MARIJUANA – AN ISSUE FOR THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN

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.

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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.

CANNABIS :
OUR POSITION FOR A CANADIAN PUBLIC POLICY

REPORT OF THE SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ILLEGAL DRUGS

VOLUME III : PART IV and CONCLUSIONS

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.

Luke 11

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.

Genesis 1

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
by
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.

Can Marijuana Be Legal For Religious Purposes?

11 thoughts on “MARIJUANA – AN ISSUE FOR THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN

  1. Ray–the largest drug operations on the planet are carried out by the US and israel.
    Why do you think we are in Afghanistan? Not just a pipeline from the Caspian Sea but because the Taliban shut down 95% of the opium poppy crop and this could not be allowed. That drug crop is again flourishing because we have allowed it to happen with our protection. The love of money is the root of all evil and those are the ‘people’ that call the shots.
    Canabis is not nearly as deadly in the government product known as alcohol–but the governments reap billions fro the sale of this and the corporations make mega bucks on our backs. Remember when the Bronfmans were allowed to leave Canada with millions of dollars with no tax charged?
    Until governments can figure a way to make copious amounts of money from Canabis it will not be legalized.
    as long as the taxpayer is held hostage to pay for all incidents they are happy.

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  2. [3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
    [10] He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
    [11] He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
    John 1

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  3. I watch the occasional Canadian election campaign photo op and have always wondered if those pasty faces and glassy eyes were from late nights of strenuous work, or the effects of mind altering substances and undisclosed after camera activities. Because of the lack of substance in their comments, I suspect the latter. They have already derailed everything they boast about. History supports my suspicions

    Forgetting God
    Why decadence drives out discipline.
    By Philip Yancey | posted 9/01/2004 12:00AM
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/september/21.104.html

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    • Weldon, that’s a great link. Very profound and accurate.

      As for the piece we are commenting on, I can’t disagree with anything written. As a parent I won’t say anything good about pot as it does lead to some wasteful behavior if used frequently. But frankly the war on drugs (at least where pot is concerned) has done much worse damage to many more lives than a little wacky tobbacky ever did.

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  4. Well I’ll give an American POV on your article since that’s my perspective. First off, I have always felt that labeling the tea-party crowd as populist is misleading – perhaps intentionally so by those doing the labeling in the media. The people saying that don’t seem to be aware of the history of populism.

    I grew up understanding that word in terms of the older midwestern experience of banding together to prevent foreclosures, abuse of little people by banks, railroads, big corporations, etc. The tea-party crowd shares none of this, except maybe a professed aversion to Wall Street (an aversion that is meaningless since the tea partiers oppose government regulation which is the only way to reign them in). To my mind these “faux-populists have just swallowed the ideology that the corporations have put in their kool-aide… ideology that serves corporate interests, not those of any of the “little people.” And of course there is some racism in the tea party, though there was some of that in southern populism, alas.

    I don’t really credit the article too much since it’s by Charles Colson… an apologist for the far right and no friend of government anyway, unless it’s government by those who confess Jesus a little to publicly. Frankly, I think Bush II showed that the certainties of religion can be dangerous in political leaders.

    My own view is that the problems with government don’t have to do with the institutions themselves, but the influence of money on those within the institutions. If you imposed limits to campaign contributions the voice of the little guy wouldn’t be drowned out by GE, the Koch bros, etc. Alas that doesn’t seem likely given recent Supreme Court rulings.

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    • jj
      Good observations on populism and the influence of money
      You also wrote
      ” Frankly, I think Bush II showed that the certainties of religion can be dangerous in political leaders.”
      …nothing to do with hypocrisy and arrogance?
      Jesus does put forth very high standards in ethics and is poorly represented by some of our “elected” representatives blinded by greed

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  5. Gotta say, what little I’ve heard about the goings on in Canada are heartening. We hear that Canadians are throwing the current govt back into elections because all the rhetoric of balancing the budget isn’t matched by honest actions. Maybe I’ll read whether that’s a correct perception or not here…

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  6. Former world leaders: War on drugs has failed
    By Agence France-Presse
    Wednesday, June 1st, 2011 — 9:58 pm

    NEW YORK – A group of prominent former world leaders said Wednesday the so-called war on drugs has “failed” and that decriminalizing marijuana may help curb drug-related violence and social ills.

    “The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world,” the members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy say in a report.

    “Fifty years after the initiation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and 40 years after President (Richard) Nixon launched the US government’s war on drugs, fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed.”

    And saying that restrictions on marijuana should be loosened, the report urged governments to “end the criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but who do no harm to others.”

    The commission includes former Brazilian president Fernando Cardoso, former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria, Mexico’s former president Ernesto Zedillo and the ex-UN chief Kofi Annan. It presents its report officially on Thursday in New York.

    The group of prominent statesmen, many from countries on the frontline of the seemingly never-ending war on drugs, said purely punitive measures had in fact led to a situation where “the global scale of illegal drug markets — largely controlled by organized crime — has grown dramatically.”

    “Encourage experimentation by governments with models of legal regulation of drugs (especially cannabis) to undermine the power of organized crime and safeguard the health and security of their citizens,” the report urged.

    “Decriminalization initiatives do not result in significant increases in drug use,” the report said, citing policies in Australia, Holland and Portugal.

    Another priority, the report said, is to work on treatment. “Let’s start by treating drug addiction as a health issue, reducing drug demand through proven educational initiatives and legally regulating rather than criminalizing cannabis,” Cardoso said.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/06/01/former-world-leaders-war-on-drugs-has-failed/

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