Just say no - Macleans.ca

Just say no


Michael Ignatieff has indicated that a Liberal government would support the decriminalizing of marijuana, so understandably, while taking part in the announcement of a new anti-drug campaign yesterday, Conservative backbencher Shelly Glover lamented that the Liberal leader was encouraging the nation’s children to smoke marijuana.

For whatever it is worth, last March Mr. Ignatieff told a crowd of high school students that the “last darn thing” he wanted was for them to be smoking marijuana.


Just say no

  1. I'm not with Glover on this one. De-criminalization of possession seems like a reasonable strategy to permanently re-focus law enforcement's attentions away from users to where is belongs: the dealers, especially those affiliated with criminal gangs.

  2. Seriously, why does everything have to be partisan politics all the time. Glover uses this non-political venue to fire off a few cheap shots on Ignatieff. Then, instead of taking the high road, Marlene Jenning saunters into the partisan gutter with Glover and throws a few cheap shots of her own: "Ms. Glover's statements and distortion of what Mr. Ignatieff actually said is despicable but not surprising coming from a Conservative," said Jennings. She also fought back against Glover's partisan jab and added a harsh statement of her own, saying the Conservative MP gives police officers "a bad name."
    "I don't think she's worthy to wear the uniform of a police officer with what she's doing," said Jennings.
    Jennings said she wasn't surprised that Glover injected partisanship into a straightforward announcement because the Conservatives "politicize everything."

    No wonder people are tuning politicians out.

  3. Thanks for that additional Marlene Jennings bit… certainly over the top.

  4. Anything that can simultaneously help reduce crime and increase personal liberty, such as the decriminalizing of marijuana, is a win-win in my books… mud-slinging a lose-lose.

  5. But not untrue.

  6. Legalize it, license it and then TAX THE HELL OUT OF IT! Not only do you lower costs on the legal system by letting them go after actual criminals but you create another source for tax money.

  7. "I don't think she's worthy to wear the uniform of a police officer with what she's doing," said Jennings.

    What in sam hell does that statement have to do with anything? Glover made it unnecessarily partisan, and Jennings made it unnecessarily partisan and personal. Disgusting politics on both counts. Brutal.

  8. I don't have a problem with making possession of small amounts (<15g) punishable by a fine.

    Interestingly, when Cauchon's bill was introduced in 2003, it was criticized by some marijuana activists. Dana Larsen, former editor of Cannabis Culture and former president of the BC Marijuana Party, was skeptical:

    "Decriminalization is a small step forward, but this law will not make things easier for Canada's marijuana people. Here in Vancouver, now the police pretty much leave you alone or they just hassle you and take your stash. With the fines and ticketing, you end up with more punishment."


  9. Should police officers be disingenuous and misrepresent peoples positions? I certainly hope Ms. Glover repeated the statements of people she interviewed when investigating crimes with more diligence than she quoted Mr. Ignatieff!

  10. I couldn't disagree more. The absolute worst strategy is to focus on dealers. Market economies have proven very capable of generating huge criminal supply chains in response to demand for illegal drugs/alcohol. It's the demand for services where business disputes can't be handled in the courts that cause a lot of the crime and violence in society. Needless violence.

    Complete legalization is the way to go. The second best strategy would be to legalize the supply of drugs and make usage illegal. That would remove most to the criminal ecosystem and hopefully reduce demand a bit. Enforcement against dealers may be the most politically popular, but it is the far worst option. Catastrophically so, as hundred years of drug and/or alcohol prohibition have clearly demonstrated.

  11. Cons don't like getting caught mud-slinging. Twice today at that.

  12. This is a naive view, as the group who would most vociferously oppose the legalization of marijuana are the criminal gangs who profit from it. One thing that the history of gang violence in Canada shows is that you do not mess with the profit of such groups.

  13. I'm with PM on this. The "half a loaf" approach is what's causing all the angst in the Netherlands these days — the fact that they've decriminalized, or even quasi-legalized, simple possession, but never did anything about the (mostly criminalized) supply chain. Thus they left the criminal element in charge of the supply chain. Thus the criminal element remains, and the state foregoes a huge potential source of tax revenue. It makes no sense logically or from a policy perspective to do half measures on this, though of course politicians are too gutless to admit this.

  14. In BC, where it's a multi billion dollar industry, the tax benefits to the province would be huge.

  15. I agree with Dana Larsen. From a policy and logic perspective, it makes no more sense than ticketing someone for merely possessing a case of beer.

  16. ya with (the) PM or with P_M?

  17. I do think Jennings' opinion on Glover's qualities as a police officer are unnecessarily personal. Instead of slinging mud back, she and the Liberals would have been much better served by her taking the high road (no pun intended).

    Maybe the two of them should sit down and hash it out (pun intended). Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemount High could be the moderator.

  18. Its got to be said that when you take cheap, gratuitous at your opponent, you are fair game to get the same or worse in return.
    Its also got to be said that tuning politicians out is the grand vote suppression strategy that seems to be working so well for the Harper thugs.

  19. By that logic, though, Jennings is playing into Harper's hands, isn't she? Anyway, I'm just going by what I would be impressed with… and Jennings' approach doesn't impress me too much.

  20. I think it comes from the fact that Ms. Glover never says anything without cloaking it in her previous career as a police officer.

    Doesn't mean it's right to call her a disgrace, but are Liberals just supposed to ignore that?

  21. Why ARE the Conservatives so pro-biker gangs? What OTHER monopolies do they favour handing them?

  22. Glover opened it up by making that her credential to speak on the topic. Had she said "as a mother" or "as a politician" it might possibly be different.

  23. It's regrettable, but, politicians who are smeared for no reason, or even mistakenly as with the Winnipeg story, have to fight back as Jennings did. Dion and Ignatieff thought people would see through the hate campaigns, but they don't. Obama also overestimated people's ability to see through the extremists attacks. Every untrue or exaggerated or twisted attack against Ignatieff must be answered with a similar onslaught against Harper. The high road is for losers in modern politics.

  24. Sadly, if what you say is true, then we're all going to be treated to the continued degradation of political discourse. After reading and re-reading that story, I don't know how Conservatives or Liberals can't be embarrassed.

  25. As recent events re the war, and Senate show, these people have gone beyond embarrassment; they left that marker behind a long time ago.

  26. Shelly Glover wants children to know that if they do drugs they will go to prison.

  27. Let's be honest. The best way to get kids off drugs would be if someone like Michael Ignatieff encouraged it.

    "Hey, kids, try some mj, it's the darnedest thing…."

  28. hahahaha! But Iggy has maybe a modicum of support among the youth demographic. Harper, on the other hand….

  29. No drug should be illegal, that's insanity.

  30. I can't believe anyone took the comments seriously. This has nothing to do with the pros and cons of the issue. It's just another cheap attack ad. Why would anyone debate the merits of an issue based on a comment that is intended only to diminish another person and has zero to do with their ideas which have been totally misrepresented.

  31. I'm not so sure there's a clear win here on the legalize it, license it ,and tax the hell out of it argument. Sure you can concentrate on the criminal element, but don't you risk reigniting demand by taxing the hell out of it – as happened to tobacco? But perhaps this would be a much smaller and easier to control situation ? One things for sure you;d need an effective anti-drug campaign similar to the successful campaigns that have turned around attitudes to smoking over the last 30 years – or was that the high taxes? Swings and roundabouts. A decent cost/risk assessment study would be beneficial. My worry would be that the criminal element would then concentrate only on the most vulnerable or poor, possibly worsening their plight.

  32. Why is Shelley Glover's party running expensive television ads teaching Canadian children street terms for various illegal drugs?

  33. "Pick it … pack it … fire it up …. come along and take a hit from the ….. "

    I nominate Cypress Hill for campaign theme song.

    Also, I agree with P_M and Orson Bean above who argue decriminalizing is not the answer.

  34. Weed smokers are everywhere.
    Time to legalize, and tax it.

  35. Prohibition does not keep drugs out of our childrens' hands. Prohibition leaves drugs to be controlled by the black market, and we all know that drug dealers don't ask for ID. If our Government was truly serious about keeping drugs out of the hands of minors they would legalize and regulate the sale to adults. Any kid will tell you, they can get their hands on pot much more easily than they can get alcohol and cigarettes.

    Shelly Glover needs to do some reading. "Summary from The 2002 Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs:

    Many substances, including some common foods, have some level of toxicity. Cannabis presents almost no toxicity and cannot lead to an overdose.

    ~ Cannabis itself is not a cause of other drug use. In this sense, we reject the gateway theory.

    The relationship between cannabis use and delinquency and crime, based on research evidence, we concluded that:

    ~ Cannabis itself is not a cause of delinquency and crime; and
    ~ Cannabis is not a cause of violence.
    ~ Early drug legislation was largely based on a moral panic, racist sentiment and a notorious absence of debate"

    Moms, we have to stand up and demand our politicians and police focus on REAL Crime that does affect our kids, child predators and abusers and paedophiles – parents should be demanding the Billions of dollars our government spend every year on enforcing pot smokers instead be put towards catching child molesters.

    Does it not disturb anyone that the Conservatives would rather shovel money towards enforcement and incarceration, instead of FACTUAL education and programs that will help kids in our communities? How many universities could have been built (with billions of tax payer dollars) while the Tories are hellbent on prison expansion? How many scholarships could have been paid for instead of the government spending your hard-earned money for enforcement, court, lawyer, incarceration and probation costs?

    I am truly appalled that we have politicians that trample on our individual freedom and rights. They go under the guise of being "Tough on Crime". Well, I want our politicians to be SMART about crime, and focus their efforts on punishing those who truly are a danger to our society. Canadian Moms, we have to be vocal in this fight, we have to let our cries be heard – we deserve to have common sense drug policy!

    Our neighbours to the south who have literally 4 more decades of harsher drug laws and Mandatory Minimum Sentencing experience than us have figured out that the: "Drug War Continues to Fail Spectacularly – AP: IMPACT: After 40 years, $1 trillion, US War on Drugs has failed to meet any of its goals": http://www.drugwarrant.com/2010/05/drug-war-conti

    I implore my fellow Canadians to learn about Bill S-10 (formerly C-15), and please take note that Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has yet to provide evidence to support this horrendous law. Under Bill S-10 simply baking a batch of pot brownies will get you sentenced to a MINIMUM ONE YEAR in jail, and judges will have NO discretion, no choice but to hand out that insane sentence.

    "Calling the Tories Out on Bill C-15 – "The Politics of Fear": http://maryjanecannabian.blogspot.com/2009/11/cal

    "Bill S-10 ~ New Name For Bad Law": http://maryjanecannabian.blogspot.com/2010/05/bil

    "Canadians: Get Up! Stand Up!": http://bit.ly/15enP9 Talkin' "Smart On Crime" from June 2009

    Please contact your Senators and MPs and request they be SMART about crime and vote NO on Bill S-10! For more info visit CannabisFacts.ca http://www.cannabisfacts.ca/mandatoryminimums.htm… and <a href="http://www.whyprohibition.ca” target=”_blank”>www.whyprohibition.ca

  36. prohibition is good for cops, lawyers, politicians, pundits, and churches. It is bad for everyone else, which is why it will never ever be legal. even if the law is struck down AGAIN by court rulings, the government and cops just ignore these rulings until they can pass some new legislation to make it illegal again.
    40 years ago. FOUR TIMES TEN years ago, we were "on the verge" of legalizing. in 2003 the law fell and pot was legal for a third of the population for MONTHS.
    and still we bust more people every year than the year before. thousands more.

    i shudder to think what rights we will still have 40 years from now. retina scans are cheap and very effective.

  37. Forgot to mention John Kerry.

  38. Really? You think these folks held a press conference to try to hide their mud slinging? Interesting theory….

  39. http://www.ekospolitics.com/index.php/2008/09/tor

    That's from 2008, but the under 25 crowd was supporting Conservative's over Liberals almost 3:2. I guess it's another one of those demographics that the Liberals have been taking for granted.

  40. Canada – A nation of future ditch and well diggers. If that's the best Iggy can hope for future generations, why not let 'em get high?

  41. My, how unscripted the "leader" of the liberals is.