillers instead of forking over money hand and fist and then seeking out black-market fixes that they're dropping like flies from. This is arguably worse than the AIDS and crack epidemics combined because it's a legal product pushed by unethical corporations that people are dying from addiction to. It's not an organic disease like AIDS or a street cocktail like crack. They're dying from what's in their medicine cabinets, and/or from heroin when they can't get scripts for oxy anymore or get desensitized to it.
Greed is the gateway drug. The pushers aren't Pablo Escobar but "respectable" pharma reps who get a portion of the proceeds from every RX. And a certain number -- not all -- of unscrupulous, script-happy physicians who get kickbacks in a profit-sharing scheme with Lilly and Pfizer.
"Mother's little helper" as the Rolling Stones referred to (I think it was) Valium sure isn't Mother Nature. Not that rock stars are of much use as role models, but consider the following: How old is Willie Nelson at this point, and how young were Prince, Whitney, and Michael?
Canada's police services say there is zero chance they will be ready to enforce new laws for legalized pot by next summer.
Every chief of police whose force isn't ready and able to enforce new laws ought to be fired for incompetence. That is literally their job. And it's hard to see how NOT charging people for weed possession requires a ton of preparation. This reeks of BS.
I agree with Anon 2:59. Unless our chiefs and their underlings are complete dullards there's no reason they should be unprepared unless they choose to be. The same principle holds true for the premiers. For them it's a political football not a matter of criminal justice reform. What remains to be seen is whether our government of the day is resolute enough to reject their whinging and stand firm on its deadline.
Hi lagatta...the Great War on Drugs, in North America at least, began as a way to control and oppress racial minorities (African Americans and Asians) and has in the last thirty years evolved to become a way to militarize the police. Drug abuse is a health problem not a police problem, and education not repression is the answer...
Hi anon....Big Pharma is greed personified, and it's flogging of drugs like OxyContin led to the horrifying opioid crisis, which is the most tragic thing I have ever witnessed, a horror story if ever there was one. But I have also witnessed close up the horror of alcohol abuse, and it's bloody consequences. So I find it hard to accept that the same society that promotes the use of alcohol so enthusiastically should spend so much money and effort going after those who use marijuana. It seems like insanity to me...
Hi Steve...Although police have at least in some places toned down their Great War on drugs, thousands of people are still being arrested and charged. And the laws are still a convenient excuse to search people, cars, etc. Once marijuana is legalized, I hope that some way can be found to declare a general amnesty, and erase the criminal records of all Canadians victimized by that reefer madness...
Hi anon....I don't drink and hardly ever smoke marijuana, but harm reduction is my guiding principle. So while I would prefer that people not use any drugs, especially young people, I find the Great War on Marijuana to be infinitely more damaging than the drug itself. Legalizing the drug would also mean that it could be tested for harmful pesticides or moulds, which would make it even safer....
Hi Kathleen...I haven't read the book, but it sounds fascination. A well researched look at " the first and last days of the war on drugs." Maybe we should send copies to Andrew Scheer and his Cons, and all those police officers who still want to continue that insane war on weed...
Hi Political Junkie...that's a good point, it's not as if Canada is pioneering anything, and in my opinion they have had more than enough time to get ready. Also as that Globe article pointed out, it's not as if the streets are suddenly going to be filled with stoned drivers weaving their way aimlessly around. I'm afraid the real problem is that too many senior police officers can't break with the past, and are just trying to use legalization as an excuse to hire more cops...
Hi Filcher... Another good question. The notion that police officers would need nine months to get trained to deal with a drug that has been out there for decades is simply absurd. And you're right, the idea that the most dangerous part of consuming weed is the punishment you might receive, is nothing less than obscene....
Hi Greenthumb.... I'm sorry to hear that you suffer from anxiety, and I can imagine how you feel. The fact that decent people can be made to feel like criminals for buying and consuming a plant is simply outrageous. And not only do you never know what strain you are getting, you don't know what the weed might have been sprayed with. All this nonsense can't end soon enough as far as I am concerned....
Hi lagatta...when I was a teenager I made up a batch of weed brownies, and although I found them a bit too potent for my taste, they were hugely popular with my friends. I would have made more if I hadn't been traumatized after giving some to a friend and his girl friend who were sleeping in the guest house. Only to have them make love and have her, at the climactic moment, let out a howl that could have been heard a mile away, and had my parents wondering whether somebody had been murdered. So you have been warned... ;)
Hi anon....I suppose we should worry about the reaction of Trump and his Klan dwarf Sessions. But now that weed has been legalized in some parts of the U.S. it will be harder for that depraved duo to be TOO outraged. As for going after Justin it's easier said than done. The Harper Cons spent almost a billion dollars attacking him in all kinds of disgusting ways, only to discover that because of his sunny personality, the more they attacked him the more popular he became, and the less popular they became. I've never seen anything like it, and I'm not claiming that Justin is a blessed saint. Or that one should agree with everything he does. But it seems that when dealing with Cons, decency is a mighty weapon....
Hi anon...I completely agree with you, I think those police chiefs must think we are fools, and it does reek of BS. As you point out, if it takes them so much time to prepare for NOT charging people for weed possession, how much time would it take them to prepare for a real threat? With that kind of Keystone cop clown behaviour, how can anyone be safe?
Hi Mound....yes it is all political games. The premiers want to be able to blame the federal government if something goes wrong, and the police want to keep their useful tool, and use legalization to swell their ranks. As for the federal government we'll have to see whether they will be able to stand up to both e premiers and the police. My guess is they will, since there are political points to be made by standing up to the naysayers, especially with the young. And although I'm no fan of Bill Blair, when the police are grumbling it's useful to have him around....
"A note left in Justin Trudeau’s Ottawa home during a break-in Saturday morning was placed on top of an arrangement of large knives, according to a source close to the Liberal Party leader." the Star in 2014. Yes, it was said a drunken individual was involved, and security was reviewed, but what better way to send a message to comply than a home invasion? That Trudeau is still pushing ahead with some policies that are not popular with the US and other individuals, does not mean he was not intimidated by the incident. I really wish that Canada would treat addiction as the disease it is rather than as a criminal act.
Legalizing with ultimately reduce use, this is what dumb cons don't get.
Strange how the cops never complained about enforcing new laws that hadn't even been officially passed when those laws gave them an opportunity to illegally detain thousands at the G20 in T.O.
Too funny ... so special brownies were at the root of the make love not war movement.
Well said, Noddy!
I am against capital punishment but those Purdue Pharma execs should face something besides a half billion dollar fine.
I don't drink nor smoke anymore.
But I find that half a marijuana toffee, from the black market, locally sourced, sets me up for the day after I have rowed across Kircudbright Bay, in my mind on my rowing machine.
Incredible that edibles have been left out of the legislation.
The result of having Bill Blair instead of Marc Emery on the committee.
Baby won't you light my fire!
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