Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The dopey push for legalized pot

Brian Hutchinson asks some pertinent questions:
What is it about Vancouver and its determination to make pot smoking a regular activity, like drinking coffee?
... four former Vancouver mayors [Mike Harcourt, Philip Owen, Larry Campbell and Sam Sullivan] ... waded into matters well beyond any local jurisdiction, penning an open letter last month that demanded the end of marijuana prohibition in Canada.
... Last week, sitting Mayor Gregor Robertson chipped in with a tweet: "Good to see 4 Vancouver ex-mayors calling for end of cannabis prohibition. I agree, we need to be smart and tax/ regulate."
... A key flaw in the legalization and regulation argument, what proponents such as the four ex-mayors and Mr. Robertson ignore, is the assumption that underground markets would just disappear. In fact, they would continue to thrive. [True. In my hometown in Manitoba the RCMP spent most of their time chasing bootleggers. Also the drug gangs who peddle marijuana also peddle just about every other illegal and dangerous substance. They’ll continue to sell it all.]
... What damage, one must ask? The mayors weren't talking about physical and mental health, which would seem paramount.
... The facts are: Cannabis products are laden with harmful chemicals; marijuana smoke contains carcinogens and damages respiratory systems; consumption impairs cognitive functions, especially among youth, who are susceptible to more serious psychological and physiological effects than adults.
... What about long-term health and productivity effects? Have those been punched into any cost-benefit analysis? ... work-related intoxication, and certainly impaired driving .... Would a bus driver be free to smoke a joint - or three, or five - before or during his shift? How could anyone detect if he had?
All good questions.


Alain said...

Vancouver has become the San Francisco of the North. Smoke pot all you want and if that is not your thing we offer free crack pipes and injection sites, but God help you if you light up a cigarette outdoors.

Cytotoxic said...

Actually Hutchinson just wrote a whiny article insinuating MJ is a lot more harmful than it is and then asking 'questions' based on those insinuations.

Joseph said...

Tend to agree that mj is something we should not legalize.
The proponents tend to neglect that recreational use of mj has no inherent good to it.
Any medical use that can be derived from from it is already available with legal pharmaceuticals
There is no good in mj, keep the ban.

Cytotoxic said...

The proponents tend to neglect that recreational use of mj has no inherent good to it.

It's fun and relaxing and encourages socializing. Not that I need to justify my personal choices to others.

dmorris said...

"The proponents tend to neglect that recreational use of mj has no inherent good to it."

That's funny. Name the "good" there is to social alcohol use. Yeah,I know,after six or seven drinks it help ya to drive better,but apart from that....?

I expect that MJ legalization will follow the same path as the end of Prohibition,when governments need more tax money so desperately they bite the bullet,legalize it,and monopolize sales and distribution.

After a few years,they'll find that all the "sky is falling" rhetoric from the "anti's" was as overblown as such rhetoric usually is,take Global Warming,for instance,and life will carry on,the sun will rise,and the Nation will still be secure.

People like their stimulants,and there's good money to be made in providing them. Governments have that figured out,there's certainly no other reason they've got a tight monopoly on liquor sales.

So, in the spirit of "one man's meat is another man's poison",why bother to spend a fortune every year policing marijuana,and making huge profits for the Hell's Angels?

I'm beginning to wonder if the HA's don't contribute to various political Parties to ensure they NEVER consider legalizing it.

Of course,I am making a joke there, as I realize we have the finest,most forthright politicians money can buy.

Xanthippa said...

I beg to differ with you: these are not 'good' questions, these are irrelevant questions.

The only relevant question here is how have governments gottan away for this long with legislating on this topic whatsoever?

It is none of the government's concern if I drink a liter of gasoline, or take drugs that are bad for me: as an adult, that is - and must remain - my choice!

For the record: aside from alcohol, I have never used amy mind-altering chemicals (including pot), nor would I were they legal.

But that is MY choice and the government is not justified in exercising jurisdiction over it!

JR said...

I have to admit being conflicted about this. The libertarian in me says let people freely decide how to poison themselves. However, not being a fanatical libertarian (like Xanthippa:), my conservative side says legalization carries a lot of hazards/problems that proponents haven't considered seriously - the ones Hutchinson mentions (plus a few), especially impaired driving and long term health effects. It also irks me that the same clowns (eg. current and former mayors) who are so happy-faced about legalizing pot have hysterically screeched against the evils of tobacco (now all but banned in public spaces) and booze (getting that way).

Xanthippa said...

At the risk of being accused of stating the obvious:

The term 'fanatical libertarian' is an oxymoron.

If you believe in the principle that you own your-self, you necessarily reject that the government has the jurisdiction over what you put in it.

Conversly, if you accept the proposition that the government has jurisdiction over your body and what goes in it, then you necessarily admit that you do not own your self: and once you admit that another legal entity owns you, you are not a free person - you are a slave who has no claim to civil liberties.

Any civil liberties.

This is one of those principles which is 'indivisible'.

JR said...

Well, Xanthippa, I did have my tongue in cheek when I wrote that, suspecting you might react to it;)

However, that said, people do subscribe to libertarianism in varying degrees. Some go along with more state involvement than others and some are prepared to take more action than others in defence of their position. See for example this guy.

Also try googling "radical libertariansim".

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