Friday, March 04, 2005

Demon Weed - Malevolent Monopoly

Across Canada the media is pontificating about the tragic deaths of four RCMP officers at a marijuana grow-op in Alberta. As I ate breakfast this morning some high level police official on the state run radio took the opportunity to tell all of Canada that this is an example of how marijuana is destroying our society and should not be legalized. He then stated that now is a time for mourning and not for politics. I love that. "Here is my argument in full but lets not here any dissenting arguments right now, it wouldn't be appropriate."

Now the fact that Sheriff Sophistry feels no shame in using his position to exploit the deaths of four brave officers who in all fairness may have supported his position is not what gauls me. What really gauls me is the "solution" that the government has had in mind for this for sometime. Legalize or decriminalize you say? Nope, that would require intelligence. What they are going to do is increase the penalty for growing and trafficking while making simple possession punishable by a fine that would not result in a criminal record. People hear the last part and think it is decriminalization. What the results of this will be is to discourage the few mom and pop grow-ops and transfer the money that would have been going to them to the organized crime operations that are run by people willing to risk hard time in exchange for high returns. It will also make these more psychopathic growers more ready to shoot their way out rather than go peacefully and lose fourteen years of their life. It is a solution only a government could come up with.

As this "fix nothing but find a compromise" bill makes its way through the parliamentary plumbing system it is at least stimulating some debate - most of it ill informed. I have heard a lot of arguments recently against marijuana in the last few days and they all can be countered by glaringly obvious challenges. The funniest I have heard is that kids who smoke pot all night can't perform well in school. Um... are the kids that drink beer all night on the honor roll? In fact two retorts can address virtually all societal problems caused by marijuana:

1) The same can be said about alcohol.

2) We would not have that problem if we did not grant a market monopoly to organized crime.

A more eloquent argument against prohibition is written by Martin O'Malley it has the odd quality of calling for the army to help tackle grow-ops, then giving an argument against prohibition. The Army suggestion seems to be a teaser to get conservatives to read the article.

Recently the Public Safety Minister and former Justice Minister, Anne McLellan was quoted as saying:

"The one thing that police will tell you is that illegal grow ops exist community by community and sometimes street by street,"

Great! Send the army house to house. This brings me to the best reason for calling for peace in the drug war. It is driving people insane. Politicians in democratic countries are criminalizing even speaking in favor of ending prohibition. In some cases banning simple factual information about the effects of drugs. Police and anti-drug groups have started believing that lying to kids will make them trust you (Does anyone think that kids are stupid enough to believe cops when they say marijuana is as addictive as heroine? Is the Gateway/slippery slope fallacy taken seriously by anyone anymore?). More and more often police are seeking powers and exemption from regulation to deal with drugs that were considered the quality of third world police states not so long ago.

So in closing, I ask this question: If not doing pot is so good for your brain, why are those opposed to marijuana so irrational? Why are those against prohibition so rational?


At Fri. Mar. 04, 09:33:00 p.m. 2005, Anonymous Robert said...

I don't get it...the Canadian government opposes the war in Iraq, but vigorously promotes the war on weed?!

At least the USA is consistent, at least in this case. That said, "our" war on drugs kills far more individuals than do "drugs".

At Sat. Mar. 05, 02:08:00 a.m. 2005, Blogger Brad Warbiany said...

I can at least say that when the prohibitionists decided they needed to abolish alcohol, they at least understood it would require a constitutional amendment. Where is the amendment here in the USA making weed illegal?

At Sat. Mar. 05, 02:47:00 a.m. 2005, Blogger Apesnake said...

Brad - They used one of those messy hard to read amendments. They are all listed with roman numerals so no one can really tell which is which.

Robert - Actually, Canada never bothered to oppose the war (except for the protesters and no one listens to them anyway). What Canada did is to decide not to officially support or join the war. The ruling party thought that that would be a good compromise between those in favor and those against.

Unfortunately no one else saw it like that and now we have gone down in the history books as having opposed the war. Let this be a lesson to Canadians - Compromises never work. Except maybe where hash is concerned.


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