This Canadian election campaign is boring. There are so many important issues that will affect our Future world that are not being discussed by the Leaders as though they have tunnel vision.
Does Canada have any legitimate business engaging in a civil war in Libya? Libya is no threat to the peace, good order and stability of Canada and we are engaged in a war half way around the world. The Conservative government just jumped into it without consulting Parliament or Canadians, incurring a new great cost while we are already in deficit spending. No one is talking about it as though Canadians live in some alternate Universe.
For the Watchers and Seers, I found it so strange there were no masses of people, peaceful and non violent, parading through the cities of Libya when the Arab Spring started in Tunisia, spreading to Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and finally Syria.
Masses of ordinary, peaceful people marching together, unarmed, to protest their Dictators which we have learned were mostly uncritically, quietly, supported in power by the US and the West.
There were no such marches by the Libyan people. As all the American friendly Dictatorships began to fall like dominoes, the only country with oil was not seeing that kind of protest but Libya was not in America’s back pocket.
The 1st news we heard was of an armed insurrection in Libya. The rebels in Libya would not have succeeded without the North Atlantic Terrorist Organization exceeding the UN Mandate and leading the war doing most of the damage by terrorizing the civilians by their relentless bombing campaign. This was not a Civil war despite what our Corporate media tells us. This was the US and Europe seeking the spoils of war. It was not noble, but a takeover of Libya’s resources.
It also distracted news from the masses of unarmed, peaceful people protesting the American supported Dictatorships in Bahrain and Yemen who are being shot and killed by their governments.
Syria presents a different problem for the West and Israel. They prefer Assad the devil they know to the devil they don’t know.
Tripoli looks like it was a beautiful city before it was destroyed by Nato. In viewing it, I have to wonder if Gadafi was so despised by Libyans as the Western media uses the worst adjectives repetitively to describe him? I was disappointed the news media did not make CanaDa’s participation in the plundering of Libya an issue. Only the media has the power to do create issues in the Public Mind.
I doubt the President of The US or Harper would have as much confidence in their own citizens to drive through the streets like that.
Does CanaDa really need to spend $30 billion on a sole sourced, un-tendered contract to buy American jet fighter for the Future that only serves to lower the unit cost for the Americans? If war planning stretches so far into the Future, such high tech weapons of mass destruction to be used in a Future war will be useless. By that time, it will be nuclear missiles, and F-35 fighters will not save us.
Fourteen years ago, The Ottawa Citizen published 4 Editorials on 4 consecutive days calling for the legalization of Marijuana. Since then, the Chamber of Sober Second Thought, the Senate of CanaDa, did an exhaustive study of the issue and recommended it’s legalization.
The conclusion of the Senate Report: The Le Dain Commission concluded that the criminalization of cannabis had no scientific basis. Thirty years later, we can confirm this conclusion and add that continued criminalization of cannabis remains unjustified based on scientific data on the danger it poses.
The government shelved the report, and instead, increased the criminal penalties for possession, including mandatory prison time, and is planning to spend $billions on new prisons.
The $trillion dollar War on Drugs has been waged for 40 years now, and still, the only people profiting off it are the dealers, the Lawyers, the Police, Courts and Prisons. The Canadian taxpayer looses. Don’t forget, it’s mostly Lawyers who write the Laws, and defending drug dealers is a lucrative business, a steady and reliable source of income they would not want to loose. The Police do not want their budgets cut in fighting that 40 year war.
Woe unto you, lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge: you entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in you hindered.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
We live in a time when every medical chemical compound created by men has the blessing of the Law even with side effects that may be worse than the disease, but a natural plant God created is made illegal by men which is so illogical.
When the Ottawa Citizen published those Editorials, I called the Editor to commend him for having the courage to tackle such a controversial subject. He suggested I submit an article for payment on the Op-Ed page.
When I submitted the following article, and calling the Editor to know the status, he said to me, “I guess now we’re going to have to shit or get off the pot.” They did not publish it. That Editor left the Ottawa Citizen in 1997 and has moved on. We still exchange the occasional email.
It was published as a Letter To The Editor with the heart and guts edited out so that no reader would have a clear perspective or understanding of the issue.
June 16, 1997 A.D.
Cannabis, Culture & Cost
Ray Joseph Cormier
The Ottawa Citizen is to be commended for taking a leading role in attempting to stimulate a public debate on the legalization of cannabis. This voice, added to those of Police Chief Brian Ford, and the head of Interpol, who have called for decriminalization of cannabis, could be the catalyst for a True Common Sense Revolution.
While cannabis has been around for thousands of years, knowledge of it was not in the public domain until the sixties. No one I knew did it, or talked about it until the mass media reported on the new phenomenon called marijuana, spreading through California like wild fire.
I read with horror, the media reporting that anyone who smoked just one marijuana cigarette, would suddenly snap, go blind, commit suicide, rape, plunder and kill. I certainly didn’t want to live in that kind of society. I thought, ‘That’s terrible! The police have to stop that from spreading. Why would people do that?’. In the cold war mentality of those times, I was naive, and believed our media always told the Truth.
One night, a trusted friend told me he had some marijuana. He told me he was smoking it for six months, but was afraid to tell me, knowing I was so against it. Convincing me my fears were based on falsehoods, I tried it. Nothing happened! A month later, my friend had some hash. That time, I experienced what “getting high” meant – to me.
Everyone has heard the expressions, “getting high” or “stoned.” It is as difficult to convey an exact, universal understanding of those words as an experience, as it would be to say GOD, and everyone know in common. There are variables. Generally, cannabis or resin has mildly euphoric and tranquilizing effects simultaneously. Abstract concepts can be expressed verbally, with deeper insights. Fundamentally, cannabis and it’s resin is a social experience. Between users, thoughts, emotions, and words work more efficiently together in communion. Total strangers will take the time to share their lives with the offer of a joint, as in people joining together.
Montreal at that time was vibrant with Expo ‘67. Bohemians had disappeared, and beatniks were fading. The hippies had arrived. Peace, Love, brotherhood-sisterhood, sharing, caring and doing good with one another was the currency with the advent of cannabis. This, in my mind, was a positive change in society. The consensus was the government would have to legalize this beautiful, natural plant. That generation, the parents of today, were going to change the system.
In it’s series of editorials, The Citizen points out the gangsters selling alcohol during prohibition became rich, powerful and violent because the Law made it possible. When prohibition was repealed, the gangsters took their money, and invested in legitimate business. The gangster mentality is profit before people. With funding cuts to health care, education, and other services both cannabis users and non users need, the people should question the rationale for drug laws. How did the hope and promise of a kinder, gentler society degenerate into a leaner, meaner society? Why is a different standard applied to cannabis, than for alcohol and cigarettes?
Organized groups may import by the ton, but once landed, individual entrepreneurs handle retail distribution. These small time dealers are usually the people caught and sent to prison. Media reports reveal that top level dealers have the money to bribe police and other government officials in source countries.
In 1972, I was at the Frank Zappa concert when I met a friend in the crowd. I could not find cannabis or hash for some time, and I inquired if my friend could help me? He reached into his pocket for a 5 gram piece of hash, and broke off half a gram. “Enjoy this,” he said, handing me the piece as a gift. Plainclothes police were working the crowd, and arrested us. Being my 1st offence, I received a six month peace bond. He was sentenced to six months in prison for trafficking. The taxpayer paid $18,000 to keep him there.
The Citizen reported on my last conviction for simple possession of cannabis resin on February 13, 1988. I was sentenced to 90 days in prison. That cost the taxpayer $9,000. The five policemen who came to court to testify on their day off, shared $1200 in time and a half overtime pay. Policemen always go to court on their scheduled day off. The cannabis Law financially benefits only the dealers, the lawyers and the police. The taxpayer loses.
Alcohol and tobacco can kill people. The government is happy to get the tax revenue. Repealing the cannabis laws will greatly reduce government expenditures in police, court and prison costs, and greatly increase government revenue so that hospitals can be kept open, and health care workers and teachers can keep their jobs. Deficit reduction targets and debt repayment will be realized sooner.
By the design of nature, the poorest of third world countries grow the best cannabis. Perhaps it is a crime against nature this unjust law deprives them the income from a cash crop they have in abundance.
We know the Conservative government’s vision and position on the issue. It seems to me if any Opposition Leader had any common sense and wanted to attract new voters to their platform, they would promise to revive the recommendations of the Senate of Canada.