The Clash Over Cannabis

The Clash Over Cannabis
Posted by CN Staff on March 08, 2004 at 15:08:57 PT
By Richard Foot, The Ottawa Citizen
Source: Ottawa Citizen 
With So Many Canadians Smoking and Growing Marijuana, Many People - Including a Senate Committee -- Are Questioning Why the Federal Government Is Maintaining Its Prohibition Against the Drug. Canadians will consume roughly 2,100 kilograms of marijuana today. This year, three million of us, according to a recent Senate study, will have smoked, eaten or inhaled almost 770,000 kilograms of the stuff -- impressive numbers considering marijuana use is a federal crime.
It is also a crime to cultivate the weed. Yet police and industry insiders estimate 215,000 growers across Canada produce more than 2.6 million kilograms of cannabis each year. In British Columbia alone, the pot-growing industry is believed to generate up to $6 billion annually, making it one of the West Coast's biggest industries, after forestry and tourism. With so many Canadians smoking and growing marijuana, questions are being asked about why the federal government maintains its prohibition against the drug, and how, if the prohibition is sound public policy, police can ever be expected to properly enforce the law. "Why doesn't the government stop dragging its feet and implement a fully legal regulatory regime for marijuana for everybody?" says Jody Pressman, a marijuana advocate in Ottawa. Says Dana Larsen, editor of Vancouver-based Cannabis Culture Magazine, which sells 85,000 copies every month in Canada and the U.S.: "Under a fully legalized system, people could grow marijuana commercially and sell it in stores licensed by the government. It could be subject to health controls, quality controls and taxes. It wouldn't have to be more expensive than any other fruit or vegetable." Such views are no longer the sole property of the political fringe. Two years ago, the Senate's special committee on illegal drugs interviewed 2,000 witnesses as part of the most exhaustive Canadian study of marijuana in 30 years. The committee's 2002 report urged the federal government to end its 81-year-old prohibition by implementing a system to regulate the production, distribution and consumption of marijuana -- the same as governments do with alcohol. "If the aim of (existing) public policy is to diminish consumption and supply of drugs, specifically cannabis, all signs indicate complete failure," the report said. "Billions of dollars have been sunk into enforcement without any great effect."  Snipped: Complete Article: SukoiSource: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)Author: Richard Foot, The Ottawa CitizenPublished:  March 7, 2004Copyright: 2004 The Ottawa CitizenContact: letters thecitizen.canwest.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Green Tide Shadow Summit News Canadian Links Pot Laws Would Burn Up Emily Murphy Cannabis Chronology's Health Risks Outweigh Any Benefits Campaigned Against Marijuana Menace 
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Comment #30 posted by afterburner on March 12, 2004 at 06:24:41 PT:
Plant Breeder’s Rights & Hemp Seed the Royal Grain
“It’s high time intellectual property law went to pot”
Tapas Pain, Invention Development Centre'Tapas Pain is a lawyer practicing in intellectual property (patents, copyright, trade-marks, plant breeder’s rights, etc.) as a sole practitioner in Vaughan, Ontario. Tapas holds a Master of Science in Pharmacy, which he completed at the University of Toronto, in conjunction with the Addiction Research Foundation, and a law degree from the University of Ottawa. Tapas is an advocate for the commercialization and exploitation of hemp-based products. Tapas has advised hemp-based businesses regarding intellectual property issues, including a well-known hemp-producing facility in Barrie, Ontario.'--------------------------------------------------------------------------------(Originally printed in Lawyers Weekly, 22 August 2003, p. 20)'Canada is considering changing its laws regarding the possession of marijuana. Does this in any way mean that the laws of intellectual property will go to pot? Let’s hope so! 'Although decriminalization of simple possession is a good start, it may not be going far enough. The government should consider decriminalizing the offence of cultivation of non-industrial marijuana (cannabis) as well. This would likely open a wonderful opportunity for Canada for so many reasons, the intellectual property reasons being just one set. 'The relevant legislation is the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which states that it is an indictable offence to cultivate cannabis; that offence is punishable by a term of prison not exceeding seven years. 'Decriminalization would allow legitimate cultivators (expert in their art of controlling, reproducing, cloning and breeding superior forms of cannabis) to go from being criminals to being intellectual-property- producing members of society. 'Although there is no explicit prohibition in the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act (PBRA), against persons seeking protection for varieties of cannabis, an application by an individual to protect such varieties would of course be tantamount to opening one’s windows and screaming at the top of one’s lungs “Here I am, please take me to prison.” Intellectual property rights are of little comfort in prison. 'A grant of plant breeder’s rights confers on the grantee, for a term of 18 years commencing on the day the certificate of registration is issued pursuant to the PBRA, the exclusive right: '(a) to sell, and produce in Canada for the purpose of selling, propagating material, as such, of the plant variety; '(b) to make repeated use of propagating material of the plant variety in order to produce commercially another plant variety if the repetition is necessary for that purpose; '(c) where it is a plant variety to which ornamental plants or parts thereof normally marketed for purposes other than propagation belong, to use any such plants or parts commercially as propagating material in the production of ornamental plants or cut flowers; and '(d) to authorize, conditionally or unconditionally, the doing of any of the aforementioned acts. (PBRA, s. 5(1)) 'With decriminalization of cultivation, cultivators will be given the opportunity to openly seek protection for their intellectual property. Their products could become commercially protected and legitimate, and could in turn benefit Canada commercially. 'Canada would undoubtedly tax the commercial production and sale of cannabis, as well as regulate this area at large. Taxation of manufacture, distribution and sale of commercially produced cannabis could be applied to areas such as addiction counseling, education and medical care, as taxes on cigarettes and alcohol are. 'The cannabis-consuming community has a strong desire to see improved and quality-controlled varieties of marijuana enter the market for numerous reasons. A corresponding protection incentive for plant breeders (through the PBRA) can assist in satisfying this desire. 'For example, if certain varieties can be produced for superior function in lowering intraocular pressure in the human eye with milder euphoric effect, then these varieties will be commercially beneficial in the management of glaucoma. The protection of such varieties will encourage commercialization and continuing quality control. It will also encourage controlled medical research. 'Chemotherapy patients might benefit from varieties that produce a stronger sense of hunger, to assist in providing an appetite amidst nausea. Such varieties may be bred to produce either a stronger or weaker sense of euphoria as required. Controlled commercial production could provide the basis for controlled medical research. 'Of course there is also the recreational market. Recreational consumers look for superior products as well — products that have quality control. Just consider the annual Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam. How many tourists flock to sample and judge the finest cultivated varieties? The recreational market is partially composed of connoisseurs willing to pay top dollar for products of fine distinction, similar to purchasing and smoking fine Cuban cigars or drinking fine wines and brandies. 'Protection for these cultivators through the PBRA will encourage a large and viable (yet presently underground) commercial sector to be legitimate and contribute to Canada’s treasury. This will also invite foreign investment from cultivation experts around the world and elevate Canada’s status for producing and protecting a valued commodity arguably useful in recreation and medicine. 'It might also assist a travel and tourism market still lagging from the scarring effects of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and constant threats by foreign military activity. Although this may not be a tourism image which some desire, the point is that this path would generate tourism activity. Canada, like Jamaica or Amsterdam, has immense tourist drawing power, and marijuana would form a single aspect only of the tourism market. People would still come to Canada for hockey, skiing, horseback riding, cultural diversity, cleanliness, plush camping grounds, and superior restaurants. 'The growth and income opportunity for the government of Canada could be significant. Canada can achieve this opportunity by putting an end to barbaric laws spun from ignorance and racism. 'If Canada is truly a country that encourages the rehabilitation and reintegration of members of society who have strayed from the legal norm (as opposed to a country that encourages a punitive criminal justice system), this is an opportunity to prove it. To change cultivators from criminals to intellectual property and commercial venture producers is an excellent way for Canada to do so. The decision to maintain criminal prohibitions against the cultivation of cannabis is difficult to defend when considering the commercial and intellectual property benefits of decriminalization.' ***And don't forget the nutritious and medicinal seeds of the miracle herb:The Burning Shiva Hour; Hemp Seed the Royal Grain -
Burning Shiva with Chris Bennett, 
Running Time: 36 min, 
Date Entered: 29 Sep 2000. "Host Chris Bennett, takes us on a culinary trip through history with a look at the role of the nutritious hemp seed through time and across cultures. Soul Food!""Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere!"
- George Washington, Note to gardener at Mount Vernon - Medical Freedom Amendment for 2004; let us heed the words of Benjamin Rush, George Washington's personal doctor and a signer of the Declaration of Independence: "Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship. To restrict the art of healing to one class of men and deny equal privileges to others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-american and despotic and have no place in a republic. The Constitution of this republic should make special privilege for medical freedom as well as religious freedom."
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Comment #29 posted by afterburner on March 10, 2004 at 08:04:20 PT:
The Media Are Lapping Up the 'Green Tide'
Editorial: Switch off 'grow-ops' 
2004-03-10 01:00:00 [Editorials]
"Indoor marijuana farms are sprouting like weeds across the Greater Toronto Area, requiring new strategies to root them out. Those strategies should include relaxing privacy rules that prevent electricity companies from blowing the whistle to police." Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police shamelessly exaggerate the scale of the problem with spectacular busts of the exceptionally small number of unsafe grow-ops. We're here, we're high, we don't buy the lie.OACP Propaganda (taken directly from their Green Tide Report), and our logical interpretation: on Grow-ops: Don't You Believe It TIDE : INDOOR MARIHUANA CULTIVATION AND ITS IMPACT ON ONTARIO [View as HTML] [PDF]
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Comment #28 posted by BGreen on March 10, 2004 at 00:52:09 PT
Stealing Hydro (Electricity)
Marc was superb, but I wish he would have stopped all of the talk about bypassing hydro, shoddy wiring and risk of fire by mentioning people only bypass the meters because the cops use the power usage records to find grow rooms. The electricity cost is *not* why people bypass hydro.It seems like the investigative tools the dicks use (you know I mean detectives) are actually a major factor in creating "unsafe" grow rooms.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on March 09, 2004 at 21:27:10 PT
Go Marc! He's one gutsy dude! He did a great job!
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Comment #26 posted by FoM on March 09, 2004 at 21:20:22 PT
Thanks afterburner!
I'm watching it now!
My Canadian Links
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Comment #25 posted by afterburner on March 09, 2004 at 21:00:23 PT:
The Video of Marc   Green Tide Shadow Summit
Newshawks: Marc Emery Surfs the Green Tide - 
Newshawks with Pot-TV 
Running Time: 8 min 
Date Entered: 09 Mar 2004 Guardian 99 sent in this news coverage of Marc Emery battling Cop Propaganda about marijuana growers and users during the recent Green Tide Summit in Ontario. problems in first 2 minutes. Hang in there.
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on March 09, 2004 at 20:57:11 PT
News Brief from
All-Time High for Americans Seeking Canadian Asylum Tuesday, March 9, 2004
 Associated Press
 VANCOUVER, B.C. – The number of Americans who sought asylum in Canada reached an all-time high last year. According to statistics from Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board, the number of refugee claims filed by Americans last year peaked at 317, up from 213 in 2002. Among the 39 refugee claims filed by Americans in the Vancouver region were a handful of medical marijuana users who claimed they were persecuted in their home country. Other high-profile claims included a deserter from the U.S. Army and scores of Muslims who said new laws in the United States violated their human rights. Despite the surge in claims, the acceptance rate remained zero. Only one American has ever been accepted as a refugee, and that decision was overturned in court. The surge in refugee claims from the United States began immediately after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Refugee experts have said some of the claims relate to changes in American law, which make it possible to arbitrarily detain people suspected of posing a security threat.
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on March 09, 2004 at 20:49:16 PT
580 CFRA: Call for Roadside Blood Tests 
Tuesday, March 9, 2004 Josh Pringle Peterborough's Police Chief says the Ontario government should allow officers to draw roadside blood samples from drivers suspected of using drugs. The Peterborough Lakefield Police Service Board has endorsed an open letter to the federal government to legislate roadside drug screening tests before it reinstates a bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. Police are asking for Bill C-10, which was reinstated Feb. 12 and is being debated in the House of Commons, to be delayed until roadside drug screening and innovative prevention and treatment programs are in place.
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Comment #22 posted by afterburner on March 09, 2004 at 15:20:04 PT:
Virgil re Comment #1
The National Post is the second Canadian national newspaper. The Ottawa Citizen is important because much of the federal decision-making is done in Ottawa, the location of federal Parliament. Similar to the influence of Washington Times and Post to the US federal decision-making in the Beltway.'Hollinger, Black & Barclay History: '1944 Conrad Black born in Montreal'1975 has effective control of asset-rich Argus Corporation'1981 Hollinger spun off from Argus'1998 Hollinger launches National Post in Toronto'2000 sells 50% of National Post and Hollinger's other English-language Canadian papers to Asper's CanWest for C$3.2bn '2000 Black sues Canadian government for dual nationality'2001 renounces Canadian citizenship, sells remaining 50% of National Post to CanWest'2003 Black stands down as Hollinger International chief executive'--Hollinger, Black & Barclay History National Post under Conrad Black was a more right-wing business-oriented newspaper, supporting the Canadian Alliance Party which has recently joined with the Progressive Conservative Party to become the Conservative Party. Under the Aspers, the new owners, the National Post has become more left-leaning, but many editors are disatisfied by the authoritarian control over editorial positions dictated by the Aspers.The Conservative Party of Canada
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Comment #21 posted by kaptinemo on March 09, 2004 at 14:52:18 PT:
BigDawg said it much more succintly than I could
I have a friend who brews his own beer; those who've tasted it say it's pretty good. (Personally, even though I've helped him decant it into bottles for storage, I can't stand the stuff; even the smell is revolting to me. Bread should be solid, not liquid. )He takes great pride in his work, and is anally focused on cleanliness. He makes no half-measures with anything, and will dump an entire batch if he suspects something's wrong.Rather like the more reputable growers, no?But he also drinks 'store-bought'. The future cannabis consumer would no doubt have the same choices. Me, I grew outside once, and it wasn't easy keeping those plants alive during a severe drought. Given a choice, I'd rather have visited a 'coffeeshop', plunked down a reasonable sum, and shared a pipe with the regulars. More fun that way.
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Comment #20 posted by BigDawg on March 09, 2004 at 13:59:34 PT
Kaptinemo pegged it
IMHOOnce cannabis is legalized and regulated, the convenience of stopping at the QuickMart on the way home from work on Friday nite to pick up a few pre-rolled joints or couple of gms of quality buddage for a few bucks will win the day. Large scale production without blackmarket problems would bring the price down drastically.I feel that the home grower would be the fringe market as is home brewing. There will always be the local gardener who has daBomb... but convenience will win the day.
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Comment #19 posted by kaptinemo on March 09, 2004 at 12:49:14 PT:
Max, as much as I abhor taxes, I'm realistic
For large scale commercial growers (and I mean family farm, 'north forty' types of establishments and on up) the present schema of taxation may be useful. Because the truth is the majority of costs associated with purchasing tobacco or alcohol are comprised OF taxes. (Given cannabis's ease of growing and natural insect/vegetation defenses, outside production costs would be minimal. And the rest of the plant would be used for the plethora of industrial applications that await large scale exploitation. The sky literally is the limit with this stuff, it's so bloody *useful* for so many things.)But there's something else to consider. You probably know that you can purchase seeds for such plants as tobacco, 'Jimson Weed' (which I wouldn't touch with the proverbial 10 foot pole, the stuff IS poisonous), morning glory seeds, etc. from your local garden shop. All quite cheaply.Legalized cannabis would probably be treated in the same way. It all comes down to economies of scale: how much are you willing to pay for a 20 pack of joints if you know that there will be no poisonous or addictive additives applied to them? If you knew that a standard amount of THC was present, and that amount had been lab-certified? (And I submit, with typical corporate practicality, one would find the cannabis equivalents of everything from 3.2% alcoholic beer up to 151 proof rum, eventually.) Ultimately, would the cost of purchasing one's supply at a tobacconist or other outlet be lower than growing it yourself? The obvious answer is yes, if you are unwilling to make the outlay of cash necessary to build an indoors grow op. That cost *would not* change very much, as the means of producing that equipment is very labor intensive. As to outdoors, well, seeds would be, if not a 'dime a dozen', then maybe a dollar a dozen, for certified seeds.Knock the 'price supports' out from underneath prohibited weed, and the price will plummet to something more sensible. The market will receive it's marching orders from consumers, who will pay only so much and no more...unless the underground 'cannabis snobs' take to the surface. Then you might see wildly inflated prices for 'special' forms of cannabis. But the taxman WILL have his cut. He always manages to...
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Comment #18 posted by afterburner on March 09, 2004 at 11:36:55 PT:
If Bill C-10 passes in Canada with its provision of a fine for personal cultivation of 3 cannabis plants or fewer, it paves the way for the day when cannabis can eventually be grown freely in your garden, like home-brewing, home-winemaking, or lettuce and tomatoes. The large breweries, vintners, and farms would be subject still, of course, to government regulation of purity and safety.Baby step by baby step until the strident voices of prohibition can no longer alarm the public and the politicians with lies, misrepresentation and obfuscation.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on March 09, 2004 at 11:27:25 PT
Max Flowers
I believe it should be treated like they do Beer. You can brew your own Beer at home and don't pay tax on it. It should be the same as home brewing. That seems fair to me.
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Comment #16 posted by Max Flowers on March 09, 2004 at 11:18:58 PT
A question for you guys on regulation
A question that has been nagging me about the regulation scenario is this: when you guys advocate regulating and taxing cannabis, what exactly are you envisioning where the small home grower is concerned?I can get behind the idea of large commercial growers (acres/big fields/warehouses etc) in the future being regulated, inspected and taxed (just as it is now for farms and vineyards), but I'll be damned if I am going to welcome some government inspector into my house or backyard just because I have a few plants. I wouldn't accept that for my small group of plants any more than I would for tomatoes I wanted to bring to the local farmers' market. It's a private matter.Can you comment?thanx
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Comment #15 posted by afterburner on March 09, 2004 at 09:37:41 PT:
Government Addicted to Prohibition? 
“Profiteers and Prohibition”
Eugene Oscapella, Canadian Foundation for Drug PolicyNotes for an address by
Eugene Oscapella LL.M., of the Ontario Barto the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law Conference
"Drugs, Criminal Justice and Social Policy"
St. Michael, Barbados
August 11, 1998Submission to Green Tide Shadow Summit'One of the great "truths" of modern times is said to be the need for an international "war against drugs".(1) 'Indeed, from the lowest to the highest levels of government, even in so-called democratic countries, we have seen a blind, uncritical acceptance of the "truth" that more police, more guns, more powers of state surveillance, more clichéd and misleading exhortations not to use drugs, more calls for a drug-free society, will resolve the profound and complex societal issues that lead to harmful forms of drug use. 'However, another, perhaps even more influential dynamic is keeping rational drug policy at bay. That dynamic is blatant self-interest -- self-interest accruing from the advantages to individuals who support pursuing the war on drugs. 'Lest you think that I am labelling every supporter of the war on drugs a knowing, self-interested, beneficiary of the war, to the detriment of the public, I am not. Many members of this audience support the war on drugs out of a genuine belief that it will protect society. I disagree with you, but I do not criticize your sincerity. I am here to suggest that you reconsider your position. 'But unfortunately, there are too many people in this world who, while pretending to consider the public good, support a war on drugs only because it brings them a very direct personal benefit. Their actions are driven, not by sound public policy on drugs, but by selfish interests that are often entirely antithetical to sound public policy. These self-interested drug warriors form part of what Norwegian criminologist Nils Christie calls the crime control industry. 'The benefits of the war on drugs for clever criminals are all too obvious. The criminal prohibition of drugs makes the trade in drugs fantastically profitable for those willing to exploit the ready market for drugs. And the intensification of the war by governments merely concentrates control of the drug market in fewer, now more powerful, hands by eliminating smaller, less ruthless or less competent rivals. 'But beyond that, the war on drugs brings enormous personal benefits to its participants by being among the most successful make-work projects of this century. In that sense, the war is a perfect example of socialist enterprise - a massive government-led employment scheme created, in essence, by passing a few laws prohibiting substances. Governments the world over are able to employ thousands upon thousands, perhaps millions globally, of drug war soldiers -- the bureaucrats, police officers, justice officials, judges, drug treatment "experts", prison builders and prison guards. In this sense, the war on drugs is not without its moments of irony. For the United States, with its legendary abhorrence of things socialist, has fostered a massive socialist undertaking around the world through its inflexible commitment to the war on drugs and its pressure on other countries to follow suit. 'And not only drug crimes, but the acquisitive crimes committed to pay the black market price of drugs, contribute to this boom in justice system employment. Because prohibition forces the price of drugs to an exorbitant black market level, dependent users need to commit crimes to feed their dependencies. Not only can you convict your citizens for the drug crimes themselves, but you can always go after them for "acquisitive" crimes and for related activities such as prostitution. Governments can thus ensure continuing ample employment for police officers, judges, prosecutors, defence lawyers, social workers, court officials, prison guards and prison builders. ...'And let us not forget that the war on drugs allows us to express some of our darker and more base authoritarian instincts under the guise of protecting democracy from drugs. Clever politicians and state authorities simply use the war on drugs as an excuse to enhance their control over society. They use the war on drugs to nudge along the authoritarianism that we now see creeping into even supposedly democratic countries. Many intrusive powers that we see governments salivating over, powers that will be buttressed by the multitude of new technologies available today, can of course be justified in the name of the war on drugs. Give us more surveillance technology, more police, and we will solve or reduce the problem of drugs in society, some will say. And, because they can never solve the problem, no matter how great the powers they are given, politicians and police will always have a ready excuse for demanding even greater powers of surveillance, of intrusion, of control, of incapacitation. ...'The war on drugs allows us to dress our racism and xenophobia in less obvious trappings. In North America, our early drug laws were to a significant degree premised on the vilification of immigrants and people whose skin colour or ethnic culture did not make the grade. Building on the racist and xenophobic origins of our drug laws, we continue to target minorities disproportionately in many countries. And, much as we might like to think that we do not practice such racism and xenophobia today in our pursuit of the war on drugs, we very much do. Canada, for example, in 1996 criminalized a stimulant called "khat". Khat is a substance used by some people of African origin. It is not used by white Canadians of European descent to any appreciable extent, if at all. Therefore, why not prohibit these recent immigrants to Canada - these people of another culture, another skin colour, and another continent - from using a substance that has long been part of their lives? 'The war on drugs may also open the back door to reinstituting a form of slavery. The powerful elites of society can use the war on drugs to justify incarcerating the minorities whose habits they dislike. Then, for good measure, to exorcize the demons of drugs, why not put those minorities to work on chain gangs? How does this differ from slavery? Only in the sense that we have first taken the step of vilifying minorities as drug users or drug traffickers, giving the appearance of a justification for incarcerating these people in profit-making privatized prisons, and then putting them out to forced labour. 'The war on drugs is also protecting the pharmaceutical industry, which benefits by the protection offered against competition from substances that could in the absence of the war be produced more cheaply and that might sometimes prove just as or more effective than pharmaceutical products. The war protects the "other" drug industries in our countries too - alcohol and tobacco. By vilifying users of "illicit" drugs, we have proven effective in steering our citizens to those other psychoactive substances that are manufactured by organizations that then fill our political coffers, perhaps quietly thankful for the protection offered by governments against competition from "illicit" substances. 'The war on drugs is also teaching governments a lesson in propaganda management. Governments around the world see how easy it is to manipulate public opinion through misinformation. They can paralyze the intellectual faculties of many otherwise intelligent people simply by using the right dose of anti-drug rhetoric. They can propagandize the young to the point that children are informing on their parents for drug use -- just as children in authoritarian societies have been taught to inform on their parents' political activities. The same governments quickly learn that truth is entirely expendable in the pursuit of the war on drugs. And, having manipulated public opinion, governments can much more easily introduce extraordinarily intrusive state powers that would otherwise generate strong resistance from the public. No wonder that governments fear modern communications vehicles such as the Internet, with its capacity to democratize the flow of information and challenge government propaganda about drugs. 'That same propaganda that softens the public for intrusive state powers, that vilifies drug users, that can be used as a basis for massive new expenditures in pursuing the war on drugs, has also proved useful to bolster the re-election prospects of our politicians. First, using propaganda, they generate public support for brutal and unreliable measures to deal with drugs. Then they promise more of the same - more of what has not worked, what is not working, and what will not work - as a tried and true vehicle for re-election, paving the way for further opportunities to do more of the same -- more of what has not worked, more of what isn't working, more of what will not work.' Maybe unenlightened self-interest answers the question of this article: 'With so many Canadians smoking and growing marijuana, questions are being asked about why the federal government maintains its prohibition against the drug, and how, if the prohibition is sound public policy, police can ever be expected to properly enforce the law. '"Why doesn't the government stop dragging its feet and implement a fully legal regulatory regime for marijuana for everybody?" says Jody Pressman, a marijuana advocate in Ottawa.'Freedom or Tyranny: which do you expect of your government? And if they don't listen to the will of the people, vote them out while you still have the power. 
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Comment #14 posted by afterburner on March 09, 2004 at 09:02:03 PT:
Same Grow-Op Article in Globe & Mail
Police raid marijuana operation
Today's Paper: Tuesday, March 9, 2004 12:00 AM Page A9 
Police say a group of marijuana grow operations found in a rundown Parkdale high-rise complex are among the most sophisticated they have seen -- complete with exhaust systems that used air-fresheners and mothballs to hide the telltale scent. 
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Comment #13 posted by afterburner on March 09, 2004 at 07:59:03 PT:
''Green Tide'' Justification: Expect More Articles
'It's "troubling" to police, [Detective Howie Page] said, that criminals set up extremely dangerous grow operations in apartment buildings that are filled with children.'"This is a public-safety issue," he said. "These buildings have kids on every single floor. These are family dwelling units."' --Pot grow-op high above Parkdale
Mar. 9, 2004. 07:12 AM"A sophisticated marijuana growing operation has been discovered by Toronto police in eight apartment units high above Parkdale. The operation, which yielded 800 marijuana plants and more than $50,000 in specialized equipment, included drilling holes between apartment units to connect hydro wires and carting in enough bags of soil 'to fill a farmer's field."  [Full Story] about the children? The answer: Re-legalize, regulate and tax. It's a win-win solution: *the medical, spiritual, and social cannabis enthusiasts would have a safe supply; *the government could ensure safe and appropriate growing conditions away from children; *the cash-strapped governments would have a large new revenue stream; *even the police would have less exposure to dangerous working conditions as the growing of legal cannabis was taken out of the hands of the criminal element and put into the hands of responsible legal businessmen and businesswomen; *since the price would fall, the incentive for rip-offs and dangerous wiring practices would diminish; *and the savings, of arrest and trial and all the high-tech scanning devices, could be utilized to improve schools and hospitals."Why doesn't the government stop dragging its feet and implement a fully legal regulatory regime for marijuana for everybody?" says Jody Pressman, a marijuana advocate in Ottawa. 
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Comment #12 posted by goneposthole on March 09, 2004 at 06:13:34 PT
Never argue with success
2 600 000 kilograms each year divided by 215 000 growers equals approximately 12,1 kilograms of dynamite killer bud. On the average, a grower is going to gross some sixty grand Cdn each year at five grand per kilo. Maybe more. Hooray for Canadian growers. The drug war isn't all a failure. It has successfully caused an explosion of cannabis farmers in the US of A and Canada.
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Comment #11 posted by E_Johnson on March 09, 2004 at 00:49:47 PT
The Battle for the Shire
We could start calling it that.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on March 08, 2004 at 21:02:43 PT
Poll is Still Working
What do you think Parliament should do about possession of marijuana for personal use?Here's the link!
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Comment #9 posted by erikghint on March 08, 2004 at 19:37:46 PT
Canada's national newspapers
The national Post --> right wing
The Globe and Mail --> ??
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Comment #8 posted by John Tyler on March 08, 2004 at 19:24:10 PT
Why is it still illegal in Canada?
A poll in revealed that over 92% of the respondants wanted full legalization of cannabis. That is a huge majority even for the prohibitionists. So why is cannabis still illegal in Canada? The USA is putting tons of pressure on the Canadian gov. to defy the will of its on people.
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Comment #7 posted by mayan on March 08, 2004 at 18:23:18 PT
"Complete Failure"
It's nice that they included this little gem from the famed Canadian Senate report..."If the aim of (existing) public policy is to diminish consumption and supply of drugs, specifically cannabis, all signs indicate complete failure," the report said. "Billions of dollars have been sunk into enforcement without any great effect." Billions of dollars spent with absolutely nothing to show. Legalize it,regulate it & tax it already.The way out is the way in...Stopping the 9/11 Cover Up is Ground Zero for the Peace Effort: Bush I Official Proffers Insight on White House Stonewalling: Owns 9/11? 9/11 PHONE, FAX & EMAIL CAMPAIGN:
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on March 08, 2004 at 17:32:48 PT
CBC: 'Marijuana Factory' Shut Down 
March 8, 2004 
 MISSION, B.C. - Forty-nine people have been arrested in connection with an industrial-sized marijuana grow operation in the Fraser Valley. Mission RCMP say a two-story barn in the Silverdale area was being used to cultivate more than 3,000 pot plants. RCMP Corp. Murray Power says the barn was equipped with 12 industrial-size air conditioners and 230-1,000 watt lights – noting the lights alone used as much electricity as 70 average homes. Power says many of the people caught working on the grow op were just regular people trying to make extra cash, illegally.He adds many of them didn't even know where they were – and were transported to and from work in the back of of a cube van. "They're basically just people from the Fraser Valley and Vancouver out looking to make money. Nothing earth-shattering about them. "The operation itself was very high-tech with a lot of money spent to set up the operation,"he says. "They plants were of very high quality and of a very high yield." Power says the suspects could be charged with production of a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking. He adds this was one of the largest grow ops the Mission RCMP has seen in the past three years.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on March 08, 2004 at 17:21:32 PT
The Above Article
It has more detail. Maybe that's why it was a subscription article.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on March 08, 2004 at 17:18:30 PT
Similar Article
This article I posted from the Edmonton Journal is almost the same as the one from the Ottawa Citizen. Here's the link.Millions of Canadians Inhale Despite Pot Laws:
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Comment #3 posted by sukoi on March 08, 2004 at 17:18:22 PT
Mr. Foot,
I sure hope that he is right when he says:"We led them on ending slavery, we led them on ending the prohibition on alcohol, and we'll lead them towards ending the prohibition on marijuana. "I'm sure I'll see it in my lifetime." I wonder how old this obviously sane and intelligent gentleman is?
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on March 08, 2004 at 17:03:01 PT
I don't know why so many capital letters. I had to copy it from a link from Map because I don't have a subscription. There's another article I can't get because it is a pay article too. 
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Comment #1 posted by Virgil on March 08, 2004 at 16:50:15 PT
The media talks on prohibition
With So Many Canadians Smoking and Growing Marijuana, Many People - Including a Senate Committee -- Are Questioning Why the Federal Government Is Maintaining Its Prohibition Against the Drug. The capital letters seem really strange- not that there is anything wrong with that. It is a thing of beauty to see something start off using the P-word. Talking about prohibition is like water to the Wicked Witch of the West- it melts something living into a memory.Richard Cowan says there are two national papers in Canada. One is the Toronto Globe and Mail which is like our New York Times as whatever a newspaper of record is. I think that the Ottawa Citizen is the second national paper, but do not know really. It is still huge thing for the Citizen to cover the CP saga on to its demise, but if it is the second national paper in the RC reference, it is even more huge. Prohibition cannot handle the truth, and a national paper talking plain on prohibition is damning.
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