So I’ve changed my mind about Marijuana – Editorial by Jamie Gilcig – July 5, 2011 – Cornwall Ontario

Cornwall ON –   In life you sometimes have to review your position on issues.  You have to take a step back and sometimes leave your ego at the door and be open to arguments and discussions.

As some of you know for a period I was the Green candidate for this riding and one of the reasons I accepted the request to be the candidate was my position on Marijuana.   I felt that it should be legalized.

I felt that it was insane to spend as much as we do criminalizing it, and that it was costing taxpayers far too much for a substance that like Alcohol in the US during prohibition, you really couldn’t stop people from using.

But I’m a child of the 60’s and 70’s.    The ganja of then isn’t today’s ganja.    I still feel that pot should be legalized, but to protect us just as much as to stop wasting tax dollars and police and legal resources.

Today’s dope is much more potent than the fun stuff of my youth.    It’s not a gentle buzz anymore.  It can be a debilitating wonk to the psyche that can anesthetize a generation.      The music; the art; the thinking that people took drugs to elevate themselves to isn’t the same as today’s drugs.   It seems that since Crack in the Eighties drugs have elevated their game.  We have Oxycontin destroying lives or Hillbilly Heroin as it’s called; we have crack, we have far more sinister drugs today that enslave and harm users rather than give them a surburban high.  It’s more BANG than buzz.     If George Carlin were alive today I truly wonder what he’d say about today’s weed?     It’s like those people that think Chili is good only if the heat is up to 11; but that’s not what it’s about in the end.  It’s about tasting it all; feeling it all; hitting higher notes than you normally could.

And that’s not there like it used to be.    We need to protect people.  When you purchase alcohol it generally tells you the percentage on the container.  We need people to know what they are consuming and its relative safety.

If for no other reason than we all pay the price in society when we don’t take care to make sure what people consume is relatively safe.

Pot needs to be controlled and it’s potency and quality labelled  just like any other substance.

Jamie Gilcig – Editor – The Cornwall Free News

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  1. On July 1st in front of the Vancouver art gallery 6,000 people were using marijuana to celebrate Canada Day. There were no fights, no arrests and no violence. What happens when alcohol is around? Alcohol should clearly be banned just on the basis of body bags. That’s obvious. The laws against marijuana have no basis other than to lock up political dissidents, natives and blacks. It’s only Uncle Toms and the ignorant that defend the law. Putting innocent people in jail for innocent behaviour will lead to upping the ante. I guess everyone just wants a fight.

  2. Great article Jamie and so true! Todays pot is not the pot we knew way back when. Guess I’ll have to join the Uncle Tom’s and the ignorant.

  3. I am not a pot user, despite my long hair. (It’s amazing how many people approach me asking if I can sell them some weed) I do know a couple of pot-smokers, and I will share my observations about their use of the substance. One of them buys as much pot as he can afford, and smokes pretty much ALL of it as soon as he has it, and often before his long shift at work. He has a rather mundane job in manufacturing. The other buys relatively little and smokes the tiniest amount at a time, just to ‘take the edge off’ of the stress of life. Both are leading productive lives and are intelligent people.

    I also know of a disabled woman in BC who annually assists the bikers with their marijuana harvest. One year, a large sum of cash went missing, and she was literally afraid for her life, until the mistake was caught and the situation resolved.

    In all of these cases, a controlled source of legal marijuana would provide a standard of potency and quality. I have never heard of anyone getting sick or becoming ill from put use or even pot mis-use. How many productive citizens have a chemical addiction to caffeine and MUST get their Tim fix each morning? Marijuana isn’t even addictive, yet is currently still illegal.

    My only concern is with our government getting their hands into our pockets. Take the price of alcohol here in Canada compared to across the USA border. Even Canadian made alcohol is much cheaper there, because our government is tacking on so much in additional taxes. If marijuana became available as an over-the-counter pharmaceutical product, or at the LCBO, I’m quite sure the price would be much higher than the ‘street price’, once the government added their exorbitant taxes to the actual value of the substance. If the USA follows, it could lead to cross-border smuggling the way cigarettes are smuggled today.

    I can understand a tax on cigarettes or alcohol if it is reasonable, as it helps to offset some of the cost of illness and death that these legal substances cause. But marijuana is not harmful, and I don’t think that legalization will cause a nation of smoke-blowing zombies, just as selling liquor at the corner store has not make Quebec a province of drunks.

    So yes, I feel that this non-addictive, and non-harmful herb should be legalized and made available at a reasonable price, with some levels of quality control in place, as we have in the food industry. I don’t believe it will create more pot-smokers, other than a few who always wanted to try it. Once the novelty wears off, we’ll have the same number of people using marijuana, only it will be of a more controlled quality level and the elements of crime will have been removed from the equation.

  4. Dear Uncle Tom,
    You hope I go to jail. I hope you go broke. You won’t see me again.

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