We’re used to politicians saying they tried marijuana in their carefree youth. And used to them drastically playing down the amount they smoked – that is, if they actually inhaled at all. But these types of political confessions stopped being news a long time ago.
What’s different about Mr. Trudeau’s divulgence is his acknowledgment he did it just a few years ago, while an MP. And, not insignificantly, while the possession of marijuana was still a criminal offence in this country – and remains so. That is either politically brave or stupid. It is without question refreshingly honest.
It’s doubtful Mr. Trudeau and his advisers would not have considered the potential fallout of his story about sharing a joint with friends at his Montreal home. ( He also said he’s only tried marijuana five or six times in his life, and has never done other hard drugs ). They likely determined that those who might be offended by his revelation were proba. . . . . READ MORE
A recommendation to let police treat simple marijuana possession as a ticketing offence is being opposed by the head of a provincial campaign to decriminalize pot.
Dana Larsen, whose group Sensible BC is set to kick off a petition campaign next month to force a referendum on marijuana policy, says the new resolution from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police is counter-productive.
The chiefs’ association argues the option of writing tickets to punish people caught with less than 30 grams of marijuana would be less costly and time-intensive than sending criminal charges through the courts.
“It’s a bad idea,” Larsen said. “It’s actually going to result in more cannabis users being persecuted.”
He said police in B.C. issue warnings or write reports on 18,000 people a year for use of marijuana without laying charges.
“They would all get tickets under that new system,” Larsen predicted.
He said the proposal could confuse B.C. voters as canvassers prepare to ask them to sign a petition that would press for a referendum on a proposed law blocking u. . . . . READ MORE
Conservatives MPs across Canada are expressing their disdain for Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau after his public admission to smoking marijuana while holding elected office.
Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod added her voice to the chorus on Thursday.
“There are laws in place; if people don’t believe them, there’s a system and a process whereby you change them,” she said. “Mr. Trudeau was very aware of the laws in place. I think as a member of Parliament he shouldn’t be breaking those laws.”
Trudeau laid out his past marijuana use in a lengthy interview and in an exchange with reporters Thursday in which he made no apologies.
He said he’s smoked pot five or six times in his life – including three years ago during a backyard get-together – and never really liked it much.
Now that he’s come clean about using pot, he said, he’d like to move on and talk about the hundreds of thousands of people who have a criminal record for it.
What’s important, Trudeau said, is ending a marijuana prohibition policy that he says costs law enforcement $5. . . . . READ MORE
Trudeau’s confession that he smoked a joint after becoming an MP has put the pot-smoking predilections of politicians – if any – under the microscope.
It now seems every parliamentarian is being asked if they’ve ever fired up a fattie.
For the record, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says he has stayed away from the drug after seeing a U.S. Supreme Court nominee withdraw after it emerged he smoked marijuana in college.
“I came of age politically in the 1980s and I can recall when one of President ( Ronald ) Reagan’s nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court had to withdraw because of his use of that substance, so I took my example from that,” Baird said.
The question also came up at a news conference with Employment Minister Jason Kenney and Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander.
Kenney says he has never smoked a joint – although he did admit to drinking coffee, a jab at the java-averse Trudeau.
“I’ll let Mr. Trudeau’s comments and actions speak for themselves,” he said,. . . . . READ MORE
The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, meeting in Winnipeg this week, wants officers to have the ability to ticket people found with 30 grams of marijuana or less.
Kentville, N.S., police Chief Mark Mander, chair of the association’s drug-abuse committee, said Tuesday officers currently have only two choices: turn a blind eye or lay down the law.
Mander said officers could “either to caution the offender or lay formal charges resulting in [a] lengthy, difficult process, which results in a criminal charge if proven, a criminal conviction, and a criminal record.”
Mander said ticketing the offender would be far less onerous and expensive.
However, federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay said there are no plans in the works to legalize or decriminalize marijuana. Though McKay had no follow up on the chiefs’ recommendation, he said he appreciates their input.
“We don’t support legalization or decriminalization,” Mander said.
“Clearly there are circumstances where a formal charge for simple pos. . . . . READ MORE
On a late July cross-Canada tour, new Liberal leader Justin Trudeau made headlines when he declared the time had come to legalize marijuana. “Listen, marijuana is not a health food supplement; it’s not great for you,” Trudeau told reporters on July 25. “But I did a lot of listening, a lot of reading, and a lot of paying attention to the very serious studies that have come out. And I realize that going the road of legalization is actually a responsible thing to look at and to do.”
The Harper Conservatives quickly attacked, stating in a press release that “drugs are illegal because of the harmful effect they have on users and society. We will continue protecting the interests of families across the country.”
To bolster their “tough on crime” position the Cons quoted several law enforcement officials on the harmful effects of cannabis. Other critics chimed in too. But plenty of people voiced support for Trudeau’s stance. And pundits were divided on the political repercussions of the move.
At first glance, legalization. . . . . READ MORE
In drug-dabbling days of yore, there was one narcotic that I knew from the get-go could be my undoing: heroin.
With the possible exception of sex, there’s no euphoric feeling on Earth so sweet as a smack rush. And while I don’t accept that dipping into any drug for an experimental adventure – not crack, not methamphetamines, not LSD – will automatically predispose an individual toward addiction and a life of ruin, which is what the drug interdiction racket would have you believe, there’s no denying the siren song of heroin nirvana as a seductive compulsion.
Three times and out, I decided. Also, needles are creepy, even when injecting subcutaneously rather than into a vein.
So, no, I don’t necessarily view illicit drugs as an absolute and unequivocal scourge, though I am well aware of the harm caused to chronic partakers and society at large, especially where demand transects with supply – the criminality of trafficking, the inefficacy of gazillions spent on law enforcement.
But of all the substances available from your corner dealer, or your office connection, the most dimwitting, the dumm. . . . . READ MORE
Marijuana activist Sam Mellace hopes to be the first licensed medical marijuana producer in Canada after spending the past 10 years running his “pretty much” legal operation.
The Abbotsford, B.C., resident has been producing marijuana since 2002 for himself and three other medical users, in accordance with current laws.
But starting on April 1, 2014, authorized users will not be able to grow their own pot – they will have to get it from licensed producers.
Mr. Mellace finalized an application to Health Canada on Monday for his company, New Age Medical Solutions, and his lawyers plan to send it by courier on Tuesday.
“I just want to be able to dispense so I can finally start making some money instead of being in the hole,” he said. But he has stiff competition. For 13 years, Prairie Plant Systems Inc. has been the only company producing legal marijuana and seeds on contract to Health Canada. The company submitted an application earlier this month.
“Up to this point, we’ve . . . . . READ MORE
Since then, the drug has become an integral part of Rebagliati’s life. Next month Rebagliati will open a medicinal marijuana dispensary in Whistler, British Columbia, called “Ross’ Gold.” The Canadian has also become a public face for pot-smoking athletes around the globe.
“Anytime somebody gets in trouble for weed I’m the guy the media calls,” Rebagliati, who lives outside Whistler, told USA TODAY Sports. “I went on NBC to defend (Michael) Phelps for smoking responsibly. I told them, Hey, it’s zero calories, zero fat!’”
Now 42, Rebagliati believes that changing attitudes toward marijuana — it’s now legal for medicinal purposes in Canada and 14 U.S. states — justifies the drug’s removal from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances.
Like cocaine and heroin, cannabis is banned during competition by WADA, which oversees drug testing worldwide in Olympic sports.
WADA recentl. . . . . READ MORE
Sometime this year, if it hasn’t happened already, the millionth Canadian will be arrested for marijuana possession, Dana Larsen estimates. The indefatigable B.C.-based activist for pot legalization is thinking of marking the occasion with a special ceremony. True, it will be impossible to know exactly who the millionth person is, but with the Conservative government’s amped-up war on drugs, it won’t be hard to find a nominee. As Larsen notes, the war on drugs in Canada is mostly a war on marijuana, “and most of that is a war on marijuana users.”
The numbers bear him out. Since the Tories came to power in 2006, and slammed the door on the previous Liberal government’s muddled plans to reduce or decriminalize marijuana penalties, arrests for pot possession have jumped 41 per cent. In those six years, police reported more than 405,000 marijuana-related arrests, roughly equivalent to the populations of Regina and Saskatoon combined.
In the statistic-driven world of policing, pot users are the low-hanging fruit, says Larsen, director of Sensible BC, a non-profit gro. . . . . READ MORE