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Stoners demonstrate surprising initiative


 

The Prime Minister’s YouTube chat is this evening at 7pm. He will apparently “answer a selection of your top-voted questions.”

Sorted by popularity, the top four questions at present all relate to marijuana.


 

Stoners demonstrate surprising initiative

  1. “answer a selection of your top-voted questions.”

    Read: enough with you stoner freaks, I'll answer one and then move on to whatever else I want.

  2. Not only that, they then hacked the entire chat so that the link crashes. What are people putting in that stuff these days?

  3. Hey look, if Stephen won't answer Rahim's calls, he has to get in touch with the guy any way he can.

  4. I find "stoners" as you call them, the hardest people to talk to about legalizing marijuana.

    I can agree with them that marijuana is less harmful than a lot of things we allow including alcohol and many prescription drugs. I however do not think it should be legalized as the reprecussions at the border would likely be quite severe. Legalize it proponents however always tell me that this doesn't matter andbecause we're a sovergein country.

    They feel that their right to smoke marijuana should supercede the rights of entrepreneurs and workers to a better income and the higher standards of living that reasonably unfetered access to the U.S. market allows them

    Not saying I'm right and they're wrong, just that when your discussion reaches an impasse like that, its best to just stop talking about it.

    • I don't agree that the repercussions at the border would be as you suggest. Take the Netherlands for example, one of several countries whose laws are "soft" on soft drugs. The United States has no trade embargoes, no sanctions, heck when I returned from the Netherlands last via Newark, not one single passenger from our flight was detained or hassled. So explain again, using real life examples instead of your imagined approach.

      • How much car traffic is there at the Netherlands-Canada border?

        • LOL true but you probably will see a lot of car traffic at many of Netherlands poinst of entry, still no sanctions, no reaction at all from there European neighbours. Think of the influx of American dollars into our economy just based on tourism alone! We already attract a lot of Americans between the ages of 18 -21 by having a lower drinking age, at least those who live in the northern states, imagine how many of all ages would cross the border just to get high. And think of the spill over spending, stoners get hungry and need sleep. Tourism is huge in Amsterdam, and it's not all about the red light district.

          • Not that American reaction should dictate our policies, but I would expect that they would seriously ramp up border security, try to pass some of that cost back to us, make lines and security even more of serious burden to travellers and it would ultimately impact our tourism more to our detriment than "drug tourists" benefit us.

            My only point was you can't look at the Netherlands and say there wouldn't be a negative impact here. Very different border, very different adjacent countries.

          • good point, tedbetts

            Most of western European borders are not like the one between US and Canada. I have travelled in and out of Holland by car many times and at no time was I stopped at the border. in fact, most of the western European countries act in similar manner. I have not been stopped at the French border, the Belgium border, the Itilian border, the Austrian border, the German border etc. The only exception to the rule which I encoutered was the Swiss border, but then Switzerland is not a full member?

          • I think we need to do the same in order to keep their guns out.

      • I'll try:
        1)- Canada shares an 8,800 km undefended boarder with the United States, the Netherlands shares 0 inches of border with the United States
        2)- A majority of Americans, including legislators (cough* john McCain), still say that the 9-11 hijakers came from the Canada. Now I'll admit this next part requires some imagination rather than a real life example but…
        2B)- Americans are already suspicious of security at our border. Cracking down on drugs from Canada is a vote getter. Legalizing it here would make it a bigger vote getter. And politicians like to get votes.
        3)- The U.S. has waged an almost fanatical 40 year war on drugs that often doesn't use logic or reason to target the problem. Why would it suddenly start being a reasoned war now?
        4)- The current U.S. Drug Czar's gave a speech last week about why Marijuana shouldn't be legalized, including a nod to the Netherlands for cracking down on it.
        5)- Marc Emery

    • So maybe we can get an email list of what we are allowed to decide for ourselves. Or ideas we are allowed to think that won't interupt the economy or bother the US in some way. (Oh wait there goes another car plant)

      I hear it's okay to want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and have some government involvement in heatlhcare now, but maybe not for long? What's the update on hand guns? Is is that limited by the second admendment now?

      Do we go by what Texas says, or California? It's so confusing sorting out what the puritans say from what they actually do

  5. Don't expect Harper to take the top listed questions. Don't expect Harper to ever take unscripted questions in an open forum from us lowly citizens. When he wants to know what we think or want to know, he'll tell us.

    • Why are you participating on this blog? We already know according to you Harper can do absolutely nothing right. Contribute something of value for a change.

      • If you think I think Harper can do absolutely nothing right then you obviously are not paying attention.

        But nice bait and switch.

        Conservatives mock Ignatieff for going out on the road to public forums, takes questions from anyone, unscripted, but no one is allowed to point out that Mr. Tim Hortons Wannabe PM has never ever mingled and taken unscripted questions in an open public forum.

        • Be fair Ted.
          You're forgetting about that town hall meeting in Cambridge, where SH fielded tough questions from the audience while moderator Mike Duffy held his feet to the fire.

        • Mr.Ignatieff and Mr.Tim Hortons Wannabe PM…………………that shows 'm, yeah, great stuff, great debate. A bit too simplistic for my taste.

    • I was under the impression that Google was ultimately going to choose the questions.

  6. It's crazy how politicians have to pretend they've never smoked pot. But I guess they lie about everything else.

    • I know it's hard to believe, but there are still some people out there who have never smoked a cigarette or a joint in their lives.

      • and obviously that is the subset of society that all politicians come from

        • Put your sarcasm hat aside for a moment and consider that my point is that we can't project a behaviour onto ALL politicians that ALL people haven't even done.

        • It's so hip to be a square.

          • That's so adorable

          • Spare me your mockery, hippie :) I enjoy my drug-free life.

          • You and me share a bliss of ignorance most people don't get to enjoy. Even sadder is the reason most of them lost their innocence: "Everybody else was doing it…"

    • Thanks for the link Mark! Can somebody explain the difference to me between the LPC and the CPC? Sure the LPC will stand outside the house and cry foul over gov't announcements, but where was there amendment to the speech from the the throne, and when the votes count they sit on there hands. Where is the contempt of parliament charge? It's as if inside the house they have formed a coalition, a coalition of the weak minded and the do nothings.

      • For the answer to this, and all incompetence and inaction in the political sphere, read Coyne's "Politics of Fear."

    • Pandering to the youth vote by pretending to be something you are not, would be an extremely poor risk to take. Better to be seen as uncool and let's face it there's no expectation some old dude would be cool.

      On the other hand Ignatieff deserves heavy criticism for his assertion that the US wouldn't let us make our own decision. Since several states have essentially decriminalized already, he's saying we are less independent, less sovereign than if we were the 51st state!

      What else aren't we allowed to do?

    • "If I had to tell you as a parent or as someone who has spent his whole life working with young people, the last darn thing I want you to be doing is smoking marijuana" M. Ignatieff

      "If I had to tell you as a concerned citizen or as someone who has spent his whole adult life voting, the last darn thing I want you to be doing is looking the other way while this government thumbs their nose at Parliament" Danby

  7. Oh, but I see you scored 1 point. You've got that in the bag, at least.

  8. I'm a little impressed by the crush of pot questions – not only volume, but they're hitting the issue from most of the pro-weed angles, transitioning them nicely with the other top-rated questions, most of which are about crime.

    At the moment, the highest rated one I can see Harper actually answering is in the 20's, basically a softball question about the unelected Senate (though I get the sense the asker doesn't think it's a softball). As others pointed out, if Harper actually does answer the top-rated questions, I'd be amazed.

  9. After following Mark R.'s link below I see I agree with Michael Ignatieff on this issue. I will now have to rethink my position.

    • Thanks for the attempt Dan, let me try to dispel some of your myths.
      1. If you think the border is actually undefended I might as well end the discussion here as you are blind to what is obvious. Drive across the border in question and take a look at what is on the hip of every single border guard on the American side. A gun, if it's not for defending the border I would like to know what it's for. Further to that there are already "Texas Rangers" of the north trying to catch the terrorists you reference in your second point.
      2a) John, almost retired, who? When they asked Obama about marijuana, he said "I inhaled, that was the point"
      2b) All you need is one well trained dog at each border crossing, the stuff stinks. Besides when you consider the number of americans that will be up here to get high they will be locking out at least 1/3 of there own population.
      3) and they are losing. several states have already legalized it or at least decriminalized it.
      4) the nod to the Netherlands was for keeping it away from schoolyards not the US.
      5) an outspoken twit who shouldn't have been flouting his abuse of the legal system, Thousands across this country do exactly what he does without concern because they keep there mouth shut.

      • Like I said above, people like us aren't likely to agree.

        I tend to think of the border in terms of the 8,796kms that doesn't happen to be at a designated border crossing. Although I'm sure the vast majority of smugglers appreciate the nicely paved roads and bridges at official crossings. I will give you that the U.S. now has unmanned arael drones flying over a very small portion of the border. But that tends to support the idea that they are suspicious of the border.

        If you think that what Obama wants is more important than what all those Senators want you haven't been watching the Healthcare debate or the buy american debate.

        The fact that several States decriminalized small amounts of marijuana in the 1970s has had little to no effect on how the rest of the Union views the issue. As evidenced by the Fed recently reasserting its right to ban marijuana via the courts.

        Gil Kerlikowske last week "I recently met with officials from the Netherlands, they are closing down marijuana outlets – or “coffee shops” – because of the nuisance and crime risks associated with them."

  10. Agreed. The prison construction is the result of the policy, not the aim of the policy.

  11. Legalize Marijuana……tax the hell out of it, and then invest heavily in the Dorito Market.

    Get rid of that deficit in a jiff.

    Just sayin…

    • That's an entrepreneurial/capitalistic spirit! As well as fiscally responsible…

      • I'm not sure that urging to "tax the hell" out of anything is a capitalistic spirit.

        • The legalizing marijuana and Doritos investment were the capitalistic parts. The taxing was the fiscally responsible part.

  12. I had a question about reforming QP, somewhat along the lines of Wells/Coyne suggested. Apparently civil dialogue in the house paired with a focused discussion just isn't something a lot of people agree with (lots disagreed). Pity, that.

  13. Can we all stop being "surprised" when pot-smokers show initiative, or, for that matter, intelligence, a strong work ethic, or good communication skills?

    If a pot-smoker is a lazy slacker, that's because he's a lazy slacker, not because of the pot. This ridiculous stereotype is proven wrong thousands of times a day by thousands of people. It's time to let reality inform this debate.

    • Lot's of thumbs up but no comments. You've scored a small victory in the long battle for rationality…

      swept under the rug by clowns clowning a clown.

  14. Almost everyone under the age of 25 has smoked pot, probably several times. Even the rare young person you find who has never done it, doesn't think it's wrong and supports legalization (even the most conservative of young conservatives….). It's time to just accept this reality and stop wasting resources on marijuana enforcement.

    • Almost everyone under that age of 25? Gosh I hope not, how many in that group would be under the age of 10? My first thought was perhaps the age group might be better expressed as 16 – 35, but perhaps I am discounting the hippie generation?

    • Early fortysomething here. Never toked, not once. Reality was cool enough for this kid.

      And I agree this prohibition madness over weed is ridiculous.

      • "Reality was cool enough"; did alcohol never impede your reality either myl?

    • I am firmly of the conviction that sobriety should only be done in moderation.

      • That's something W.C. Fields might have said.

          • Nice. Was that your own invention, or was it a quote? Kudos either way.

          • Just keep distracting him, Crit, while I try to get his car keys…

          • The invention was mine. It came to me a few years ago when I worked in a bar. One evening I enjoyed an indecently large share of the inventory, and, upon awakening and observing myself in a mirror, I decided I looked very much as though I had been victimised somehow.

            Now, since I've got your ear (okay, eyes) for a quip, I will share with you a joke that occurred to me while I was perusing these comments…

            I once knew a woman who could lose weight by drinking alcohol. Indeed, every time she drank, her pants wound up round her ankles.

          • Slightly more X-Rated, but it passes muster as dry Wildean humour.

            Have you ever considered doing a Wildean standup act? If performed skilfully, it could be one of those things that catches everyone off-guard… but the audience quickly warms up to it, and before long, they're begging for more. This is the sort of thing that Stephen Fry would excel at.

          • Admittedly, the epigram, and the pursuit of it, are pleasures of mine. I suppose that in some of my most ambitious moments I envisage eking out a living crafting barbed one-liners (something akin to the New Rules on Real Time with Bill Maher). But if you're asking whether I have seriously considered making a (even part-time) career of it, the answer is no. I really wouldn't know where to begin, and my oeuvre consists of little more than my meager contributions to these comment shelves.

            Besides, I have already chased so many wild geese that I'm no longer permitted at the feeding park.

          • I once knew a woman who could quickly lose weight by drinking alcohol. Indeed, every time she drank, her pants wound up round her ankles.

            Sorry, that line is in violation of patent:

            [youtube Nj2700em-JQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj2700em-JQ youtube]

          • Yikes!

            Country music makes my ears fall off.

  15. Very good post Zamprelli. It is not the pot which is the problem but the user can be.

    Responsible pot use does not have to pose a problem.

    I'm hoping that PM Harper will address at least some of the pot related questions (hopefully not Emry's case for obvious reasons) because afterall, kudos to the pot clan for getting their questions in when talkcanada called for them.

  16. I am a parent and when my kids were growing up I didn't hide from the fact that I have smoked pot once in a while. My kids have tried it on occasion but aren't users really.

    But for parents it is important to raise the issue and be there to help set things in perspective with their kids: telling them that when being responsible, many things can be don, including the smoking of pot once in a while, consuming alcohol once in a while etc.

    Kids need to learn to understand things from a wider perspective, and the tension being held between rights and responsibilities covers the widest range possible.

  17. I've noticed that many questioners seem to be confusing the Canadian government with the US government. For example, this question is ranked #22 in popularity:

    "Crime rates have been falling for years. Your motivation in being “tough” on crime and getting more people in jail for petty crimes is due to ideology, populism or the desire to give juicy contracts so corporations can build and mange super jails?"
    Carlos, Toronto

    Corporate "super jails" in Canada? Wrong country, Carlos.

      • Actually, Carlos's reference to "juicy contracts so corporations can build and mange (sic) super jails" makes it more likely that he watched one of the many American pot legalization documentaries that decry "privatized" jails in places like Texas.

        • Could be. Certainly, one of my pet peeves in Canadian political discourse is how often we make assumptions or view Canadian politics through the prism of American politics because we get so much of that on the news and in entertainment. The idea that we elect the Prime Minister being one of the bigger ones, or that we have an legislative check and balance system as opposed to a responsible government system.

          Nevertheless, there has been dialog about the federal government building "super jails" and these would indeed be built and possibly run by private corporations under a P3 model which is more and more the standard in large scale government projects. So whatever Carlos was actually thinking or the language he used, the issue is live and real.

          • there has been dialog about the federal government building "super jails" and these would indeed be built and possibly run by private corporations under a P3 model which is more and more the standard in large scale government projects.

            Do you have a link? I've never heard a serious proposal to use private corporations to run jails in Canada. Of course, I haven't been following this issue, so maybe something escaped my attention.

          • Actually, I just discovered that there was a provincial jail in Ontario called Penetanguishene that experimented with privatization for a few years, until the province ended the experiment in 2006.

          • The Harrisite Rob Sampson report talks about developing "regional complexes" which sounds like superprisons to me:
            http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/csc-scc/report-rapp
            http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/csc-scc/rprt-eng.as

            2009 criticism of the above report, about US style prisons:
            http://www.justicebehindthewalls.net/resources/ne
            http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/09/24/conserv
            http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2009/200909/20090924

            Are you enjoying the secret agenda yet?

          • As I noted, it will "possibly be run by a private corproation under a P3 model which is more and more the standard in large scale government projects". Since this is not out for tender as yet, we don't know how the design, construction, financing and operations will be structured.

            Most large scale government projects at the provincial level are carried out on a DBFM (design-build-finance-maintain: eg – Durham Consolidated Courthouse or the Toronto South Detention Centre or DBFO (design-build-finance-operate) public-private partnership models through Crown corporations/agencies like Infrastructure Ontario or Partnerships BC.

            The provinces have been building large scale projects on these models for a decade or so. The federal government is just setting up its equivalent through which, more than likely I am assuming, prisons would be funnelled. We don't know what model they will use, of course, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't a DBFM.

          • Thanks for your informative reply. I note that while the Toronto South Detention Centre is a DBFM project, according to the project summary: "The detention centre will remain publicly owned, publicly controlled and publicly accountable." I'm not sure that the DBFM model used to construct prisons has much to do with the way they will be operated.

          • A point of clarification then: in a DBFM model, a private company is in charge of the maintenance of the facility after construction completion; in a DBFO, a private company is in charge of the maintenance and operation of the facility after construction completion. In both cases, the government continues insist that that the facility is publicly owned, controlled and accountable, although in a DBFO it is indirectly controlled (i.e. the day to day operations are carried out by a for profit company but based on specifications and criteria from the government).

            We would not have privately owned jails in Canada. No one is suggesting that, I don't think. But I would be surprised if the feds didn't go DBFM; I'd be surprised if they went DBFO, especially since Harper avoids tough decisions.

            And a "super jail" in the US and in Canada also refers to a huge conglomerate jail, not just who is running it.

          • Also, Carlos merely refers to the prisons being "built and managed" not owned. He seems more concerned about the "super juicy contracts", which they certainly would be, than anything else.

            If we can split the hair of his simple comment/question even further!

          • The operative word being "managed" (i.e. operated by). It's not a question of ownership. Also, I'm a bit leery of conspiracy theorists who suggest that the govenrment wants to jail more people because of "super-juicy" prison construction contracts. Seems loopy to me.

          • The comment coming out of Ontario is not surprising because the so-called "Super Jails" have been a topic of discussion since the Harris years when the PC party built two – one in Penetanguishene which was privately run and another in Peterborough which ended up being in public hands.

            The Private contractor was removed in 2006 after a performance audit of both jails when the contract was up for renewal found the public one providing superior outcomes.

            http://www.prisonjustice.ca/starkravenarticles/CN

        • To be fair, I seem to recall Mike Harris touting his privatized "boot camps" for young offenders.

          There is a kernel of truth in Carlos' comment…but on the whole I think you're right, he's confusing the two countries (judging from the number of times I hear Canadians touting their "freedom of speech" I don't think it's uncommon :)

          • yeah, I recall it being an issue several years ago, but more of a hypothetical "this could come to pass" issue. I think Ontario had one extra large superjail built, but it was still publicly run.

    • I was annoyed that his question isn't, in fact, a question. It's an accusation with a question mark at the end. I'd like to hear an explanation of the Conservatives' tough on crime stance, but we won't get an answer if it gets phrased that way.

      • Question Period for the public is sounding a lot like QP in the House. Shame, that.

    • There are also assumptions based on paranoia out there that the move towards mandatory minimum sentencing is prep work for the future privatisation of jails. The story goes that once sentences are mandatory, and the terms (jailtime) can be relied upon, a dollar value can be attached to a inmate and his/hers imprisonment. This would then allow for a business model that is reliable for a private owner/operator of a jail . In my eyes though, its only as far-fetched as the possibility of a CPC majority.

      • If people understood how the system functioned, they would not be in favour of MMS. Criminal lawyers I have spoken to wholly support this idea. Firstly, it allows them to charge their clients more, because clients who think they might go to jail are more likely to go all in on a legal defense.

        Second, the prosecutors likelyhood of proceeding with the charges drops with MMS. When you have MMS, the prosecutor loses all of his clout in the pretrial negotiation process. Almost everyone is going to plead innocent on a charge that will result in jail time. Crown knows this, and will be more likely to reduce the charges to something less serious in order to avoid a full blown trial.

        Our system is not equipped to deal with every charge resulting in a trial. 90% of cases are settled out of court. The remedy is usually quite reasonable and measured, given the circumstances in the individual offenders life. It does no benefit to society to imprison people who are otherwised gainfully employed and functioning members of society.

        If you want to get tough on crime, raise the maximum sentences, and allow judges leeway in restricting early parole.

        • I totally agree. I know a lot of criminal lawyers and while they recognize these measures are ineffective and expensive, they also know they are going to get a lot more work and make a lot more money.

          I wonder if the feds will be helping the provinces fund their legal aid programs. After all, people have a constitutional right to a lawyer, so if they cannot afford their own, the taxpayers will be covering that cost.

      • I don't see it. The useful figure for someone running a jail would be average sentence actually served in a facility, which might not be all that noticeably affected by mandatory minimums for some crimes, and doesn't necessarily become easier to calculate.

  18. All I know is that the fine for hypocrisy should be much higher than the fine for possession.

  19. We regret the inconvenience; the youtube appearance has been delayed until we can get the GG on the phone and get her to prorogue Google.

  20. That and then there is the problem in Holland that one can sell out of the coffeehouses but how to get the quantaties in is another matter. The problem was not so much the usage or distribution at the coffeehouses perse, but how to go about the rules for getting the supply into the coffeehouses.

  21. Once. And it was NOT cool. So it's been moderation ever since.

  22. That interviewer must be high. 17 seconds in he starts speaking gibberish.

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