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bluegreen

Is it time to de-criminalize Pot posession?

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In the Seventies, Trudeau campaigned on decriminalization.

In this century, Chretien campaigned on decriminalization.

A majority of Canadians agree that Pot possession should be decriminalized.

We have entered a major recession, yet tens of thousands of possession charges are pursued through the courts at great expense.

I know that Canada has international Narcotic treaty obligations to prohibit trafficking, so a legalized trade is problematic.

Is it right to prosecute consenting adults for this habit? IF not, then how could the trade be regulated, given that it cannot be legalized?

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You don't have to legalize wholesale marketing of it in order to de-criminalize own-use possession and cultivation.

There's not much wrong with adopting most of the rules that go with liquor. You can make your own, and give it to a friend, but you can't sell it, give it to kids, or drive under the influence... etc.

The same package of laws could fairly readily be adapted.

We don't need the government actually producing or selling it, but governments are pretty good at selling vices. Tobacco regs and/or liquor stores should cover most of the sales issues if that part is deemed necessary.

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You don't have to legalize wholesale marketing of it in order to de-criminalize own-use possession and cultivation.

There's not much wrong with adopting most of the rules that go with liquor. You can make your own, and give it to a friend, but you can't sell it, give it to kids, or drive under the influence... etc.

The same package of laws could fairly readily be adapted.

We don't need the government actually producing or selling it, but governments are pretty good at selling vices. Tobacco regs and/or liquor stores should cover most of the sales issues if that part is deemed necessary.

Yes, I don't dispute that at all, I guess I am wondering if our treaty obligations make it illegal for the Government to participate in the marketing?

I would guess that the new US adminisration might be a little less freaked out by it, but the Canadian courts will need to pass judgement on the treaty obligations....

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In the Seventies, Trudeau campaigned on decriminalization.

In this century, Chretien campaigned on decriminalization.

A majority of Canadians agree that Pot possession should be decriminalized.

We have entered a major recession, yet tens of thousands of possession charges are pursued through the courts at great expense.

I know that Canada has international Narcotic treaty obligations to prohibit trafficking, so a legalized trade is problematic.

Is it right to prosecute consenting adults for this habit? IF not, then how could the trade be regulated, given that it cannot be legalized?

I think as more and more boomers and gen x's get to the retirement years, 'medical marijuana' will become big business in Canada (eg, for arthritis, insomnia, headaches, appetite, chemotherapy, etc etc ... we all have at least one of those!). Perhaps then the government will see the value of legalizing it for everybody, licensing commercial growers, regulating quality and strength, and taxing the hell out of it to pay for other things, just like alcohol, and likely in the same places (LCBO here).

I agree that the cost of policing, courts and jails, etc. for marijuana offenses is ridiculous. I have no idea what the cost is, but it's a silly waste of money.

Interesting to note that when the topic came up in the news a year or so ago, the National Association of Chiefs of Police wanted it decriminalized (due to policing costs), while the officers association wanted it to stay a criminal offense. I think it might have to do with the fact that they use it as an excuse to 'interrogate' and threaten people to get information about other things and people. I personally think that is not a good enough reason to harass people who are not doing anything wrong, imo. The officers assoc couldn't say that was their reason, of course, and all they could come up with was that if it was legal there would be a lot of "crime" that they couldn't do anything about. Ie, their argument didn't even make sense: If it's legal, it's not "crime". Even cops will tell you that pot smokers don't cause trouble - drinkers do.

People who say it is a 'gateway' drug generally don't know much about addiction: The people who go on to other things very likely would have anyway, and alcohol is by far the most troubling addiction as it is so widespread. It also needs to be said that the people bankrolling the opposition to legalization are likely the big time dealers - the exact ones we want to put out of (that) business by legalizing it.

Perhaps this time of economic crunch is a good time to reconsider pumping up the government coffers with 'Mary Jane' taxes. :lol:

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Kids discover alcohol...then they discover pot - then sex..eventually they decide to mix a little tobacco with the high grade dense pot in order to make it burn better...THEN they slowly get addicted to the nicotine - then they discover TOBACCO...one of the most and if not the most addictive and in time most expensive life long drug habits on the planet..the curse that the rich dispense on the poor -- and they suck about 300 dollars a month out of smokers --- and they raise their families in luxury with good dental care - and no receding gums due to the temper rise that takes place in the mouth due to smoking....It's so unjust that they leave tobacco a legal product...and the poor mans only diversional pleasure..as for legalizing pot --- If I could go back in time 35 years I wish to hell I had never laid eyes on pot - or booze or cigarettes ----- the sex was OK and a health inducing past time...Pot is dope - as are all the other substances I mentioned ----what's worse in some respects is the pushing by big pharma of mind altering drugs that supposedly alieviate depression but really remove the abilty to feel guilt or remove ---so we are quietly creating a society of sociopaths - that's my worry..the dope unseen the legal stuff --- governmental industrial scale posioning of the soul.

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Ha ha!

I daresay the _new_ US administration will be less freaked out about all sorts of things, but this is one that I sort of figure they can go suck an egg over, anyway.

Just because they're crazy enough to chase their tails and spend their life savings counterproductively jailing citizens over a non-issue/non-event doesn't mean that we should do the same.

I doubt that non-traficking treaties should have much impact on domestic activities. Cross border, certainly, but not purely domestic conduct. Our laws are already fairly divergent on the issue, after all.

Now I'm going to have to go do some research....

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We don't need the government actually producing or selling it, but governments are pretty good at selling vices. Tobacco regs and/or liquor stores should cover most of the sales issues if that part is deemed necessary.

I don't think the gov't needs to get into producing it, just regulating it; as you say with the same laws that are curently in place for alcohol and tobacco.

At least that way there is a certain amount of inspection, and you've removed the criminal element. You can make beer and wine at home, but can't sell it. You should be able to grow a bit at home for your own use, again so long as you don't sell it. Same laws.

The tax revenues would be enormous. It just makes so much sense. De-criminalize, legalize and cash in.

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I'm a fan of gradual legalization, with increasing licensed commercial production, currently serving only the medical market. I believe the government is starting to get it going better, after failing at production themselves.

If we only decriminalize, we are still just feeding the existing (criminal) pot distribution organizations. The US would have more problem with that, I think. If we simply increasingly legalize through the medical route, and target only 'export' as criminal, maybe Obama will look the other way.

bluegreen, what an interesting turn of conversation.

I hear you, and I think in our ideal world, we will be indebted to Indigenous Peoples for their role in ensuring that growth and production of marijuana feeds Mother Earth and her people, and does not harm Her.

Even in this real world today, your Aboriginal rights under Canadian law entitle you to "A say in development and a share in revenues" on your traditional lands. That's not settlement of treaty and land claims, but it's an important start, to acknowledge what the Supreme Court has repeatedly said.

"the Crown has a duty to consult, and if necessary, accommodate Aboriginal interests when it has knowledge, real or constructive, of the potential existence of an Aboriginal right or title and contemplates conduct that might adversely affect it."

[http://www.lawsonlundell.com/Resources/News-and-Publications/The-Crown-s-Duty-to-Consult-and-Accommodate2]

and ...

Carmen Diges, vice president of legal and business affairs at Noront Resources Limited, a Toronto-based exploration-stage resource company, notes that the supreme court decisions "didn't specifically encompass private actors' duty to consult and accommodate." But Diges adds: "Because private actors need a good relationship from the beginning of a project, they often can't wait for the government to step in. It's too long and slow of a process. So the private actors are starting to take responsibility for those duties."

http://www.law.com/jsp/ihc/PubArticleIHC.j...d=1202427248612

In our ideal legal marijuana world, we will acknowledge Aboriginal rights to a say in how commercial marijuana grow operations are implemented, and where, etc., and a share in revenues from them.

Edited by tango

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In our ideal legal marijuana world, we will acknowledge Aboriginal rights to a say in how commercial marijuana grow operations are implemented, and where, etc., and a share in revenues from them.

Where in the blazes do you get this nonsense from? Are you bent on supporting anything and everything that morally and politically undermines Canadian society?

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Where in the blazes do you get this nonsense from? Are you bent on supporting anything and everything that morally and politically undermines Canadian society?

Only the law.

(See my post.)

But that's thread drift.

And on the decriminalization/legalization of marijuana topic ... what do you say?

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There's not much wrong with adopting most of the rules that go with liquor. You can make your own, and give it to a friend, but you can't sell it, give it to kids, or drive under the influence... etc. .

Ummm...

Can't distil your own alcohol that's against the law.

Beer/Wine OK but not hard booze.

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Yes. Who has the right to tell me what I can and can't do with my body and mind(as long as I'm not infringing on someone's rights of course). I would extend this right to every drug available. Treat all drugs with the same rules of alcohol(mostly rules dealing with infringing on others rights).

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The problem is that the government now has the responsibility to protect. I expect it'll dance around with that for at least twenty more years before it figures out what it means. It'll take another 20 after that for the government to change pot laws on its own.

I think the only hope is for the supreme court to protect us from the government. So...we probably have to wait until all the conservatives who'd like to take that responsibility away from the SC die off.

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Where in the blazes do you get this nonsense from? Are you bent on supporting anything and everything that morally and politically undermines Canadian society?

How does it undermine Canadian society? Society? Are you self-righteous... everyone has to be like you? Like wtf?

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"the Crown has a duty to consult, and if necessary, accommodate Aboriginal interests when it has knowledge, real or constructive, of the potential existence of an Aboriginal right or title and contemplates conduct that might adversely affect it."

[http://www.lawsonlundell.com/Resources/News-and-Publications/The-Crown-s-Duty-to-Consult-and-Accommodate2]

and ...

Carmen Diges, vice president of legal and business affairs at Noront Resources Limited, a Toronto-based exploration-stage resource company, notes that the supreme court decisions "didn't specifically encompass private actors' duty to consult and accommodate." But Diges adds: "Because private actors need a good relationship from the beginning of a project, they often can't wait for the government to step in. It's too long and slow of a process. So the private actors are starting to take responsibility for those duties."

http://www.law.com/jsp/ihc/PubArticleIHC.j...d=1202427248612

This process put me out of the seaweed business. I don't fault 1st Nations, I blame the senior governments for not putting in place a cosultation process that works in any timely manner. You know what government officials tell me when I can't get licence applications processed and issued ? They tell me its the fault of native people for not getting back to them. Noront Resources can say what they like. Their 'private actors' are probably large companies that can afford the wait and cost of consultations. Individuals don't have a hope. In my case it didn't matter how much ground work I would do to consult 1st Nations on my own. The results of these consultations had little if any effect on the government who would effectively ignore them and proceed with their own glacially slow process.

I doubt very much if the Hell's Angels or the UN gang piss around waiting for some consultation process before going into production.

In the meantime... I've been told a seaweed drying plant would make the perfect marijuana growing, drying and processing facility. I wonder who I should send my applications to? If I send them to the province or the local band office I'll likely be dead of old age before I get to plant a single seed. Of course I'd probably be dead even sooner if I don't apply to the Angels or UN gang for a permit to produce OTOH I'd likely be in business next week.

Edited by eyeball

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In our ideal legal marijuana world, we will acknowledge Aboriginal rights to a say in how commercial marijuana grow operations are implemented, and where, etc., and a share in revenues from them.

If these operations are not on indigenous land or land under contention then why should Aboriginals have any say in the matter at all? Also under those circumstances why should they have any right to share the profits at all?

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I would guess that the new US adminisration might be a little less freaked out by it,

Joe Biden is as big an anti-marijuana fanatic as you'll find in US government, and the new administration is in favor of some anti-drug programs that will harsh your mellow in a hurry. The Changewagon does not stop in Funkytown.

-k

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If these operations are not on indigenous land or land under contention then why should Aboriginals have any say in the matter at all? Also under those circumstances why should they have any right to share the profits at all?

Natives don't want to be a part of Canada until they can make some money from us then they're our best friends and want a say in everything.

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Joe Biden is as big an anti-marijuana fanatic as you'll find in US government, and the new administration is in favor of some anti-drug programs that will harsh your mellow in a hurry. The Changewagon does not stop in Funkytown.

-k

I guess a lot of these flower children here have forgotten that drug laws were not liberalized under past Democratic administrations of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. The drug enforcement lobbies hold sway with both parties in Washington. But I wonder how closely people in the new Obama Administration are watching what is going on in Mexico, as competing drug gangs have destroyed legitimate business and made the political system irrelevant. Eventually, someone is going to have to admit that the War On Drugs is a failure on every front, since it has caused an increase in drug use and an increase in crime because the drug trade is a black market business. There is no point to blind adherence to a failed policy -- it's time to get rid of it, and try a more practical approach to drug addiction.

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I guess a lot of these flower children here have forgotten that drug laws were not liberalized under past Democratic administrations of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. The drug enforcement lobbies hold sway with both parties in Washington. But I wonder how closely people in the new Obama Administration are watching what is going on in Mexico, as competing drug gangs have destroyed legitimate business and made the political system irrelevant. Eventually, someone is going to have to admit that the War On Drugs is a failure on every front, since it has caused an increase in drug use and an increase in crime because the drug trade is a black market business. There is no point to blind adherence to a failed policy -- it's time to get rid of it, and try a more practical approach to drug addiction.

Hear, hear. Democrats and Republicans have a whole lot more in common than most people like to think. The range of political discourse in the US is so tiny it's ridiculous.

The moral justification for criminalizing a voluntary activity that doesn't directly harm anyone else is shaky at best. When you consider that most of the harm is actually due to the laws, it becomes downright ludicrous and you wonder what is actually behind drug prohibition.

The key to ending prohibition in Canada is dealing with the perception south of the border. I think Chretien would have certainly decriminalized and possibly even legalized marijuana if it weren't for fears of the border snapping shut.

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Joe Biden is as big an anti-marijuana fanatic as you'll find in US government, and the new administration is in favor of some anti-drug programs that will harsh your mellow in a hurry. The Changewagon does not stop in Funkytown.

-k

That's very funny. :D

But seriously, I'm starting to wonder how much as really changed.

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....The key to ending prohibition in Canada is dealing with the perception south of the border. I think Chretien would have certainly decriminalized and possibly even legalized marijuana if it weren't for fears of the border snapping shut.

Canada can decrim whenever it wishes...go for it. However, you will find that ganja isn't exactly legal in other countries either. Canada banned cannabis before the US feds did.

Edited by bush_cheney2004

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Canada shouldn't decriminalize marijuana as that would still allow profits to go to organized crime. I would favour a moderate route to legalization with stringest regulations on the trade.

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Canada shouldn't decriminalize marijuana as that would still allow profits to go to organized crime. I would favour a moderate route to legalization with stringest regulations on the trade.

More stringent than alcohol or tobacco? If yes, why?

I think the politicized baby step approach to decriminalization or whatever you want to call it of pot is a joke myself. The entire issue of dealing with recreational substance use period, is being sidestepped in the process and the result will be a bureaucratic boondoggle working from conflicting sets of policies that are still rooted in bigoted ideological notions instead of a complete assessment of medical evidence, legal principles and in the case of Canada, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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More stringent than alcohol or tobacco? If yes, why?

I should rephrase that, the government should ensure that in the transition those who are selling it aren't tied to organized crime as it is now.

I think the politicized baby step approach to decriminalization or whatever you want to call it of pot is a joke myself. The entire issue of dealing with recreational substance use period, is being sidestepped in the process and the result will be a bureaucratic boondoggle working from conflicting sets of policies that are still rooted in bigoted ideological notions instead of a complete assessment of medical evidence, legal principles and in the case of Canada, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Agreed. The only reason people are supportive of "decriminalization" is because they think it's a nice middle ground between fighting organized crime and allowing a few teenagers to smoke up without getting a criminal record. However it's absurd when you think about it since it could very well allow organized crime to make more money off of that policy. We might as well legalize it and tax it instead of take these baby steps that won't solve anything.

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