Ottawa Activist Russell Barth Examines Proposed Liberal Marijuana Policy – July 19, 2014

russell-576x800CFN – When ever any party sets out a plan to address any policy, they are, in effect, trying to predict the future and/or influence the outcome. No one can actually know what the future will bring, but if a ball is hit with a bat and it heads towards a house, everyone watching can make pretty good predictions about whether the ball will hit the roof, the lawn, a window, the door, or go over the house entirely. Some predictions will be wrong, but none would be crazy to have made them.

By setting up a plan of “If we do this, then this, then this next thing… well, the result, we hope, will be this.”, we try to predict and control the outcome of future events.
And that is ok. That is how roads and buildings and meals get made.

To be fair, this is just a proposed policy from the Liberal Party, (page 4) but I don’t think it would be wise for any party to follow this plan. Especially in Canada. Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 4.50.02 PM

I understand “the regulation and taxation of its production” to mean corporatizing (extending the mandate of MMPR) and implementing onerous pricing and taxation (as with current MMPR). This will basically turn pot into Tobacco 2.0. This, to me, is a lateral move at best, because Tobacco 1 is failing miserably.

I take “while enacting strict penalties for illegal trafficking” to mean, well, again: much like tobacco is now, only people don’t grow tobacco at home and sell to some friends to spread the cost and/or work around like they currently do with pot. Were anygovernment to follow this agenda, I think it would be a mistake, as this policy promises to fail, just as the Tobacco model is failing now. It would fail to deter kids from using, and fail to deter their suppliers. It does, in fact create an incentive to sell to kids, as it does now with both pot and tobacco. It would still be the “naughty” and therefore “cool” thing to do.

Also, the marijuana laws as they stand now are enforced and prosecuted disproportionately along racial and economic lines (white and/or rich ≠ poor and/or non-white), so one could easily expect the same to happen under this program.

I take “invest significant resources in prevention and education programs designed to promote awareness of the health risks and consequences of marijuana use and dependency, especially amongst youth” to mean all the D.A.R.E.-style “mental illness, gateway drug, worse than tobacco, driving impairment” balderdash that we have heard for decades, none of which is actually true. Some in the Liberal Party are thinking that the “be honest about drugs”-approach coming from Educators For Sensible Drug Policy is the best way to go, and I wholeheartedly agree. But I think the RCMP will fight tooth and nail to keep the government-funded lie-filled hate-crime that is the D.A.R.E. program going. I don’t see the cops giving up their ongoing practice of entering schools to scare, bully, cajole, and lie to grade five students.
And shame on every teacher who has ever allowed their classes’ minds to be thus polluted.

Most kids have internet access, so they can easily find out out about the toddler treating his epilepsy with cannabis oil, the people curing their incurable mega-cancers with the cannabis oilvaping pens that take cannabis concentrates and that are easy to conceal,driving studies that show pot users drive slower and more cautiously, how teens who use pot actually do better than those who don’t, and all the rest. Being lied to also tends to not only stir mistrust and resentment towards parents, police, teachers, the government, and society itself for allowing such hypocritical nonsense to continue, it entices them to go dothe forbidden thing. Is that really what Canadian parents want?

I take “extend amnesty to all Canadians previously convicted of simple and minimal marijuana possession, and ensure the elimination of all criminal records related thereto” to mean exactly what it says, and I applaud it. Sadly, if the administration of the MMAR under the previous Liberal governments is any indication, that will mean a long wait for alot of people. The police will also do a lot of huffing about this as well, insisting that Stoner Joe is going to do terrible things if he doesn’t stay in that damp cage for that extra year or two.

One assumes that “work with governments of Canada on a coordinated regulatory approach to marijuana” means handing a lot of this responsibility over to the provinces. This I also applaud, because the provinces are constitutionally-mandated to handle all medical issues. The problem with this approach is that some provincial governments have different views on how to allow people to utilize their Charter Rights. Ontario has one third of the country’s population, so how will their polices differ from the more culturally-backwater provinces like Saskatchewan or P.E.I.?

But I feel that the “which maintains significant federal responsibility for marijuana control while respecting provincial health jurisdiction and particular regional concerns and practices” part is very disconcerting. This, to me, is evidence that the Liberal Party want to keep Marijuana on the Controlled Drugs And Substances Act so that the RCMP still have national jurisdiction over people’s bodies and actions. This essentially ignores a number of court rulings, and one can easily predict that this policy, if implemented, would face immediate, lengthly, and costly Constitutional Challenges.

To me, this policy attempts to pander to both the adult marijuana enthusiasts who would like a toke after work, and the wine-infused soccer moms who are fed up with Junior coming home all red-eyed and giggling after school. It also keeps cops happy.

But I expect (… “predict”…) that it will fail to accomplish it’s proposed goals, in that teens will still have just as much access to pot as they do now, they will still resent the idea that what is ok for one person is not ok for another, and they will still be encouraged to seek “forbidden” pleasures.

More importantly, the police will still have the right to randomly detain and search people based on the flimsiest of “probable causes”, and likely be given more powers of intrusion and coercion with drivers. This, to me, is of questionable constitutionality and is certainly not based on the latest science.

We have already seen one incident where an MMPR-licensed patient was detained andcharged with marijuana possession at Canada’s Wonderland, so we can easily expect the police to voice confusion over who and which pot is “legal” or not, just as even the patients themselves currently are.

If this policy – a policy that some in the legalization community and media are calling a “step in the right direction” – were to be implemented, the police could easily come forward a year or two later and insist that it is an abject failure, citing the legal status for adults and all this medical use is actually making pot more attractive for kids. They’ll likely assert that the contraband market is flourishing, that both contraband and the “legal” marijuana are finding it’s way to the kids (just as kids pilfer booze and smokes and pills from dozy parents today), and how it is wreaking havoc on Canadians roadways. They won’t offer much proof, of course. They never do, nor do the media or legislators ever press them to. They will just do like they have been doing for over 80 years: dismissing science, making assertions with no proof, bald-faced lying, and demanding even more money, men, toys, and powers. They will finish it off with a dire insistence that this whole thing was a failure and that we need to go back to full-on prohibition like the good old days.

The Liberal Party is trying to “predict” or at least influence the outcome of future events by proposing this policy. There is no shame in that, and I won’t scold them for attempting. So I should feel no shame or receive no scolding for “predicting” how I think it would fail.

My proposed plan of treating marijuana like chocolate and using education to deter and modulate teen marijuana use would, I think, do more to get the parents and teachers whatthey want and what they say is needed. I have been told by some that my idea is crazy, too radical, that “it is never going to happen, Russell”. But keep in mind that that is what mostpeople said about all this progress we see in Colorado, Washington,  and many other US States, for decades; that is was “never going to happen”.

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  1. The prophet of pot is high on something again. He writes “-style “mental illness, gateway drug, worse than tobacco, driving impairment” balderdash that we have heard for decades, none of which is actually true”. What a lie right out of hell. Plenty of sound scientific data to prove his stonner that he is wrong, wrong, wrong!

  2. Alcohol and tobacco are legal and how many people today drink. Go to LCBO or the Beer Store and watch the sales. The same with tobacco you can put all the disgusting pictures on the pack and still people will continue to smoke. Those are the sin taxes that the government collects. Now they want prostitution to be legal and there is another sin tax. Now with going towards legal same sex marriage another sin tax most likely. The entire fiasco just never ends. People drive drunk and under the influence of hashish or marijuana as well. What a horrible society to live under. I said before that I hope that the Good Lord doesn’t have me back to live in this kind of world if He comes back nor do I want my family in this world either. It is all written in the Bible that times will get a great deal worse than what they are now and as it they are horrible. This sure isn’t the world that I want to live in at all.

  3. @ Mr. Newton. A lie right out of hell? There’s scientific data to support that claim?

  4. The father of all lies – John 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it”.

    So anyone telling a lie, like what the prophet of pot wrote – “…none of which is actually true” about the dangers and addiction of pot, is imitating the father of lies – a lie right out of the hell!

    And all liars will be spent eternity in hell with the father of lies – Rev 21:8 “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death”.

  5. Wasn’t the first lie told by a talking snake about five thousand years ago when there were only two people inhabiting the planet?

  6. “the devil can quote scripture…” Anyway, Portugal decriminalized ALL DRUGS over a decade ago. There was no increase in use. There was more voluntary participation in rehab programs. They saved millions of dollars in court and incarceration costs which they were able to re purpose for enhanced social programming.
    There is no scientific evidence to support the “gateway” theory.The USA has spent over one trillion dollars on the War On Drugs. They also are #1 for the most incarcerated citizens per capita. Let’s not do that.Lastly, cannabis oil cures cancer.Google “run from the cure” or “rick simpson” and learn.

  7. Furtz the devil was represented by the talking snake and it was real. People all have the devil in them but lack God in their hearts. What has been told in the Bible is that people will have cold hearts and this is what is happening today. Lovers of themselves, on drugs and booze to hide their feelings and to cause hurt to themselves and to others. Pastor Newton is right indeed.

  8. You believe in talking snakes and you accuse others of being on drugs? The bible is a 100% man-made creation.

  9. I went to school at Ecole Secondaire St Laurent with a guy who was on hashish every single day and he was always asleep in class that is how out of it he was. I would hate to see him today because his brains would be literally fried. In those days they were fried and he never knew where he was from day to day. I remember our history teacher who was chuckling looking at him and the teacher lives in Ottawa and I ran into him with my husband one evening here in Ottawa and we spoke about those days. Anybody who takes any kind of drug is a cop out and a killer on the road and anywhere else. We know one man personally who lost control of his vehicle while under the influence of hashish and today he is dead and died of lung cancer as well as with regular cigarettes and alcohol. The life he led was enough to kill anyone ten times over.

  10. We’ve had about two thousand years of history that shows us that religion causes way more brain damage than moderate pot smoking. In fact, there is living proof of that fact in some of the comments in this thread.

  11. The study you quote states “may” which you then twisted into a certainty. Does “thou shalt not bear false witness” ring a church bell? Cannabis has been shown in studies to have positive effects for Altzheimers’ sufferers.

    Dr Carl Hart Congressional Testimony 6 20 2014
    Historic Congressional testimony by Columbia Professor and Neuroscientist, Dr. Carl Hart, about his research on the psychopharmacological effects of marijuan…

    Watch it and learn. Or don’t.

  12. Pot smokers like an alcoholic is always in denial and you can’t talk reason to someone who doesn’t want to talk reason. They are a sick bunch who will not listen and no wonder the society is finished today.

  13. @ Jules. I’ll go out on a limb here. I’m in my late sixties, been retired for about six years, worked hard all my life, and helped raise some wonderful kids. Never been arrested or charged for any crime, and I have a clear conscience. I’ve also been an occasional moderate smoker of pot for almost fifty years. You have a lot of nerve telling me that I am in denial, or that I am part of a “sick bunch”.
    Question for you. What is it about religion that makes people like you and Newton so intolerant and hateful towards people who don’t fit into your mold?

  14. “who don’t fit into your mold?” writes Furtz – you forget it is God’s mold!! Like or not – Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost”. Luke 5:32 “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance”.

  15. For some reason, that imaginary god that rattles around in Newton’s mind doesn’t figure large in my life.

  16. Pastor Tom is a troll, actually. He is not really anti-pot or anti-me, he is like Ann Coulter or Stephen Colbert – doing a character.

  17. The great prophet of pot emerges from the abyss of smoke and ash – pot smoke and ash that is, and speaks. Oh great oracle of highness – such words of dopiness! We wait with bated breath, for the next utterance.

    Ps. I am totally anti-pot, for sure!

  18. Author

    Just a note to everyone to please discuss or debate the issue and not just attack each other. Thanks

  19. Too bad that issues like this always seem to get highjacked by religious nonsense. The fact is that weed has been around for thousands of years and will be with us for thousands more. Let’s hope that our next federal government will deal with it in a sane manner, unlike our current government’s moralistic BS.

  20. Stephen Henry you mentioned Portugal and what has happened there in the last ten years is rather interesting and telling. The change in their focus of marihuana from a criminal act to a health concern has changed the thinking of the younger upcoming generation. Rather than pot being cool it is now considered that you must have mental issues if you smoke pot. So amongst the young pot is not cool at all and so I would suggest that prohibition and war is not the route but rather as Portugal has done change the perspective. We would do well to make pot a health issue and not a crime here in Canada. That is my opinion.

  21. Pot is a health issue and I have seen people go downhill with this stuff. Good for the people of Portugal to make the young people see for what it is. If people were health conscious then you watch what goes into your bodies and how it is made. This matter isn’t only about what God says in the Bible and what Pastor and myself believe in but I have seen many people go down over drugs and alcohol. Both of these substances only deaden the brain cells but do nothing good for you. Drugs are a cop out.

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