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Talking about drugs, Part Two

It’s time to ban alcohol and cigarettes


 

Rising just before Question Period yesterday, Conservative MP Kelly Block lamented for Justin Trudeau in a number of regards, including his remarks to students in Brandon last week.

The Liberal leader also went to a Brandon school and, in front of a room full of younger children, pitched his plan to make marijuana more accessible to kids by legalizing it and regulating it like alcohol and cigarettes.

This raises an important point. Alcohol and cigarettes are far too accessible. It’s time to prohibit it as an illegal drug as we do marijuana.

According to the 2010-2011 Youth Smoking Survey, 45.4% of respondents in grades seven through 12 admitted using alcohol in the previous year compared to 21.2% for cannabis. Meanwhile, 39.9% of those in grades six through 12 had tried smoking a cigarette.

Obviously, our young people are too easily gaining access to alcohol and cigarettes. The only responsible thing would be to ban them entirely.


 

Talking about drugs, Part Two

  1. Drug dealers don’t ID. The best way to control cannabis and keep it out of the hands of minors is to regulate it.

    Of course, it’s not like the Con men are looking for a rational debate on the subject. The purpose of their slanderous and misleading message is to lock down support of their social con base and attempt to manipulate people’s emotions. They will be a lot more successful with the first than the second…

    • Are you sure you read those stats correctly? Regulated drugs (cigarettes and alcohol) have higher consumption rates among youth than marijuana. That doesn’t give much confidence that checking IDs is very helpful.

    • If you read the stats above, it shows that youth have a higher rate of alcohol and tobacco consumption than marijuana. This is despite the fact that alcohol are legal but tightly regulated.

      Prohbition works for reducing consumption of the banned substance, just like it did during alcohol prohibition. It doesn’t mean it is worth the problems, but you can get into quite a long discussion of whether it is more harmful to have the criminal activity of the drug trade, or having widespread consumption of the product. Certainly what product we are talking about would play a role in that decision.

      • I read the stats. You are making the mistaken assumption that legalization will make the numbers higher. This is not the case. Other countries that have legalized or decriminalized cannabis have lower usage rates than we do:

        “Nor do Canada’s sanctions curb underage use. Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands are all countries where pot use has been decriminalized, legalized or liberalized, and all have rates of child cannabis use that range from one-third to more than one-half lower than in Canada.”

        http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/06/10/why-its-time-to-legalize-marijuana/

        • Them having lower rates, does not mean we will have lower rates.

          They may have lower rates simply because they don’t have the same culture of intoxication, or associate the use of drugs so strongly with teenage culture or rebellion. Even the article itself says “Why Canada’s rates are higher is a bit of a mystery.” Heck, it might even because they don’t have the massive drug culture of the US right next door culturally influencing them.

          But we simply know for a fact that there is less use of banned drugs in the population than there was in the past. Take Thujone for example, the drug used in absinthe. Almost nobody uses like they used to because the government banned Thujone. There are far less opiate users now than there was before the ban on opiates, though heroin and other opiates are still problematic. Alcohol consumption went down during prohibition.

          I would be very shocked if consumption of marijuana went down if legalized and sold through the local Liquor Board Store. I would instead look to Washington and California for the likely effects. Here is an article in Forbes, which talks about how alcohol and marijuana are substitutes for each other, and how increased consumption of marijuana might lead to less alcohol consumption (and a corresponding reduction of the social harms caused by alcohol).

          http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobsullum/2013/11/01/economists-predict-marijuana-legalization-will-produce-public-health-benefits/

    • Hey Ron. When you were in high school was it easier to get alcohol and cigarettes, or weed? I know for myself and my friends it was alcohol and cigarettes. Also, alcohol and cigarettes were socially acceptable so it was consumed more than weed which was somewhat viewed as a “burn-out” drug. Legalize pot and it becomes more socially acceptable and easier to procure and will therefore likely result in higher use in kids.

      • It could hardly get worse then it is right now. If they regulate smartly, keep the price below street level this will reduce the availability of illegal pot. How on earth can it make it more available or socially acceptable to kids? They will need however have to do something about bootlegging by older siblings and dealers, which will mean tougher penalties in some areas.

        • Don’t you think JT endorsing smoking pot poolside with dinner guests has already made it vastly more socially acceptable then it was before his announcement?
          If kids are watching their parents blaze with their friends you don’t think they’re going to want to try it more? I remember stealing a cigarette from my dad when I was about 8 or 9 – I remember syphoning booze from my parents liquor cabinet in high school.. I’m pretty sure I would have stolen their pot too if there had been some in the house. Booze and cigarettes were widely available to me and all my friends in high school. Pot was harder to come by and there was a stigma attached to it as well. That will all be gone. I’d bet money that use will go up and not down with JT’s policy. Decriminalizing is the better way to go IMO.

          • You raise what for me is an important issue – the value of social prohibition. When i was a kid in the UK there was a good likelihood i would have gotten a rebuke from an adult if say i had used foul language on a bus, maybe even a clip around the ear. Now the adults are scared of the kids and no one gives a f**k what you say or do on a bus. I’m exaggerating, but still.
            So yes that concerns me. But parental responsibility has to occur at some point. I doubt Trudeau for instance let his kids see him smoke up…or he shouldn’t have.
            I think the main concern being expressed here is will legalization induce more youngsters and adults who don’t now smoke to do so? Maybe? But i doubt it. Most likely the people who already get their stuff illegally will keep on getting it, but now legally. The penalties for pushing to your peers, siblings or kids need to increase if anything. The hope is by setting itself up as competition the legal business will at least drive down the profitability of the illegal – this is a public good on a number of fronts; decriminalization wouldn’t do this at all. Although it would be a step in the right direction by adding to the cost of purchasing pot while not lifting social prohibitions.
            I wouldn’t be unhappy to see decriminalization tried first, i just doubt it will be as effective in driving the dealers out of business.

          • I hear what you’re saying, but if pot is legal it’s just a matter of time that’s it’s not much different than smoking a cigarette. I believe that as it become more socially acceptable, more people will try it – until JT admitted to using it the general consensus was that pot was generally used by burn-outs. If you went to an elementary school and talked about people that smoke weed most kids would probably say those people were losers and were breaking the law because that’s what their parents would have likely told them. Now the message will be – it’s ok for adults to smoke it, but not kids – and we all know how well that goes over with kids.
            I do not believe it will reduce crime in the least. It may get rid of very small time dealers (and that’s a BIG maybe assuming the government controlled stuff is the same quality and better price). Organized criminals will move on to other crimes – one’s that may be more harmful to society then selling weed. Or they’ll create strains of superweed to compete with the government stuff. Crime will not go away.

          • In my small town that’s not the case. Pot use [and worse] is endemic. Not just for burn outs at all. The fact that it is illegal is pretty much a joke with the kids. No doubt they see their parents or older siblings using and draw the appropriate conclusion. Idealistically the moral approach would be to get the adults to behave. We both know that isn’t going to happen any time soon. So, what to do about it then?
            I’m not even close to being an expert, but is the European numbers are to be believed, even accepting cultural differences[ much less a factor these day] i see some hope there will not be an epidemic of new users. I’m less confident that govt vendors will get it right.
            As for dealers moving on. That’s not much of an argument. If newer and more profitable products appear on the market they will sell them regardless of what we do on the legalization front.
            Meanwhile 500,000 Canadians have needless criminal records hanging over their heads.

          • I’m from a small town too and while there is certainly pot use, there’s way more drinking.
            I didn’t mean that only burn-out’s smoke pot, but that’s the perception we as adults give children so that hopefully they’ll stay away from it. When we have Federal leaders and Mayor’s discussing their drug use I think it sends a very bad message to kids.
            The bit about criminals and crime is not my argument, it’s Trudeau’s – he thinks legalizing pot will reduce crime and criminals – I say it won’t, rather it will simply shift the crime to something else.

          • That shift if it occurs will not be a bug but a feature, or just a consequence. It’s a little bit like arguing we shouldn’t make a law that removes counterfeiting from the hands of criminals because now they’ll just go do something worse.

          • Trudeau’s main arguments for legalization is it will keep it out of the hands of kids and reduce crime.
            I don’t believe either of those statements. IMO kids will have greater access to pot and the crime rates will not change (not entirely true – instead of pushing weed, they’ll push harder drugs).
            I love policies thought up by silver spooned, private schooled, rich kids with no real world experience.

          • The only reason his policy would reduce crime rates, is because marijuana trafficking wouldn’t be illegal anymore. Next thing you know Trudeau will solve the murder epidemic in Canada by legalizing murder. The kids a friggin’ genius I tell ya!

          • Now you’re being partisan and silly. Trudeau didn’t come up with legalization at all, it long predated him. If you want to criticize him call him a bandwagon jumper or political opportunist[that’s what politicians do by the way]
            You haven’t given anything other then your opinion that legalization will make pot more available to kids[ do you imagine regulated vendors will sell to minors? And kids already get it illegally] or crime will not in fact decrease if anything. I have a different opinion that’s all. I do think your point about social prohibition is worth thinking about a bit more before we rush into anything.[ in fact i’ll say as much if i get to the liberal convention in feb]

          • I’m not being partisan and I never said Trudeau came up with legalization – he’s a complete political opportunist. Mark Emery had already called him a hypocrite when he voted for minimum sentences. Admitting to it was insulating himself from it coming out during his election run – “control the message”.
            The idea that legalizing will keep it out of the hands of kids is utterly ridiculous and if you believe that you’ve forgotten what it’s like to be a teen. In high school just about everyone drank underage – barely anyone smoked pot because (1) people that didn’t do it didn’t know where to get it; (2) if they did know where to get it they didn’t like interacting with “those types of people”; (3) none of their friends did it; (4) socially drinking as a teen was like a coming of age, whereas smoking dope was (generally) for burn-outs; (5) cops, in my town at least, let drunk kids off with warnings but charged the one’s carrying dope.
            That will all change with legalization and we’re not mature enough as a society for it.

        • Are you actually suggesting that Trudeau’s policy is meant to undercut black market marijuana by making government weed cheaper than street dope? Cheaper weed doesn’t seem like the kind of policy that will result in fewer kids smoking dope.

          • Your an idiot Omen, go back to sleep.

          • Interesting article Rick. That’s pretty much exactly what I believed would happen.

          • I am shocked you actually went looking for evidence. Good for you. However that isn’t what i’d call evidence. To me at least it seems poorly argued and slanted. Is the law and programme directly comparable to one we might roll out here…yadda yadda yadda? But if there is in fact statistical evidence as to why legalization is a bad way to go, let’s hear them.

          • Of course you wouldn’t call it evidence. The only thing you would call evidence is statistics that backup your predetermined conclusion about Trudeau’s idiotic policies.

            Teachers in Colorado say that pot use has gone up since it was legalized. Of course Colorado’s policy can’t be compared to Trudeau’s policy because Trudeau hasn’t actually formulated a policy that goes beyond “marijuana is pretty cool, we should legalize it, man”.

          • You think that newspaper report is all the evidence that’s need to make your case? As i said, you’re an idiot.

          • I’ve produced some evidence. Can you provide a single shred of evidence that shows that legalized marijuana decreases marijuana use among kids?

            If you’re going to make the case to legalize a drug, the onus is on you to prove that it will have the intended consequences.

            Moron.

          • Circumstantial evidence Tricky Ricky. You need something more then that. As for evidence for legalization, it’s readily available. Look it up yourself. I’m not wasting my time on a fool like you.

          • LOL so you can’t produce any evidence. Nice try trollolololol!

          • You’re actually stewpid enough to believe that, aren’t you.

    • Drug dealers also don’t care about regulations that the government puts in. I find it hilarious that Liberals seem to think that people who are willing to break the law to grow & sell marijuana will suddenly stop because the Liberals will make it against a DIFFERENT law.

      • Yeah, hahaha. I can’t believe how stupid they are. Don’t they remember when prohibition ended and all those gangster just kept bootlegging booze?

        Yur a smurt one, NotRick.

        • Newsflash: the gangsters bootlegged, but they weren’t the distillers. The distillers and brewers that were having their liquor illegally run into the US still exist today.

          Are you really so stupid as to think that someone who’s running a million dollar grow op is just going to shut down because the government wants to regulate him? What’s the government going to do, threaten him with a fine? That’s going to work but the threat of jail time won’t?

          You people are so out to lunch on this “debate” it’s not even funny. Are you going to tell me next that alcohol consumption went DOWN after prohibition ended?

          • Uh yeah, stupie. Distillers in Canada that weren’t subject to prohibition still exist today. Brilliant observation.
            However in the US which was actually subject to the prohibition we’re talking about gangsters both distilled and distributed alcohol. Why don’t they still?

          • Because the “gangsters” that were distilling in the US during prohibition simply became legitimate business men when prohibition ended. They didn’t stop making booze.

            Trudeau’s policy is the equivalent of reducing drunk driving deaths by raising the legal limit to 1.00.

            Why don’t we reduce illegal drug use to zero by simply legalizing all drugs?

            Do you see how this policy doesn’t actually address any of the problems associated with marijuana use?

          • You just told me that gangsters weren’t distilling during prohibition. Now, in the 25 miniutes since I’ve corrected you, you’ve learned all about the career trajectories of prohibition-era gangsters? Hahahaha!
            So tell me, did those gangsters keep gunning each other down and paying no taxes on their distilling operations after prohibition ended?

            I’d be all in favour of decriminalizing all drug use, but you’ll never see any party leader take that position -certainly never the Conservative nannies.

          • So you’re admitting that you’d like legalizing marijuana to be only the first step in a long line of policies that would end in legalizing heroin and meth?

          • Yawwwn.

            So tell me, did those gangsters keep gunning each other down and paying no taxes on their distilling operations after prohibition ended?

            I’d be all in favour of decriminalizing all drug use, but you’ll never
            see any party leader take that position -certainly never the
            Conservative nannies.

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more, i personally hate working for a living and opening up these two gems to unregulated illicit sale would make me and anyone else who can operate a still or smuggle tobacco a rich man. Sir i wish you luck on the neo-prohibitionist front.

  3. So tell me: is there a Speaker in that house to rule lies out of order? No, I didn’t think so.

    • Agreed. A speaker with any balls and brains would shut this personalized nonsense and abuse of House privilege down. I wonder if its worth attempting to deluge the speakers office with complaints or raspberries?

      • Right…. they same way they did when JT called Kent a PoS in the HoC

        • Different point of privilege. We’re talking about S 31s here. By convention Trudeau was forced to stand and apologize. …do try to follow along.

          • Oh, I’m following along just fine. You’re amusing.

          • What’s so amusing about pointing out a distinction that matters. Had Trudeau refused to apologize the speaker could have kicked him out of the house.
            The previous speaker did crack down on abuse of S31s for a while- until the pmo found a way around that. This speaker needs to crack the whip a bit also.

  4. Where’s Scott Reid to counter Kelly’s foolish argument?

  5. Kelly Block…at least the last name fits. Dumb Block I’d be better.

    • Fun fact: Kelly holds one of the infamous robocall ridings.

  6. Does anyone know if the Liberals misused this particular House privilege in their day; I simply can’t recall it myself, and I’m sure I’d remember the opposition complaints if nothing else?
    It isn’t even the attack on JT per se that’s so annoying, it’s the moronic repetitive style of the thing. Does the pmo think anyone seriously considers the content? At least make them amusing for gods sake? I have this mental image of Harper gleefully whipping them off in a spare moment and stuffing them in some terrified pmo staffers hand:
    ‘ Go on read that one, its good isn’t it?…are you absolutely certain I can’t call him a little turd, not even once? No! What’s the efing point of being PM if I can’t break all the rules when you want, I ask you!’

  7. Hello? Microbrain?

    Ever hear of prohibition?

    That worked out so well, didn’t it? Rum runners and gang violence everywhere, people dying from tained alcohol on the black market, etc.

    And you want to go back to that kind of a nanny state?

    I can only hope you’re having a laugh with some weird sort of sarcasm, because if you’re serious, you’re the stupidest person I’ve encountered in decades.

    • Alcohol prohibition did in fact reduce consumption of alcohol.

      Also, Wherry was indeed being sarcastic.

  8. Another interesting facet of this discussion is that despite what some would have you believe, prohibition does in fact reduce the consumption of that prohibited substance. There was also a marked decrease in the amount of alcohol consumed during alcohol prohibition for example.

    According to the survey by Wherry, simply being available and legal leads to greater consumption among youth of legal intoxicants, despite our rather tight controls over liquor and tobacco.

    This is not to say that prohibition is worth the problems, or that I’m advocating for continuing prohibition on drugs, but there was a reason we banned these substances in the first place. Greater consumption among the populace can also lead to problems of crime, addiction, and domestic violence depending on the substance. This argument of course can be used for alcohol as opposed to Marijuana which generally causes less problems with aggression and loss of control than alcohol.

    Pretty much all drugs however (including alcohol and tobacco) have long term and negative effects on your brain function. So if you are arguing from a principle of harm reduction, and think it is your duty to protect people from themselves, prohibition still has some legs. Even if you are inclined to loosen the ban on marijuana, very few people seem to be willing to return to the days of the 20th century, when pretty much all drugs were legal. It shouldn’t be such a shock if some people are inclined to draw the line more severely against marijuana, alcohol or tobacco the same way you would for opiates, or methamphetamines.

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