And Marijuana For All

And Marijuana For All
Posted by CN Staff on April 07, 2005 at 07:07:19 PT
By Alan Young
Source: NOW Magazine 
Canada -- I am becoming embarrassed by the endless pot debate in Canada. Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan recently stated that marijuana smokers are stupid (Was this her way of saying she smokes the herb?), but the true imbecility lies in the irresolute and confused response of our governemt to a no-brainer issue of public policy.Officials are trying to generate a new moral panic over grow ops. Citing a litany of Biblical plagues like fire, mould and child neglect, police and politicians claim that indoor marijuana-growing is turning our communities into living hells.
With shameful audacity, there was even an attempt to link last month's killing of four RCMP officers in Mayerthorpe, Alberta, to the cultivation of marijuana. This week, the police services board will consider a report from Toronto police calling for the establishment of a special "marijuana grow team to deal with this problem." Scarborough politicians have started going door to door like meddlesome vigilantes to snoop around for grow ops. At a town hall meeting last week, one councillor extolled the virtue of being "nosy" and provided this sage advice: "Don't be nice to your neighbour." I guess the marijuana grower is the 21st-century communist, posing such a grave threat to national security that the situation warrants turning neighbours into spies and informants. From my perspective, the marijuana issue is a no-brainer. There are probably more Canadians who smoke pot than play hockey. People have been doing this for more than 10,000 years. No one has ever died from pot, while a number of approved pharmaceuticals have been pulled off the market this year for causing cardiac arrest or suicidal ideation. Growing pot is perfectly safe, but our harsh, prohibitionist approach creates an unregulated black market in which there is little incentive to comply with safety code standards. Every moral panic is built on a few real tragedies. There have been grow op fires, and I guess some homes are overrun with mould. Some people have bad experiences smoking pot. But the occasional tragedy does not constitute a social problem, and if the prohibitionists were right, one would expect to find problems of epidemic proportions when there are millions of users and thousands of grow rooms in this great country. I believe there are six incontrovertible reasons why we should put the tiresome marijuana debate to rest once and for all by truly giving Canadians the liberty to grow and use the marijuana plant for personal use, whether recreational or medical. First, it is a plant. Criminal law should be reserved for serious predatory conduct, and only in the world of science-fiction can a plant become a predator. Second, since the 1894 Indian Hemp Commission, virtually every royal commission and governmental committee, internationally and in Canada, has recommended that marijuana use be decriminalized. Some have even called for outright legalization. It is an affront to democracy to continuously spend taxpayers' money on comprehensive and informed reports that are ignored for no apparent reason. Third, most of Europe and Australia have decriminalized marijuana use, and the liberalization of the law in these countries has not wreaked social havoc. In fact, consumption rates in decriminalized jurisdictions are significantly lower than in the penal colonies of Canada and the United States. Fourth, the use of marijuana poses few societal dangers. It is not a criminogenic substance. For most people, marijuana provides a form of deep relaxation and sensory enhancement, and it does not have the unpredictable, disinhibiting capacity of alcohol. No one is getting mugged by Cheech and Chong, and contrary to the false alarms sounded by public officials, marijuana is not significantly responsible for vehicular carnage. A drug can only possess criminogenic potential if it is a disinihibitor like alcohol or if it has addictive potential. There is little evidence that marijuana is addictive, though many chronic users experience a psychological dependency like that of the compulsive jogger who continues a daily exercise regimen despite failing knees. Fifth, marijuana is relatively harmless for the user. Admittedly, smoking has some pulmonary risks, but we don't throw junk food makers and their consumer-victims into jail despite the enormous burden these junkies place on the health care system. Criminal law is not the remedy for gastrointestinal distress, nor is it a rational solution to curbing chronic bronchial inflammation. The solemnity and majesty of the criminal law is trivialized when it's used to prevent Canadians from becoming a nation of coughers and wheezers. Of course, every month we are bombarded by media reports of some new study linking pot to hemorrhoids or some other health risk. More often than not, the study is reporting inconclusive findings from overdosing rats and monkeys, or is a methodologically flawed experiment commissioned by the state. Marijuana activists and users like myself are accused of disregarding mounting evidence of the ravages of marijuana, but we've heard the doom and gloom before. Even though marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the world, there is no epidemiological evidence showing increased morbidity or mortality among the toking population. But their failure to prove that the evils attributed to marijuana are anything more than speculative just compels the state and its scientist handmaidens to use science as a tool for propaganda. My final reason for denouncing the use of criminal law to manufacture cannabis criminals is that the majority of Canadians do not support criminalization of pot use. Democracy is an illusion when the state can maintain a criminal prohibition on an activity enjoyed by 3 million Canadians and tolerated by an overwhelming majority. Even if marijuana use and production entailed more significant harm, this would not necessarily warrant state intrusion into our private choices. Nothing in this world is perfectly harmless. Even flush toilets and articles of clothing can wreak havoc. Studies show that 40,000 Americans injure themselves on their toilet seats every year, and 100,000 are injured by their clothing annually, yet no one has tried to demonize Sir Thomas Crapper or outlaw zippers. Young Canadians have been paralyzed by cross-checks administered in the course of hockey games. We accept and tolerate these risks because we believe there is social utility in having flush toilets, clothing and competitive sports. Yet when it comes to marijuana, we seem unwilling to tolerate any level of risk, even though credible pharmacologists conclude that the moderate use of marijuana causes no harm and that any suspected harm will only be found among chronic daily users. Less than 5 per cent of users are chronic. Most people believe that Canada has stalled on the path of law reform, overwhelmed by the stench of American criminal justice policy. Our government is poised to decriminalize marijuana use, yet its spokespeople continue to demonize the plant by suggesting that a Pandora's box of unknowable harm will come about from a few tokes. The government's message is so mixed, it can only serve as a catalyst for inaction and confusion. But I think our confusion has more to do with our moral ambivalence about hedonism and the alteration of consciousness. North Americans like to see their vices on the silver screen, not in real life, and we like to leave consciousness-expanding experiments to great thinkers like Aldous Huxley. The ordinary person is condemned to a life of sobriety except for the joys and sorrows of alcohol inebriation. We have wavered on repealing a bad law because our culture doesn't believe there is social utility or value in drug experimentation and alteration of consciousness. We cling to the notion that non-medical drug use is always a degenerate and self-indulgent waste of time. State officials continue to construct false alarms of harm and danger in order to mask their real fear that drug use may potentially foster critical thought and alternative visions of reality. Experimentation with pot will not lead most people to a dramatic change of consciousness and character, but like most illicit drugs, the temporary alteration of perception may nourish the capacity for critical thinking. The criminal prohibition of marijuana is all about thought control. It doesn't matter if you're dedicated to a life of total abstention; you should be alarmed whenever state officials weave a tapestry of lies to justify punishing people. And even if you don't believe people should have the right to make autonomous choices about what they do with their minds and bodies, you should worry about a state that governs through moral panic and not through the rational development of public policy. The current attempt to demonize grow ops deflects attention from the reality that while growing pot indoors is not inherently risky, the creation of an unregulated black market is dangerous. Prohibitionists should be ashamed of themselves for spreading lies and hiding the fact that many of them have secretly partaken of the plant. We are at an impasse because the government is simultaneously trying to demonize and decriminalize. And those in power know that if you suck and blow at the same time, nothing will happen on the path to law reform.  Note: Moral panic over grow ops ignores fact that more of us puff than play hockey.Newshawk: Cloud7 Source: NOW Magazine (CN ON)Author: Alan YoungPublished: April 7 - 13, 2005 - Vol. 24 No. 32Copyright: 2005 NOW Communications Inc.Contact: letters nowtoronto.comWebsite: Canada Archives
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on April 14, 2005 at 08:38:54 PT
Related Article from NOW Magazine
Fight Organized Crime - Grow Your OwnApril 14, 2005Cops want more cash to take on grow ops, but with a tiny closet and a few gizmos – no mould, no stolen electricity, no neglected kids – we can topple the drug czars, save policing cash and keep ourselves blissfully buzzed.Location, location, location -- Make sure to situate your grow op in an out-of-the-way place like a closet. You don't want the furnace repair man smelling out your stash. Forgo the tin-foil lining on the walls. It actually reflects tiny beams of light that can burn your plants. A coat of flat white paint works best.Bright lights, big buds -- Don't be dazzled by fancy metal halide or high-pressure sodium lights. Forty-watt fluorescent tubes (attached to a rope or chain for raising and lowering) or mounted vertically on the wall (some gardeners say it offers more coverage) will do the trick.Soil but don't spoil -- Every pot grower claims to have a secret soil mix that will grow boffo buds, but a high-quality organic potting soil mixed with sand atop a few inches of gravel is all you need. A few seeds planted an inch deep in plastic-wrap-covered pots will get you started. Make sure to punch holes in the bottom of your pots to allow drainage.Water works -- The rule of thumb is to water twice a day (at least 12 hours apart) during the early stages of plant growth, and periodically (when the top layer of soil becomes dry) once the plant is established. Be careful. Too much water will rot the roots.Fertilize it -- But don't go crazy with the stuff. And don't bother using fertilizer with varying amounts of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus for the different growing stages of your plants. A scoop of Miracle Gro once a week is enough bang for your blooms. Also, don't use any fertilizer in the two weeks before harvest. It'll make for a cleaner smoke.Shock goes to pot -- No extension cords and power bars, please. But if running a separate line from your electrical panel isn't an option, make sure to keep your electrical off the floor, affixed to a platform of some kind. You don't want any water accidents giving you the shock of your life.Take your timer -- Don't scrimp with the plastic $2.99 special from Canadian Tire. You'll need to light your plants for 18 to 24 hours a day (12 hours a day when you want them to bud), so you don't want the contraption going on the fritz and depriving your buds of nourishment, or melting in the heat. Spring for a more expensive metal timer.Flower power -- You'll be growing in cramped quarters, so you'll want to "pinch" the tops of your plants about a month in to prevent them from growing too high. Don't bother pruning. Nature doesn't. You only need to remove dead leaves. Once you've harvested your crop, wrap it in paper bags or place in empty shoeboxes until completely dry. Smoke freely.Bugging out -- Dishwashing liquid mixed with water should handle just about any infestation, but the best guard against an invasion, according to Doc Bush, is good seeds (available online). Keeping temperatures in the 24-to-27°Celsius range should also help keep humidity under control and ward off critters.Air care -- A simple oscillating fan or bathroom ceiling fan (which you can rig to vent through the ceiling of your closet if you're worried about the smell) will keep your green breathing easy and free of mould and mildew. Remember, the hotter the space, the more ventilation is required. If you're really freaked about smell, splurge for an ionizer.Just one more thing It's illegal and you can go to jail for this. NOW | APR 14 - 20, 2005 | VOL. 24 NO. 33
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Comment #26 posted by afterburner on April 10, 2005 at 11:05:51 PT
An International Gathering - 6 days to go
email from Eric Wood
8.April.2004"There's only eight more days [6 days now] until the Highway 420 Conference and Protest in Niagara Falls. 
 "Arrange your weekend so you can make sure to attend on Saturday April 16 2005. Meet Loretta Nall (US Marijuana Party President) and David Malmo Levine (BC Marijuana Party) and many other American and Canadian cannabis activists who have banded together to fight the global war on drugs. 
"Enjoy a peaceful day of conversation and recreation like you've never seen before.
 "Visit the site for details and in advance thank you for your support. If you can pass this on to your friends and associates that would really be helping us out. 
"Eric James Wood,
Joint Venture Coordinator,
The Highway 420 Project""Blessed are the peacemakers." --Jesus
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Comment #25 posted by FoM on April 10, 2005 at 07:05:50 PT
 John Tyler 
I was raised Catholic and I watched as much of the Pope's Funeral as possible. When Bush showed up it was so out of all that seemed good and right about the whole event. It sure made Bush look small and insignificant in the big picture. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. The Pope was a peacemaker and Bush just loves war. The contrast was remarkable to me.
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Comment #24 posted by John Tyler on April 10, 2005 at 06:30:58 PT
At the Pope’ funeral
What the people of the world think of Bush. World leaders make nice to Bush and his cronies for political reasons. I think the people in different countries have a different view. Bush and other world leaders were at the Pope’s funeral to see and be seen. The vast multitudes of people had to wait outside. Huge TV screens were installed to let them see what was going on. All of the world leaders that came were shown walking in and taking their seats. When the crowds outside saw Bush come in to take his seat they interrupted their quit reflection, conservation, or singing and greeted his image on the screen with a loud chorus of boos. Nobody else got booed. 
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Comment #23 posted by ekim on April 08, 2005 at 20:31:45 PT
passports by 2006
First, it is a plant. Criminal law should be reserved for serious predatory conduct, and only in the world of science-fiction can a plant become a predator. Cellulase Cost-Reduction Contracts 
 The Biomass Program's model process design (PDF 5.1 MB) for a large-scale lignocellulosic biomass-to-ethanol production plant is based on enzymatic rather than thermochemical hydrolysis of cellulose Download Acrobat Reader. One main reason for this choice is that there is more opportunity for cost reduction for enzyme-based technology (although its cost is higher to start with) than with already relatively well-developed thermochemically-based processes. The most important opportunity for cost reduction is the effective cost of using the cellulase enzymes. Current commercial production of enzymes generally (for example in detergents) and for cellulase enzymes specifically (for example for "stone-washing" jeans) is relatively both small in scale (compared to the market size that would be needed to support a large-scale cellulosic ethanol industry) and recent (most industrial enzyme technology is only a few decades old). As such, cellulases are currently considered specialty products, and ten- to fifty-fold decreases in the effective cost of the enzymes are needed and believed to be achievable by reducing enzyme production costs and improving enzyme performance. In combination with other targeted improvements in sugar platform technology (reducing cellulase costs is just one of many Program targets — albeit a key one), achieving this level of cellulase cost reduction would enable enzyme-based processing to surpass thermochemical cellulose hydrolysis processing economics and would make producing ethanol or sugar from lignocellulosic biomass competitive with producing it from starch.The Biomass Program therefore placed separate, parallel contracts in 2000 with the world's two largest industrial enzyme manufacturers, Genencor International and Novozymes, with the goal of reducing cellulase costs for commodity biomass conversion applications. As of early 2004, both companies have already reported over ten-fold decreases to an effective cost of below $0.50 per gallon of ethanol produced. Continuing work is expected to further reduce cellulase costs to about $0.10 per gallon of ethanol or less — the cost target established by the Biomass Program for this key element of sugar platform technology development. that year was a bitch.
"and only in the world of science-fiction can a plant become a predator. "ok where is the info on Plastics.
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Comment #22 posted by schmeff on April 08, 2005 at 10:13:53 PT
Okay, maybe the Devil's Advocate who visited could claim groupthink. But, really, that charge could be leveled at any demographic that unites in a common cause or accepts a particular ideology.But I've participated in my share of discussion threads and don't believe any unbiased observer would ever characterize the people responsible for the thoughtful, intelligent, logical and extremely polite comments posted on this site as "burnouts."
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Comment #21 posted by siege on April 08, 2005 at 07:48:21 PT
ot Tn. senator
I have not seen the Tn. senator post in the last 2 months hay Dr. come on back and talk to us.
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Comment #20 posted by JSM on April 08, 2005 at 05:03:43 PT:
Runderwo, on one hand I do agree with you, but consider that there is nothing reasonable or rational about incarceration, seizure of property and the destruction of both families and individuals.  Although forgiveness is important for me personally, sometimes it is more than challenging to maintain that attitude in the face of what is happening and the damage that is the direct result of action by the prohibitionists. Just consider how many have died and suffered as a direct result of being denied access to this healing herb. Then consider the environmental and economic damage done by refusing to allow the cultivation and use of industrial hemp. Despite all of this, personally I will welcome any prohibitionist from Walters on down who wishes to post here as long as they are willing to have an honest and open dialogue - something that, in my experience, usually they simply can not handle.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on April 07, 2005 at 19:21:14 PT
You're welcome. I thought it was something that should be posted. Caution sometimes is wise and the CBC seemed to be just wanting to get the info out not like it would be done here in the states.
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Comment #18 posted by runderwo on April 07, 2005 at 19:10:25 PT
"At one time prohibitionists used to post here, but no longer. They simply can not defend their position rationally as they do not have any logical or rational arguments and are unable to support their point of view."Of course, to play devil's advocate, it could be that they don't visit because they perceive groupthink here. We happen to think we are reasonable, but certainly they think they are the reasonable ones and that we are a bunch of burnouts who sit around congratulating each other for being so smart. I think keeping an open dialog is important and that means not flaming such people when they do show up or painting all of them with the same brush.
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Comment #17 posted by runderwo on April 07, 2005 at 19:00:58 PT
So, it can be spread by sharing anything that goes in the mouth, but pot was chosen for the article headline? Here we go with the negative associations again...
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Comment #16 posted by potpal on April 07, 2005 at 18:59:21 PT
pass it over to me?
Fom, thanks for that info. It is a beautiful custom to share a joint with friends but obviously carries the risk of share more than the joint itself. I can remember a friend of mine telling me a story about the time he got his mother high. Her first comment was that she wanted her own joint and not share one, thinking it unsanitary. I agree actually although having grown up in a cannabis culture we tend to readily embrace this custom but to older, wiser beginner it may seem strange. 
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on April 07, 2005 at 17:52:09 PT
CBC: Medical Alert for Pot Smokers
CBC News - April 7, 2005 VANCOUVER – Health officials in Vancouver have issued a warning about the danger of sharing marijuana joints, after the practice was linked to several recent cases of meningococcal disease. Vancouver Coastal Health Authority spokesperson Viviana Zanocco says there have been at least five cases in the region since November. "Of those, four were regular pot users and pot smokers. And when we say that, we mean people who shared pot with friends in their own social circles," she says. "The alarming thing is two of those people died as a result of their infection. so we're a little concerned." Zanocco says the meningococcal bacteria can also be passed through saliva from a variety of other sources. "Although when we talk about meningococcal disease, we do point out the risk factors – sharing utensils water bottles joints and cigarettes… "So we want to issue a reminder, especially considering that the only common factor amongst these last couple of cases is the regular smoking of pot. So we felt it was only prudent and ethical to alert the public about this health risk."
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Comment #14 posted by potpal on April 07, 2005 at 15:44:44 PT
why not...
I get these out of the box ideas now and then, funny usually after I partake of the sweet leaf and I'm helpless but to share them. Bare with me.This is such a great essay, we all agree, so everybody print a copy then copy that 10 or however many times, fold neatly and put them on cars in a shopping center, leave them behind if you commute, leave them in airports, bus stations... Nothing illegal about that. Jehovah's Pot Heads on the march.Prior to the internet, organization was nearly impossible, all we had was high times really and dedicated pot people who spread the word but now we have the power of numbers on our side. Grow peace.
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Comment #13 posted by mayan on April 07, 2005 at 15:38:36 PT
Most people believe that Canada has stalled on the path of law reform, overwhelmed by the stench of American criminal justice policy.I have no doubt that cannabis would already be legal in Canada if it wasn't next door to the empire.
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Comment #12 posted by JustGetnBy on April 07, 2005 at 13:33:31 PT
A Keeper  Comments #3 & #4
Guys........... I've already put it to notepad, I'm gonna memorize some of this good stuff. Best, clearest, succinct description of the cluster f*&^%k called the "Drug War ".  I might even lift a paragraph here and there to spice up a LTE.Peace
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Comment #11 posted by unkat27 on April 07, 2005 at 13:04:12 PT
Blame the Bushites
I believe that Canadian politicians who seriously oppose cannabis reform and decriminalization are sucking up to the emperor Bush and his fascist bullies, but not simply because they fear these unstoppable antiseptic terrorists, but because they are 'fair weather friends' and want to be on the winning team, no matter how fascist, greedy, hypocritical, and rotten to the core that winning team is. The Bushites have drawn a connection between illegal drugs and terrorism and push this BS as propaganda to demonize cannabis users. What we have to teach these dummies who fall for this BS is that cannabis would not sleep with terrorists if it were legal. The only reason why cannabis sleeps with harder drugs and the illegal arms trade is because it is illegal, period. Want to stop cannabis from contributing to terrorism? Then legalize it and regulate it on the free market. Can you do simple arithmetic? Then don't be fooled by the Bushite's BS!
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Comment #10 posted by afterburner on April 07, 2005 at 11:59:05 PT
Theological Police
"But I think our confusion has more to do with our moral ambivalence about hedonism and the alteration of consciousness. North Americans like to see their vices on the silver screen, not in real life, and we like to leave consciousness-expanding experiments to great thinkers like Aldous Huxley. The ordinary person is condemned to a life of sobriety except for the joys and sorrows of alcohol inebriation. "We have wavered on repealing a bad law because our culture doesn't believe there is social utility or value in drug experimentation and alteration of consciousness. We cling to the notion that non-medical drug use is always a degenerate and self-indulgent waste of time. State officials continue to construct false alarms of harm and danger in order to mask their real fear that drug use may potentially foster critical thought and alternative visions of reality.""Theological Police," comment on Steve Kubby's coinage
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on April 07, 2005 at 11:49:53 PT
Thank you for the compliment. I'll sure keep trying! I hope we win soon. That would be so nice.
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Comment #8 posted by JSM on April 07, 2005 at 11:30:15 PT:
Right on target
The articles and arguments shown here for ending prohibition just keep getting better and better with seemingly no end in sight.  At one time prohibitionists used to post here, but no longer. They simply can not defend their position rationally as they do not have any logical or rational arguments and are unable to support their point of view.FOM, you are one remarkable person. Please keep up the good work.
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Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on April 07, 2005 at 11:08:32 PT
Amen! So true, especially the last 2 paragraphs. The truth is that most of humanity is ignorant and needs to be led, or told how to think. has it always been this way? I doubt it. I think a lot of it has to do with specialization and the Industrial Age. People don't need to be generalists anymore, they can focus on doing one small thing, and trust "Civilization" to provide everything else.  Apparently thinking for oneself and using logic to form beliefs falls by the wayside.Maybe independent thought is like a muscle that atrophies with lack of use?
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Comment #6 posted by breeze on April 07, 2005 at 10:58:40 PT
The only reason I own a gun...
The only reason I own a gun is because of all of the other idiots who own guns. Weapons should not be required in this world to feel safe- unless you live in a forest, but sadly, everyone should own a gun. People (including LEO's) have a great tendency to use guns haphazardly. When a situation seems to be unresovable through intellectual conversation- humans do the one thing that will resolve the situation permanently- kill the person. Life isn't valued on this planet, much less, intelligent life.It's no wonder God has designed this planets inhabitants to sustain life for only a limited period of time, if one isn't busy in making another's life miserable through SO many means of day to day operation, another person sees the solution as ending that life.Life should and COULD be enjoyed by the entire planets human inhabitants, but so few actually find the act of making others life easy, or even making others lives above poverty an attainable goal, that it is no wonder people resort to violence to end confrontation. Violence is never an appropiate response, it resolves nothing- but it is easily effective.Humans are often so arrogant, it sickens me. Compassion? Certainly out of the question- just read the headlines of your local newspaper. Humans have come a long way from using sticks and rocks as weapons, humans have come a long way toward making every person on the planet able to live in peace and in prosperity, but look at where personal greed has shamed all of that "progress." Yes, technology has made many wonderful advancements in the last few centuries, but look at where wealth, power and prestige have corrupted the grand design.People by the masses love to hate, murder, and commit evil acts- smoking or ingesting a simple herb isn't a sin, no more than drinking a glass of wine or beer is, being irresponsible while doing so though, is an act of evil. Not being considerate of others should be a crime, but it is not- you are allowed to be as rude, aggressive and STUPID as you please, within limitation.A young man (22 years old) lost his life, his fiance in critical condition just yesterday- because a man was driving drunk at 3:00 in the afternoon. The man that killed the 22 year old male, and injured his love- had a previous DUI conviction. Yet, alcohol is STILL legal. I am afraid the only way to morally allow alcohol to remain legal, is to have the technology that allows vehicles to drive themselves by onboard computer. Futuristic? Certainly, but attainable TODAY- just as cheap fuel to propel such vehicles. But greed and ignorance stands in the way. Ignorance and greed stand in the way of progress. Just as prohibition does. Marijuana doesn't make a person less attentive to their actions than alcohol, it is all in how and who can get a share of the money from the sales of the goods- and cannabis is easier to grow than alcohol is to make. So, its all about money. Money or should I say, GREED, truly is the root of ALL evil.The upper classes tend to look down on the lower classes, judging others by their bank account. Is this an admirable quality? The government, parents, religions, and society in general- all teach people the wrong values while remaining hypocritical at the same time. They focus on what is against the law, instead of focusing on what is against logic- which is often the very thing the laws are against. Should it be any different for a crime to be punishable by a greater extreme in one part of the nation than another? No, but it is. Locale? I am an individual, I don't think like people in my region do, but I can't simply move to be surrounded by people who think like me, due to financial restrictions. And I am refused due to my beliefs. The irony is, that my beliefs would benefit all people in all of society- including those who reside in my region of existence.The answers are simple, the utilization of them- arduous and difficult- because people of power are arrogant and ignorant. How did these stupid people gain power over my life? Where did the masses go so wrong to allow this to happen? We certainly can't use violence to remove them from power, as our forefathers suggested may be a possibile requirement- our technology has betrayed us in this fact, and many others. No, the powerful and affluent are in power because someone before them was extremely greedy- and it paid off for their idiot heirs, and lienage. Proof that genetics is meaningless in predicting intellect, or compassion- because it was the masses alive now that allowed this betrayl to occur. The masses voted these "leaders" into power. I look at many of my neighbors, and see the ignorance that did so. To be intelligent, that is indeed a gift. To be stupid and irresponsible, that is herd mentality. Eventually- the herd is taken to the guthouse, by their own admission and freewill. Only the intelligent know it is their own interest to resist. 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 07, 2005 at 09:27:39 PT
Related Article About Canada
Rumored US Ambassador Bad News For Canada 
 April 7 2005Counterbias.comRobert Furs
 Paul Cellucci’s departure from his position as U.S. ambassador to Canada was a joyful day for most self-respecting Canadians. Now that Cellucci, loved by the U.S. administration for his line-toeing and hated by Canadians for his bullying attitude, has moved from telling Canadians what to do, to writing a tell-all book that only self-loathing Canadians (and Canada-hating Americans) will read.The decision has not yet been made, but reports are surfacing that a replacement for Cellucci is ready to be named. By the time you read this, George W. Bush’s administration may have already appointed Bush buddy David Wilkins as U.S. ambassador to Canada.Wilkins, a Republican and Speaker of the South Carolina legislature, is even less suited for the job than anyone’s lowest expectations could hope. While Cellucci, being a former governor of liberal Massachusetts, was at least close in proximity to Canada, Wilkins hails from South Carolina, a hell of a distance from the 49th parallel. The Globe and Mail notes that Wilkins knows “relatively little about his neighbour to the north”, and “has little international or trade experience”. Superb qualifications for the job, no?Adding even more negativity to the mix: Wilkins will no doubt be a perfect fit for Canada’s progressive socialist paradise. I can’t wait for the first time this religious conservative tells our country that gay marriage is bad, mmkay, marijuana is bad, mmkay, and all us atheists are going to hell.The National Post reported that Wilkins is also a protectionist, who denounced Canadian softwood producers as having “unfair trade practices” – he was Speaker when South Carolina “passed a bipartisan motion in 2001 calling on the President and the U.S. Congress to uphold trade sanctions” on Canada. This bodes well for what is to come, surely, if Mr. Wilkins is indeed appointed.Nonetheless, ambassadorships are a plum role more often than not given to loyal allies of the person in charge of doing the hiring – in this case, George W. Bush. Of course, Wilkins has been nothing but a great friend to the president. He’s raised thousands of dollars for George W.’s two presidential runs, and played a big role in Bush’s wins in South Carolina (the 2000 primary, the 2000 presidential election, as well as the 2004 election as Bush-Cheney ‘04 state campaign chairman). In 2003, Wilkins was a "Ranger" – which meant he raised over $200,000 for Bush.And as such things go in politics, he must get compensated for his help. These things don’t come free. So, is it safe to say that Bush will be naming Wilkins as ambassador simply because of his steady loyalty and hard work for the Bush family? If only it were so – if only it were so.The disturbing thing about Wilkins, a tax-cutting, corporate, religious, protectionist conservative being America’s face to Canada, is the fact that, well, he’s got about the worst resume Bush could’ve chosen for someone to be America’s face to Canada.As a tax-cutting, religious, protectionist conservative, you can bet that Canada will be facing more bullying, more talking down to, and more righteous indignation from Wilkins than we ever received from Paul Cellucci.It all fits in with Bush’s new face of, rather than working with the world community, choosing to propel the fist of America-first power into foreigner’s faces. It began with choosing Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State, then anti-U.N’er John R. Bolton as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, neo-conservative ideologue Paul Wolfowitz as head of the World Bank – and now, apparently, David Wilkins as U.S. ambassador to Canada. There’s definitely a pattern here.If Mr. Wilkins is indeed appointed, as is expected, the upcoming feuds, controversies and outrages should at least prove entertaining, and make everything coming from Massachusetts moderate Paul Cellucci’s mouth pale in comparison.Copyright: 2005 CounterBias.com
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Comment #4 posted by dongenero on April 07, 2005 at 09:02:56 PT
it's a keeper
You're right Sam. This article is a keeper.
I had the same thought..."If I had to hand someone one page explaining the situation.......This REALLY needs to be published in the U.S. papers.Great perspective and eloquence by Alan Young.
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on April 07, 2005 at 08:33:35 PT
What a great essay. In the future this guy will be seen as a true pioneer, a true freedom fighter. I really don't like most lawyers but this guy has really dedicated himself to changing the world for the better.I'm saving this one, if I have to hand someone a 1-page writeup of why the laws are wrong, this is the best I've seen in a while.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on April 07, 2005 at 07:40:11 PT
You're very welcome. Cloud7 posted it so I was able to find it to post very easily. I want to mention about guns. I don't believe in guns ( I don't mean they should be illegal ) and wish we weren't sending them into your country. We have become such a violent nation and it saddens me.
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Comment #1 posted by JackBNimble on April 07, 2005 at 07:33:17 PT
I was hoping to see this posted here.
Howdy all,Fom,As usual Alan has ripped the prohibs a new one.Now Magazine is a free alternative newspaper in Toronto. Very large circulation (it's available in every coffee shop, bar, etc). Mostly famous for comprehensive club listings.I just wish he would have proposed the ultimate Canadian compromise solution: US, ban handguns, Nearly 100% of illegal handguns entering Canada are from the US.In return: we will redirect our drug cop funding to border search funding. We will seize any and all cannabis entering the US though normal checkpoints and ask our citizens to stop sending it south.Can't ban guns? Against your constitution you say?Well, here's a shocker, it's against Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms to persecute harmless people. We just haven't fixed that yet.So what do you say? You add an Amendment and we'll ask our normally well-behaved citizens for a compromise that they will appreciate.P.S. You are welcome to visit any time if things get too hot down there. But please leave the guns and ammo at home.
Just think of the Children.
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