Pot problems: Won’t somebody please think of the Hells Angels?

Keeping kids away from pot is a small problem. Keeping gangs away from pot is a big one.

RCMP handout photo

Sometimes, it’s hard to see the plantation, for the pot. A recent report concluding that adolescent pot smoking affects intelligence got all the headlines. But a bigger issue was hiding behind smaller type: BC RCMP busted Hells Angels for growing pot to fund the importation of cocaine.

I’m dismayed to learn that the pot I smoked as a teenager has probably made me dumber. But I can’t say I’m surprised. I knew at the time that marijuana messed with my brain. That was why I smoked it.

That’s why I’m afraid we may never convince kids to stay away from the stuff. Yes, some will exercise good judgment if they’re educated properly, and avoid high-risk activities, like smoking tobacco or marijuana, drinking alcohol, speeding, engaging in unprotected sex, or doing hard drugs. Or any combination of the above.

The more we can educate the better. But some kids will gravitate toward the very same activities in spite, or indeed because of the risks.

Marijuana’s status as an illegal substance has not prevented teenagers, who are most at risk for mental damage, from using it. It certainly never stopped me. As long as the stuff can be grown quite easily at home, or in the vast expanses of the Canadian countryside, it’s not likely to stop anyone.

Most Canadians are in favour of legalization, or at least decriminalization of marijuana. Some argue that would help keep pot out of the hands of younger people, by making it available only through legal sellers, who would have to adhere to strict regulations including age limits for sale or use.

But that never stopped my friends and me when it came to tobacco or alcohol, which we only had to pilfer from our parents, or pay older kids to obtain for us. So how it would work for pot is a mystery to me.

Maybe legally available bud could be kept at lower levels of THC, making it effectively ‘bud light’ and therefore, perhaps, arguably less dangerous. But beer and cigarettes are available in relatively harmless single doses too. It doesn’t prevent anyone overusing them.

The real advantage of legalization, I’ve come to believe, isn’t that it would keep small amounts of marijuana out of the hands of kids. As the parent of a teenager, it pains me to admit we may never fully succeed in doing that.

What we just might do, though, is keep large amounts of marijuana out of the hands of criminals.

The fact is, the Hells Angels have been making inroads in B.C. for years. The biker gang and other criminal organizations grow and traffic pot as a big business, one which, because it’s illegal, must be protected with the threat of violence. Moreover, it’s an easy cash crop to exchange for cocaine, guns, and other stuff that’s a whole lot nastier than marijuana.

Of course, if marijuana was legal in Canada, there’d be a booming business in smuggling legal Canadian pot into the States, just as there was a booming business in smuggling legal Canadian whiskey into the States during prohibition. But the recent busts reveal the extent to which the Hells Angels are already doing business across borders, from B.C. to Panama.

And at least if pot was legal in Canada, the ordinary recreational consumer of marijuana wouldn’t be funding the activities of major crime networks every time they bought some weed. Instead, they’d be contributing tax dollars, some of which, surely, could be earmarked for better education and treatment for victims of drug abuse, including youth.

Think of the children, yes, of course. We do. That’s why these studies get so much attention when they come to light. But that’s the small-scale pot problem.

When it comes to marijuana legalization, won’t somebody please think of the Hells Angels?

Now there’s a pot problem, on a massive scale.




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Pot problems: Won’t somebody please think of the Hells Angels?

  1. I think less people in Canada are in favor of legalizing pot than you think.

    • He’s basing his claim on research. What’s yours based on?

  2. Based on comman sense, something missing I see.

    • Albert Einstein: “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”

  3. Thank you very much David Newland. It is like the anti-pot crowd have never learned about the prohibition era, and what it did to so many lives, because of the criminality and profits, not the booze.

  4. Oh my God!!!!

    Common sense???

    Take my advice, forget politics, you will never win using common sense.

  5. Who do you think contributes to, and rabidly supports any politician who’s “tough on drugs”? Who has the most to loose if the “prohibition” is repealed? If you guessed organized crime, claim your prize.

    Anything that can be grown wherever you can grow dandelions is never going to be eradicated — but the enforcement of the law keeps the price up, and gives the police some “easy” statistics to support their budgets, when they bust folks with an ounce or so –

  6. Legalize it.
    regulate it.
    tax it.
    educate them “the kids”.
    put the criminals out of business “the HA”.
    give a free choice back to the people.
    End of story.

  7. The coke-for-pot trade is a good example of government policy creating problems. US pot dollars had been directly converted to Loonies when currency exchange was quick and easy. When that direct currency exchange mechanism was made much more difficult, US coke was accepted for pot payments instead, which was then sold domestically to obtain those same Loonies. Personally, I think the former method was preferable in its social ramifications.

  8. Folks it’s very simple that unless you have glaucoma that pot isn’t good for you or kids. Drugs are killing us with secondary health related costs alone. The problem here is that while we are being stealthily attacked from inside we are gazing outside. The Taliban? Al-Qaeda? North America is being eaten alive by the cancer of drugs and we’re wasting billions “over there” instead of fighting the fight here at home. The borders are too large for proper policing and the scare tactics of the cartels are working wonders on the patrollers. Only way to face those big guns is with big guns…sad but true. JTF2, Delta Force, SEALS, FBI, CIA, NSA and CSIS need to be one huge “save our world” network that levels their sights on the enemy here at home and like a surgeon, cuts the cancer out before the body dies. We stand gazing at distant countries that need our help while the enemy within shoots us in the back of the head. We just do not have the cash to fight other people’s battles any more. Besides, I don’t think taking the hero’s handshake for saving another country at the cost of our own is all that wise. When we’re stable, financially sound, and internally secure, THEN we look to help elsewhere. That’s just the way it has to be.

    • Actually, that is completely false. There are many pediatric, adolescent and adult medical marihuana patients. There are far more uses for marihuana than glaucoma—are you stuck in the 1990s or something? Welcome to 2012, where there is a vibrant folk community of medical marihuana users who know a line of b.s. when they see it.

      If you want to talk cancer, the real cancer is lacklearning people, perhaps like yourself, who cannot understand what a ROBBER is. A thief is anyone who takes something of value from another. An Act of Parliament cannot legalize theft of valuable agricultural products like marihuana or hemp—that’s simply an unreasonable act, and an unreasonable act does not obtain the force of law.

      Proper policy regarding drugs means allowing incorporated companies to take over the drug trade. They will use law courts to settle disputes, not firearms. They will also be subject to human rights law. That’s another big tragedy that the drug war creates. Only a simpering moron thinks that drug sales will actually be eliminated by _any_ sort of prohibition. All prohibition does is means that the drug-workers will not have the appropriate safeguards in the workplace, like a union or like access to a human rights tribunal if they’re mistreated, or access to Workers Comp.

      You know, Gerald, your view that a bunch of alphabet-soup agencies need to “save the world” from drugs reminds me of a well-known fact about drugs: they cause fear, paranoia and utter insanity in people who don’t use them.

  9. @pragraph8.. thc does not make marijuana dangerous. whether you smoke 1% or 100%. and ive never understood the argument that pots stronger. kids these days smoke 1/10 of what was smoked when the pot was 1/10 as strong. less smoke, same high=safer, at least in my books.

    and for those that are going to quote the study, “pot makes you dumber”. the kids who were considered dependent users also had to have social or educational problems before they started smoking.

  10. The powers that be,have never and will never really care about public safety.The so called war on drugs, billions of tax payers money,spent on keeping the “sheeple of the westernized world ” dumbed down to believe what ever the media tells us. In the us alone there are more people in jail for mariquana related effences ,than all other crimes put together.Think about it ,the money that is at stake and the jobs that would be affected are astronomical. Judges doctors cops lawyers ,not to mention the second most profitable business privatized jails,there are over 400 in the last twenty years.Anyway people start researching the problems as a whole before you make any decisions. The positive results both medically and recreationally far outway the negative by in large. Look it up the info is there if you look for it.

  11. Said that in the 70′s to a deaf ear for the government to get on the band wagon make tailor made Mary-Jane under the tobacco Act and sell it under the Liquor Board to the 18+ and reap in the taxes.

  12. If Canada had a RICO law, and I don;t know if you do, then it would be better to attack the HAMC at the root of the problem. HAMC is a lot worse than selling pot. Look at the BIG PICTURE!!!

  13. The Hells angels major source of income these days is pot,They raid grow-ops,force growers to supply them,threaten land owners to allow them to grow pot on their land,ect,ect. Without this source of income the H.A would be in financial trouble and couldn’t buy cocaine,speed guns ect,The gouv should legalize it,tax it and licence pot farms.This would be a major blow to the gangs and some of them might become legal tax paying farmers.LoL

  14. The scheduling of marihuana is part of an aggressive campaign of warfare—it’s called the “war on drugs” (WOD). The WOD is an unlawful war of aggression against pacific people. The controlled drugs and substances act and its schedules are a psychological component to the war. These documents give the soldiers the excuse that they’re “enforcing the law,” rather than capturing pacific people and sadistically torturing them as part of their war of aggression against pacific drug users.

    “In summary, our society’s judgment is that prohibition and your Controlled Drugs and Substances Act are failed policies that trespasses [sic] upon the peaceful possessory right that ought to be enjoyed by everyone. Your society’s policy does not respect this right. You violently oppress otherwise law-abiding members of your own society. Your corporation’s own policy is the organized crime.” (Chief Justice Bud the Oracle, http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=3853912&Language=E&Mode=1)

    Marihuana prohibition is organized crime. So, it’s really simple, folx. You’re either a freedom-loving anti-prohibitionist, or you’re an organized-crime supporting prohibitionist. To those of you who support prohibition, who made you a prince and judge over anyone else’s garden?

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