Cornwall Ontario – Marc Emery has led an interesting crusade in the name of making Marijuana legal and accessible to Canadians.
He, his wife Jodie, and his supporters, along with others in the mostly BC led industry deserve thanks from all Canadians who think it’s insane for marijuana to be prohibited while tobacco and alcohol can be purchased in grocery stores.
They’ve paid the price too, but the escalating push and shove has led to brutal treatment of the couple by police recently when they were arrested in Toronto. Both were strip searched. This writer can only imagine the purpose of such a search was to intimidate and punish the couple. This is not how we should be doing things in Canada.
Likewise the couple are now prevented from running not only their dispensaries, but from publishing their magazine, and running their marijuana related business. When did Russia or China take over policing and our justice system in Canada? That seems overly punitive to this writer and to most reasonable persons. These are not bikers or violent criminals. This is not organized crime. These are people that have been in the light and operating in the open fighting for a cause they believe in of which the Prime Minister and his government actually appear to agree on in principal. Surely there are more civilized ways to resolve this mess?
It seems apparent that the Emery’s have ruffled the feathers of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, from even before he became PM.
Here is a the last time I was given access to Mr. Trudeau. I have not been given any access since asking about Mr. Emery while he was incarcerated in the US which I believe should never have happened and was a sovereignty issue which Mr. Trudeau essentially stayed silent on; which is odd for a politician campaigning and asking for the pro marijuana community’s support.
At the crux of the issue is of course, as always, money. The marijuana industry is huge. In BC it may be one of the largest industries in the province. It will be a major election issue, but it’s handling so far has reeked of political back room cashola deals from Liberal bag man Chuck Rifici’s role with Tweed to essentially forcing medical marijuana users to purchase from licensed distributors; some of whom have been caught selling tainted product.
Canadians have been smoking marijuana for an awfully long time. Most would never think of arsenic dangers from product purchased via government license.
At root is the battle of the big licensed distribs, and entities like Shoppers Drugmart and Loblaws who want to sell marijuana once it’s legal recreationally, and people like the Emery’s and others, who’ve been leading the charge since about day one.
Opening street dispensaries PRIOR to legalization is of course breaking the law. So is Jay Walking. So is travelling 101 kph on Highway 401, but rarely are lawbreakers of that nature prosecuted.
By spending tax dollars to shut down dispensaries, especially in the manner being done, simply will clog up our courts with cases that at the end of the day most likely will not result in convictions. How does a judge punish someone for something that the Prime Minister and his government have clearly indicated would be legal in 2017?
It’s also a lost opportunity for police to be able to study the impact of street dispensaries impact on local crime leading up to legalization.
While some push and shove is still needed to make sure that the Trudeau government keeps at least this one promise he made during the campaign; surely who can access and sell marijuana should be treated in a similar manner to beer and wine? Canadians can legally brew their own alcohol. Likewise stores sell kits and even will assist you to brew without fear of police smashing down their doors and seizing their goods.
In Ontario you can purchase your Guinness cans at a grocery store or beer store. You can brew your own suds. You can order it online. You essentially have an open marketplace. Why not for Marijuana other than a lot of cash given by the licensed distributors, and the tax stream that is more easily monitored via them. You can’t blame them for wanting to maximize the return on their investment, but at the end of the day if you make marijuana expensive, as most of the LD’s do, people will purchase higher quality product in many cases, for less, from their black market dealers.
It’s a challenge that may actually see the Trudeau government defeated in the next election because the Marijuana movement and especially the blocks of voters in BC, and other nuggets of Canada don’t want to feel boondoggled.
Mr. Trudeau should be sending out clear signals that his promise will be kept or not. Marijuana should be as NDP leader Thomas Mulcair has suggested, decriminalized. There are communities in Canada that have given street dispensaries licenses or where police don’t go breaking down doors.
There are police chiefs that have stated there are bigger things they should be using their limited resources on.
While the Emery’s have crossed lines and seem to want to grab the biggest headlines and attention in their fight for not only legalization, but for Canadians to be able to truly enjoy the benefits economically of working in the Marijuana industry they clearly are now paying the price for it, as are others who have opened up street dispensaries. Clearly the police and politicians like our PM seem to have bit the bait, at least mostly in Liberal bastions like Ontario and Quebec.
Now it’s about following the smoke and seeing where it leads….
What do you think dear CFN viewer? You can post your comments below.
Please click the donate button below to support this newspaper.