11.14.2012 12:47 PM

Canada Live, Nov. 14: about that dopey poll, and dope


  1. Philippe says:

    Only problem with your statement Warren is that pot pot legalization passed Colorado and Washington States (supported by both fiscal conservatives and progressives). Most think that contagion will occur to new States – so in essence, it would be us that would have to tighten out borders, seeing as they’re ahead of us on the legalization issue.

    • frmr Disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

      Well said Philippe…..my pot smoking days are well past, but Id much rather have our police controlling crystal meth production/importation than something that is in comparison, rather innocuous….
      Legalize marijuana, control it, and tax it…..take the criminal element out of the equation, and help add some much needed revenue to govt coffers….
      If it helps get marijuana users to the polls to vote for us, mores the better I say…….

  2. Matt says:

    I agree with you that marijuana is not the number one issue facing Canadians, but boy am I sick and tired of hearing the “decriminalizing it will make the Yanks mad” argument. Upwards of 14 states have decriminalized marijuana and two have now legalized it. That means that Canadians can and are being sent to prison and being tagged with criminal records for something that at worst gets you a fine in about 1/3 of the U.S. states. And we keep this up why? Because doing what 1/3 of the states have already done would upset the States????

    I get that you’re straight edge and don’t like pot. I get that you don’t think this is a big issue. But I expect a better argument.

    • Warren says:

      Too bad. If you don’t get what you “expect” here, beat it. You won’t be missed.

      • Darren says:

        The biggest issue I have with pot legalization is the lack of any roadside test that would stand up in court. Right now, if a person is pulled over their level of alcohol impairment can be accurately tested and, if over the legal limit, they can be charged accordingly. Not so for pot. A person can be as impaired on pot as they would be over .08 on alcohol and there would be no way to prove it by a roadside test (as far as I know).
        And it’s not just an issue for impaired driving, it’s also a worksite issue. An impaired worker is a danger on the job site. If they’re drunk, their impairment can be quantitatively gauged and they can be dealt with. But if they’re high, the current drug test will only show that pot is present, not if they’re impaired. Pot will remain in the system for three weeks so a worker can be high or sober and the drug test will show the same results. If pot is going to be legalized we need a quick test method to quantitatively prove impairment.

        • steve says:

          You do not need to test positive for drugs to fail a roadside test. The fact is driving while stoned is nothing like driving while drunk. One makes you overly cautious, the other overly reckless. With the tech available today its easy to determine THC levels in people. What I expect the right to do is have zero tolerance with pot, which means if you partook a month ago they would still want to charge you today.

  3. Greg from Calgary says:

    I hope it is legalized. We could save the money on failed enforcement and use it elsewhere.

  4. Warren says:

    What’s with this capitalizing party stuff? That’s creepy.

  5. Torgo says:

    Agree on the fantasy that is the Forum poll; I think the incumbent parties are likely to sweep all of the current by-elections.

    On the other hand, despite being a teetotaler who forsakes even alcohol, I nonetheless support the decriminalization of marijuana and even other drugs.

    To me, it’s encouraging to see a growing sentiment in that direction in the U.S itself, as per the recent referenda. Canada (despite the current attitude of the Harper government) and most of Latin America have long been in favor of re-evaluating the Drug War and looking at options like decriminalization; it’s more been the Americans (the biggest consumers of all these drugs) who have been adamantly opposed to such an idea.

    Of course, your other point is correct – as long as marijuana is illegal in the U.S., Canada would be foolish to decriminalize/legalize it here. Unfortunately, we’ll have to follow their lead, given our economic (and even political) dependence on the U.S..

  6. Koby says:

    Yes Canadians understand some Americans would not be pleased about legalization. As such, Harper’s musings about legalizing marijuana causing trouble at the border seem reasonable enough. The problem is this does not make marijuana prohibition any more legitimate in the eyes of the Canadian people. Support for legalization has been above 50% since 2004 and a recent poll in BC put it at 75% there. In BC in the last year 4 attorney generals, a large chunk of the medical establishment, a former police chief, the current major of Vancouver and 3 former Vancouver mayors come out in favor of legalization. Support for prohibition has all but collapsed this province. Whether you think the marijuana issue an important one or not is somewhat beside the point. We as a society should not pass laws or keep others in place simply to placate foreign governments. This goes especially for laws that would result in Canadians languishing in jail. Any perception that Canada is enforcing laws to met with illegitimate demands of a bullying third party, whoever that may be, is simply poisonous to the health of a functioning democracy.

    All that being said I think you have misread the situation in the States. Indeed, it is hard to fathom Obama going to war with Colorado and Washington State over the marijuana legalization yet alone large portion of the Democratic base. Moreover, this is an issue that is clearly started to tip not only in Canada but also Stateside.

    Obama’s ability to push back is limited for other reasons as well. He freely admits to having marijuana in the past (“I inhaled frequently. That was the point”) and his marijuana use is not a part of some redemption narrative, a la George Bush. It was a path he choice not to continue going down. Drug use was never presented as a demon he had to overcome yet alone one he still struggles with the way an alcoholic does with drink. This would leave him open to the charge of hypocrisy. Far more importantly though, the war and drugs, especially with regard to marijuana, has had a profound impact on the African American community in the States. If Obama was to toe the standard line, he would be in a world of hurt politically. The African American community would not, of course, abandon him, but they would be unhappy and their unhappiness would have the potential to throw his whole second term out of whack politically. His whole message of being a force for change would be called into question.

    Finally, least we forget it was Obama that set help set the wheels of legalization in motion in the first place by declaring that he would not crack down on medical marijuana. For you see, unlike in Canada, in California, for example, one does not have to be afflicted with a particular aliment to be eligible for medical marijuana. A doctor can proscribe marijuana for whatever they see fit. Needless to say, such a system is ripe for abuse and the Bush administration was right to see medical marijuana program as a potential Trojan horse. But Obama let the wooden horse to be wheeled into California and other States anyway. In so doing, Obama has allowed the medical marijuana industry in California and elsewhere to grow to the point there is no saving prohibition from Odysseus. There are more “medical” marijuana dispensaries in LA than Starbucks. It is not a question of if marijuana will be legalized in the US it is matter of when. Canada had best start preparing.

    • Lawrence Stuart says:

      “I inhaled frequently. That was the point” Me too, in the day.

      But I don’t think it was good for me. But getting busted at 17 (tried in adult court, my friends — ah, those were the days, none of this coddling of yout like we have nowadays!) was really not good. On the other hand, it scared the shit out of me, and probably helped get my life back on track. Or not. I dunno. Really.

      And as far as ‘legalizing’ it to get rid of the criminal aspect of growing and distribution – I watch Weeds. All that herb has to come from somewhere.

  7. Patrick says:

    If some one could give me an example where prohibition of anything has not made a select group of people rich, dead or incarcerated and stopped the “evil” that false moralists rage on about, then continue the war on drugs.
    Without that example, prohibition and the war on drugs has evolved as a means to control a section of society, who if not distracted by addiction and gang wars, would be marching on government buildings with torches in hand.

  8. Lawrence Stuart says:

    Re: the poll.

    I’ve decided that this time Forum have nailed it.

    Even a broken clock, etc.

    And that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. So there.

  9. WDM says:

    Stephen Carter predicted Calgary-Centre would go Liberal on CBC last night. I remain entirely unconvinced. That being said, going forward federal politics in Alberta will be interesting. I don’t think we’ll see former Conservatives go vote for someone else in large numbers, but in a lot of ridings (and remember there are 6 new ones coming) you’re likely to see Wildrose and Progressive Conservatives vying for federal nominations. Given the bad blood between the two sides provincially, will the PC wing of the party donate as much money, knock on as many doors, or make as many calls if the federal nomination goes to a federal candidate from the Wildrose wing of the party, and vice-versa?

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      Harper knows what Lincoln said: “”a house divided against itself cannot stand,” and in the interests of federal self-preservation, he’ll make damned sure that the low level war does not impact his party’s political interests. Put another way, he’ll have his MPs and Senators on such a short leash it will be practically invisible to the naked eye.

  10. !o! says:

    That’s pretty well said.

  11. Matt says:

    Meah, on the pot and the LCBO we disagree. These things happen.

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