O Cannabis

Over the weekend, the Liberal Party of Canada endorsed the legalization of marijuana. Over 77 percent of party members voted in favor of a non-binding resolution supporting legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana. This is a step forward from its previous support for decriminalization (i.e., removing criminal penalties for cannabis consumers, but keeping buying and selling illegal). The resolution also endorses amnesty for all those arrested on non-violent marijuana possession charges.

Interim party leader Bob Rae explained the resolution:

If you want to be part of a group of free-thinking, innovative, thoughtful, pragmatic, hopeful, positive, happy people, come and join the Liberal party...And after the resolution on marijuana today, it's going to be a group of even happier people in the Liberal party.

Legalizing marijuana would also help restore a modicum of fiscal sanity to Canada. According to the Beyond Prohibition Foundation, legal ganja could generate over $2 billion in tax revenue. Meanwhile, the Canadian government spends over $400 million in enforcing this war on weed. Currently, over 50,000 Canadians are arrested each year for owning cannabis, with another 20,000 imprisoned for production and trafficking.

In addition, drug policy reform is becoming more popular in the Great White North. Two-thirds of all Canadians now support either legalization or decriminalization of cannabis. Surprisingly, the age-demographic most in favor aren't youth voters, but baby boomers between 55-64.

Unfortunately for Canadian cannabis consumers, the Liberal Party has fallen on hard times. It is now the third-largest party in Canada, having suffered an immense electoral setback in last year's parliamentary elections. (The Liberals entered that election with 77 seats. Now they have 34.)

Reason on marijuana. South Park on Canada.

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  • Anon||

    But marry-jew-wanna is bad, mkay

  • o3||

    ok but what about mary-jane-juanas ?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Unfortunately for Canadian cannabis consumers, the Liberal Party has fallen on hard times. It is now the third-largest party in Canada, having suffered an immense electoral setback in last year's parliamentary elections.

    So they came to this conclusion on the weed only after losing the ability to do anything about it? Sounds like someone has a procrastination problem.

  • ||

    Bush would've just vetoed it anyway....wait, what?

  • ||

    That is precisely what happened. When they were in power the "Liberal" party was as establishment as can be and really pretty un-liberal on most things. Now the question will be whether the NDP pussies out as well.

  • ||

    Isn't the Liberal Party of Canada a clone of the modern Democratic Party in the United States, only a lot worse?

  • dave c||

    More or less.

  • ||

    Dagny T.|1.18.12 @ 11:33AM is right when she says: When they were in power the "Liberal" party was as establishment as can be and really pretty un-liberal on most things.

    Yep, that's the case. In fact they considered themselves (as did much of the Canadian electorate) as the "Natural Governing Party of Canada." for much of the 20th Century, and they had plenty of opportunity with many majority governments to act in a liberal fashion (remember Pierre Trudeau?) and now, it takes the eff'n Conservative government to make liberalizing noises about MJ.

  • ||

    My comment "..the eff'n Conservative government to make liberalizing noises about MJ." was about the current 'Conservative' government's discussion about medical MJ, not necessarily about across the board liberalizing/legalizing. And since Google is protesting SOPA today, I am not able to find a link to the issue.

    One thing however that the Conservatives are doing (or say they are doing) is pulling the plug on the long-gun registration introduced by the Liberals while in power in the '90s. But one would expect that from a modern Conservative, just as one would expect stoopid gun legislation from a modern Liberal.

  • Bradley||

    Now the question will be whether the NDP pussies out as well.

    They basically already have. The old, irrelevant, perpetually third-place NDP used to make noises about legalization once in a while. But now that they've inched closer to actual power, not a peep.

  • Robert||

    This is because, apparently in any polity, marijuana is seen as a frivolous rather than a serious issue. The idea is that people should concern themselves with lofty matters rather than hedonic ones.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Societies will crumble! Rivers will run with blood! Nazis will once again ride dinosaurs!

  • RedDragon6009||

    Now if their legislature could just find a way to make it stop snowing up there, I might actually consider visiting.

  • ||

    Just stopping the snow wouldn't do it for me. It's would still be cold.

    Needs more global warming.

  • Zeb||

    Maybe try summer time.

  • ||

    In the summer they have bugs. But that could be the project to take the prohibitionists mind off of losing the war on (some) drugs, take up the cause of making the world bug free. Who could be against a bug free society, or a war on bugs? Since it requires only a minor adjustment in rhetoric it won't be too difficult for the pea brains of prohibitionist to grasp.

    C'mon people, we can make our world bug free!

  • sarcasmic||

    Surprisingly, the age-demographic most in favor aren't youth voters, but baby boomers between 55-64.

    Why is it a surprise that the people who were getting high in the 60s and 70s support this while the people who have been fed twelve years of anti-drug propaganda do not?

  • ||

    Because its just the opposite here in the US?

  • sarcasmic||

    Maybe Canadian boomers are more honest.

  • Old Hippies||

    what?

  • ||

    R C Dean

    While it's true that boomers (50-64 year olds) are less likely to favor MJ legalization (49%), than 18 to 29 year olds (62%), it is the over 65ers who drag statistics down the most (31%)

    As I have noted here before, boomers seem to get a lot of flack around here for stuff they had nothing to do with.

  • robc||

    Most current politicians are boomers. There is a majority that favors legalization, they havent legalized.

    Therefore, they are at fault. They deserve the flack.

  • Paul||

    Yeah, I mean, I'm not seeing a lot of baby boomers-- which make up a considerable percentage of people in higher office-- rushing to make the world into their 1960s, don't-trust-anyone-over-thirty image.

  • ||

    Most of the counterculture types were born before 1946 and hence were not boomers. also, the counterculture was a noisy minority. The depression era, wartime and boomer kids who were in the twenties or came of age in the sixties were for the most part as square as they come.

    The first election boomers could vote in was 1968 and they elected Richard Nixon.

  • ||

    And, I might add, the boomers who went into politics were the squarest of the whole bunch.

  • ||

    Every generation has a crop of hall monitors.

  • ||

    Also, any boomer who is voting for prohibition now has probably supported prohibition all his life.

  • Paul||

    Also, any boomer who is voting for prohibition now has probably supported prohibition all his life.

    I would take issue with this, but I'm too lazy to research it, so I'll let this statement stand. Hopefully someone with more drive and ambition will step in here.

    I seem to remember some famous counter-culture people eschewing drug legalization.

  • Isaac Bartram||

    You'll also find that most "famous counter-culture people" were not boomers. They were late depression era and wartime kids.

    Furthermore, only a minority of depression era, wartime and boomer kids were ever involved in the counterculture.

  • Isaac Bartram||

    For example:

    Tom Hayden was born in 1939, Abbie Hoffman was born in 1936; hell, Timothy Leary was born in 1920, so he doesn't even qualify as depression era.

    One of the few boomer leaders was Mark Rudd and he is not known for any advocacy of drug use at all but rather socialist and pacifist politics.

  • ||

    Tommy Chong was born in 1938!

    Did everyone know that General Mills hired Cheech & Chong as pitchmen? I'm not kidding:
    http://www.fiberone.com/magicbrownie/

  • Robert||

    I love it! The ad campaign, I mean. Even without viewing the videos, which I'm too in a hurry to do now.

  • Isaac Bartram||

    I seem to remember some famous counter-culture people eschewing drug legalization.

    Anti-drug spots as community service for drug arrests do not count as serious statements of political belief. :)

  • Paul||

    Anti-drug spots as community service for drug arrests do not count as serious statements of political belief. :)

    I would agree with this.

  • UncleSam||

    Nice country you have there Canada. Twould be a shame if something were to happen to it.

    You know ... the sort of thing that happens to countries that cross Uncle Sam.

  • ||

    +100 for using 'Uncle Sam' instead of 'Columbia' or 'America. Government =/= civilization, government =/= society.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Over 77 percent of party members voted in favor of a non-binding resolution supporting legalizing, regulating, and taxing mariujana.

    Write before you smoke, Nick.

  • ||

    Just those weird Canadian spellings.

  • ||

    that would be marijuanour

  • ||

    Maneueueueuveuour the ship! Full impulse! /Canadian stereotype Riker.

  • ||

    ""Write before you smoke, Nick.""

    That just takes the fun out of it.

  • Zeb||

    Or just turn on spell check.

  • ||

    Not for at least 4 years.

    Harper, the current PM, has a solid parliamentary majority and is a Socon. He is in the process of pushing a "tough on crime" bill: Mandatory minimums, etc. through parliament right now.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    "Surprisingly, the age-demographic most in favor aren't youth voters, but baby boomers between 55-64"

    This is not surprising. Some of them are even American hippie defects.

  • T||

    Isn't hippie a defect no matter the nationality?

  • ||

    No. Plenty (disgustingly) wave around Old Glory enthusiastically when some pinko fuck's running for election.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    The more lenient the Canadian governments are to cannabis, more dickstepping will be initiated by U.S. federal revenuer interests against Canadian governments and citizens, and American citizens. Including forms of aggression.

  • ||

    With each passing day, secession is becoming more and more attractive an option to me.

  • Bradley||

    Should this ever come to pass, I look forward to seeing what novel ignominies your border guards will visit upon us.

  • ||

    Everyone reading this could get a bag in less that two days...why not make it legal and then tax it? Don't sell it to anyone under a certain age, and add appropriate warnings...and maybe some bogus pictures of dopers, too.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Unfortunately, this does not mean MJ legalization will ever get on a policy platform. Liberal leader Bob Rae can just ignore it if he wants. I think the Liberals passed a motion like this decades before to no effect.

  • Sopaipilla ||

    So by not joining the blackout today, do I take it to mean that Reason supports SOPA?

  • ||

    yeah, nobody should stay online, so there wouldn't be anywhere online for people to discuss the issue and get updates on the protest...wait, what?

  • Loki||

    Now if the all the porn sites also went dark that would really be a catastrophe.

  • Atanarjuat||

    Pornhub has a protest logo like Google's. (So I heard)

  • Paul||

    Oh, when I read this on Wiki's page:

    For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia.

    I was sure they were talking about Net Neutrality.

  • ||

    I smell desperation.

    "No, seriously, we're different, eh."

  • ||

    When these types of things pop up and they give revenue estimates, what is the projection as to how many people will grow their own/buy from friends? The pot smokers I know in Canada have really well established networks of growers/sellers they trust with product they like. No way would they want to switch to some mass produced crap AND pay tax on it. So with legalized (and taxed/regulated) weed would we also get gov't goons cracking down on private transactions? Not sure that's a net positive.

  • sarcasmic||

    When the ink was still wet on the Constitution most farms in the country had a still. A majority of the people were farmers, and if you grew more than you could use, store or sell, you turned it into whiskey.
    Whiskey was even used as currency in some places.
    By the time the ink was dry on the Constitution that whiskey was taxed, and there were gov't goons cracking down on private transactions.

  • Paul||

    In short, yes.

    I had a long conversation with a DEA agent years ago when I was doing a personal research project on legalized marijuana. The guy was amazingly informative about what marijuana legalization would look like.

    He wasn't all "what legalization? That's not what we do here, son! Weed is bad, mmkay?" He actually took time to outline how it would probably work.

    He essentially said that it would probably be regulated much like beer or spirits are.

    You probably would be allowed to grow your own, but the amount would be limited and so would be your ability to sell/transfer/provide to friends and associates.

    Places that sold it would probably have to have something like a liquor license, or something would be added to existing liquor licenses.

    Weed would also very likely be regulated for potency, just like spirits are today.

  • Zeb||

    My experience is more or less the same, but I think that there are a lot of other people who woudl just go for the convenience. The fact that large amounts of MJ are still imported to the US from Mexico, when there is so much available domestically and form Canada, indicates that there are still lots of smokers who don't care that much for quality or a trusted or well known source.

  • PantsFan||

    Unfortunately, the Liberal Party is no fan of smaller government.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: PantsFan,

    Unfortunately, the Liberal Party is no fan of smaller government.


    That's true; however, the fact that it is that party which is seeking to restore one personal liberty gives more support to Ron Paul's argument that people want liberty for different purposes and thus you can build coalitions between seemingly antagonistic parties to further liberty. You can have the fiscal conservatives on one side with the social liberals on the other agreeing on reforms that appeal to both. The notion that Paul's policies can be implemented with the help of a seemingly hostile Congress is not as farfetched as some in Pundit-land would like you to believe.

  • ||

    I look forward to peeing in a cup when getting back from a trip to Canada.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Why wait? It's a pleasure anyone can enjoy at any time of the day.

  • ||

    There's a difference between peeing a cup for the sheer decadent pleasure of it and doing it under the baleful eye of the TSA and surrendering the result to them, as opposed to mailing it to Pro Libertate like I do every single day.

  • ||

    Oh sweet Jesus. He was serious about that precious bodily fluids thing?

  • ||

    He just wants it so he can keep me safe.

  • ||

    cant tell if intoxic8ed

  • ||

    ""as opposed to mailing it to Pro Libertate like I do every single day.""

    And Pro was just writing you a thank you letter for all that lemonade you sent.

  • ||

    He just wants it so he can keep me safe.

    Tebow is everywhere!

  • ||

    In other Canada-related news, MSNBC reports that Obama is about to reject Keystone XL.

  • ThetaWave||

    Oh boy, here we go... I knew people were going to write about this. This was a resolution passed by the Youth wing of the Liberal Party - not the whole party itself. I knew this would be blown out of proportion quickly... The Liberals already wanted to legalize before but ran into U.S-centric problems. I really hope people don't think the Liberals will legalize pot - if anything the NDP will.

  • ThetaWave||

    The Liberal Party wanted to legalize pot - until it took an arrow to the knee.

  • ThetaWave||

    I'm so pissed about the media coverage of the liberals. They make it sound like the Liberal party wants to legalize pot, but it was only the youth wing that did that vote.
    I am convinced at this point it was purposely misleading - and there is plenty of evidence to suggest a certain media organization in Canada is using tactics to undermine the NDP like they did the Liberals before the last federal election - literally calling Michael Igatieff THE VISITING PROFESSER every single time he was mentioned - and they still do. How trucked up is that? Excuse my freedom of speech.

  • ||

    ThetaWave you need to go re-read the news. This was a resolution from the full party, not just the youth wing. When you figure out what's actually going on c'mon back and make some on topic comments, mmm-kay?

  • ThetaWave||

    I have faith in myself, you to hold yourself together and keep doing what you think is right - and faith that there will be an election in 2015. Let's not hand the keys to these guys, as sincere as some of them may be - we all know what Liberal majorities have been like. I'd like to see an NDP majority, I take a lot of personal interest and investment in socialism. Socialism boils down to shared ownership. I learned a lot about that at the Occupy movement - and working with the socialist NDP government here to co-operate. There was an eviction, but only after a damning fire commissioners report. The government did what it was obligated to do, and act in the name of people's safety. Call me stupid, but I really do think the Provincial NDP had no choice but to force an eviction after people set fire to the camp on multiple occasions. People probably really did want to hurt us, so I can't deny the importance of those meetings and getting that level of understanding. I voiced some constitutional arguments, and co-operated with them with a group of Occupy protesters - all mainly my age, in their 20's except a few older people. One elder hippy guy though lol. In any case I have a lot of faith in people working together, and working hard in their communities to contribute to a strong economy - and a good standard of living for everyone... but some changes need to be made from the top - and the best kind of government I have seen is the 14+ year NDP government in Manitoba. We produced a surplus when the rest of the world was in deficit. 800+ million $. This is what proper taxation does, but major changes need to happen from the top down.

    Cannabis must be legalized by an NDP government.

    We will elect one, and hold them to account. We will keep pressing them and resisting U.S interference in our sovereign affairs. Many U.S protesters will help us in our cause.

    I have a great vision for this country, and that's going to happen when the left bands together and basically forms a human chain, resisting media sensationalism - a youth led NDP majority.

  • ||

    Suprisingly Baby Boomers? Really?

  • Clevelandite||

    Maybe the Liberals can unsuck just a little bit now that they've rid themselves of that apparent moron Ignatieff? He called for an election that almost got his party permakilled, so I assume he's a moron. Anyway, a good step for any party--and frankly, even as an outside observer, I like the Liberals a hell of a lot better than the NDP. At least their name has a proud (though recently abused and ignored) history and they aren't open shills for outright socialism.

  • ||

    It is beyond my comprehension how anyone can take seriously any society that wastes hundreds of billions dollars and hundreds of millions of dollars fighting the voluntary use of "substances". Human beings are truly idiotic entities and we, apparently, deserve to live lives saturated in idiocy. And the hysteria over marijuana is the most singular example of that idiocy, in as much as it is about as innocuous as you can get. I just don't get how you live sanely in a world dominated by stupidity and cruelty.

  • ||

    Well, speaking of idiocy, what I tried to say was "...hundreds of billions of dollars and hundred of thousands of lives..."

  • ||

    Jesus, can't even do the correction right. Just fucking shoot me.

  • ||

    As long as they remain a country with socialized medicine I'd still never want to live there. Plus I hate the cold.

  • ||

    Indeed, Canada does need to remember it's place, which is groveling at the feet of Uncle Sam. If the US says "jump" Canada needs to jump. Because of the severe milquetoast pantywaists who run Canada and are willing to jump through Uncle Sam's hoops I've proposed that the United States impose an income tax on Canadian citizen's income. We're totally broke and need money desperately. But why in the world should we increase the burden on American citizens when we have a nation of patsies living next door who aren't paying their fair share? I estimate that between 7 and 8 Canadians will voluntarily submit tax returns along with a cheque. But that number will quickly increase after the Canadian government extradites a few hundred tax scofflaws to the US for incarceration for tax evasion.

    C'mon Canadadudes say Uncle. Say it. Say it...Uncle...there, I knew you would.

  • ||

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