Macleans: Harper's pot angle blowing up in his face


mentalfloss
#1
Harper’s pot wedge: Up in smoke

Nathan Silver has great fun with the news that the New York Times editorial board has come out for marijuana legalization. Silver asks the obvious question: Is there a group of adult Americans likelier to support marijuana legalization than the editorial board of the New York Times, unless it’s (maybe) the editorial board of Kush L.A.? And then, being Nate Silver, he crunches the numbers: Recent polling suggests that in any group of affluent middle-aged moderate-to-liberal New Yorkers—that is, roughly speaking, any randomly selected cohort of New York Times editorialists—about 81 per cent could be expected to support pot legalization. Once again, the editorial page is an unreliable source of real news.

But here, Silver declines a chance to suggest the Times is Out of Touch with the Real Murrican People. Because the American people have been changing their mind on pot, and rather swiftly. And, more germane for our interests up here at Maclean’s, some Canadians’ minds have been changing, too.

In 2011, Silver wrote at the time, Gallup found its first U.S.-wide majority in favour of marijuana legalization. The long-term trend chart in that article is fascinating: Support for it sometimes rises and falls, but the level of support seen these days would have looked crazy in, say, the early 1970s. Of course, this helps to explain recent legalization initiatives in a handful of U.S. states. You could say it’s a profound cultural shift—as, indeed, the Los Angeles Times did, yesterday.

Up here, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been hitting hard at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s advocacy of marijuana legalization for about a year now. Really hard: I don’t think the extent of the radio, TV and paper campaign against Trudeau and pot has yet been tallied. Here’s one early effort of mine to provide a partial accounting. The Conservative case against today’s Liberals, in fact, can be summed up as a general argument that they lack judgment and their leader lacks more than most; and a specific case that he’s high and wants to get your children high, too.

My own hunch, discussed at length in this column from last September, was that Harper was onto something. Advocates of pot legalization are a loud and self-impressed bunch, I wrote, but they’re balanced by other people in other parts of the country who still greatly fear the demon weed—and outnumbered by many others who don’t care about the disposition of the law and won’t vote for a party just because of its views on pot.

But views change. One suggestion that they’re changing in Canada comes from Faron Ellis at Lethbridge College, who’s done several waves of public-opinion polling in Alberta on social issues. In 2013, for the first time, Ellis and his colleagues found majority support in Alberta for decriminalization of marijuana for recreational use. Support for liberalized laws on recreational pot had grown by more than 10 points in only two years. In Alberta.

Now, in a multi-party system, it doesn’t matter much whether absolute majorities go one way or another on an issue. What matters is how much of the electorate is with you, and how many options are available to those who are against you: If only Conservatives are strongly against pot liberalization, and the pro-ganja vote is split among Liberals, New Democrats, Greens and the Bloc, Harper might still do nicely.

But it’s also possible that the arguments the New York Times finally dares to make are appealing to growing numbers of people everywhere, including growing numbers of Canadians. Their number could include libertarians, as Colby Cosh has pointed out, who would otherwise be likely to vote Conservative, but who have had quite enough of the Harper crowd’s school-marmish finger-wagging.

I’m not sure how marijuana will play in a general election, or whether it’s salient enough to make any real difference. A year’s polling on political party preferences suggests it hasn’t exactly been a magic bullet against the Trudeau Liberals. Opposition to same-sex marriage was a strong incentive to form a united Conservative party more than a decade ago and, now, that issue has just about vanished as a differentiator among political parties. That sort of thing could happen again on another issue, and Harper must worry that it is.

How marijuana could be a losing issue for Harper (external - login to view)
 
Most helpful post: The members here have rated this post as best reply.
Retired_Can_Soldier
+8
#2  Top Rated Post
The legalization of marijuana is the one issue I am aboard with in Justin Trudeau's camp. We waste countless dollars on policing and court costs, never mind random checks. Colorado is definitely benefiting from the changes it made.

Lower crime rate, redistribution of policing and increased tax revenue.

Conservatives need to wake up on this one.
 
SLM
No Party Affiliation
+3
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Harper’s pot wedge: Up in smoke

Pot doesn't come in wedges....hash does.
 
taxslave
No Party Affiliation
#4
We voted Harper in to eliminate the repressive and unjust gun laws the libs brought in despite our wishes. He partly suceded in this. Now if Harper brings in too many repressive laws the people will remove him despite his good record on the economy and bring in a one trick pony just to get our rights back. The economy could probably withstand the one term of libs required to repeal repressive social laws.

Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Pot doesn't come in wedges....hash does.

Depends how you cut it.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
+5
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

We voted Harper in to eliminate the repressive and unjust gun laws the libs brought in despite our wishes. He partly suceded in this. Now if Harper brings in too many repressive laws the people will remove him despite his good record on the economy and bring in a one trick pony just to get our rights back. The economy could probably withstand the one term of libs required to repeal repressive social laws.

I'm not a gun owner so I didn't vote the conservatives in based on that. I voted them in because the Liberal Government was corrupt right down to the bone. Because they were sending our soldiers into war zones with garbage equipment and Vietnam era body armor. Because it was time for a change. The Conservatives would do well to listen to the bulk of their constituents regarding the pot issue, as the outdated stance they hold does not reflect the times.

The very fact that US states are legalizing pot and our government still has its head in the sand is really kind of silly.
 
Locutus
+3
#6
Pot should be taxed.

Eliminating the LGR was a no brainer.
 
Grievous
No Party Affiliation
+1
#7
This Is Your Brain on Legal Drugs: Let's End the Drug War With a Minimum of Casualties by Following the Science

Human beings sometimes have a troubling inability to hold two thoughts in mind at the same time. This is true not only when the two thoughts contradict each other but even when they simply appear to be in conflict with each other but actually aren't. And nowhere is there a greater need for us to get past this tendency than when discussing the ongoing war on drugs and the growing movement for the decriminalization of marijuana. It should be possible to say both that:
1) The drug war is an all-out disaster that has inflicted an untold amount of unnecessary human suffering. Therefore, as a first step toward ending this failed war, we should continue with the movement toward the decriminalization of pot.
And that:
2) There is scientific evidence of the dangers of pot on the development of adolescent brains, and for users of any age who end up abusing the drug. So, as we decriminalize, we should take every step possible to minimize the harm.
Those two positions are not actually contradictory, but in the polarized, zero-sum world that passes for policy debate right now, many act as if they are.
For the last 15 years I have been writing and speaking about the imperative of ending the disastrous war on drugs. In fact, in 2000, when I organized shadow political conventions to spotlight the major issues that neither political party was seriously addressing, the failed war on drugs was one of the three issues that we chose (growing inequality and the need for campaign-finance reform being the other two).
So it is definitely cause for celebration that the drug war, at least when it comes to pot, is finally deescalating. And after years of slow progress, the issue is gathering momentum. On Sunday The New York Times, in the first installment of a six-part interactive editorial, called for an end to prohibition. "The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana," the editorial states (external - login to view). "We reached that conclusion after a great deal of discussion among the members of The Times's Editorial Board, inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws."




More below:


This Is Your Brain on Legal Drugs: Let's End the Drug War With a Minimum of Casualties by Following the ScienceÂ*|Â*Arianna Huffington (external - login to view)


Oh no, she used the 7 letter word.
 
Zipperfish
No Party Affiliation
+2
#8
Harper and (most of) the Conservatives missed the boat on this one, just like he did wiht the relatively rapid acceptance of LGBT into the mainstream. One of the primary reasons his attack ads to date have failed by all objective measures.
 
Locutus
#9
again, in a year from now, after a carefully pre-planned re-think, and harpo does bend somewhat, he's a good guy and grabs some votes. there are way more important issues than 'tackling pot'. if there aren't enough for people now, they will magically appear in the next 12 months, not to worry. shiny happy and his pony people are blowing pot smoke up their own dresses.
 
Zipperfish
No Party Affiliation
+1
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by LocutusView Post

again, in a year from now, after a carefully pre-planned re-think, and harpo does bend somewhat, he's a good guy and grabs some votes. there are way more important issues than 'tackling pot'. if there aren't enough for people now, they will magically appear in the next 12 months, not to worry. shiny happy and his pony people are blowing pot smoke up their own dresses.

Not known for bending, our Steve though. Doubling down is more his style. I agree on pot. I don't think it really gets you many votes one way or the other, and it stopped being an issue for me around the time I got my first job.
 
mentalfloss
+2
#11
No, Stephen epitomizes the stubborn curmudgeon who doesn't admit to anything.

He just hides it under a smile and a suit twice his size.
 
Praxius
Free Thinker
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Pot doesn't come in wedges....hash does.

Um... what's Hash made from?
 
Colpy
Conservative
+1
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

The legalization of marijuana is the one issue I am aboard with in Justin Trudeau's camp. We waste countless dollars on policing and court costs, never mind random checks. Colorado is definitely benefiting from the changes it made.

Lower crime rate, redistribution of policing and increased tax revenue.

Conservatives need to wake up on this one.

Like he said.
 
B00Mer
Republican
+1
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by PraxiusView Post

Um... what's Hash made from?


Home made Hash - YouTube



Then break out the hot knives.. woOt!
 
mentalfloss
#15
Government's poll shows Canadians want marijuana laws changed

More than two-thirds of Canadians want this country’s marijuana laws to be softened, according to an opinion poll conducted for the federal government earlier this year.

And while a small majority of the public believes companies should not be permitted to sell marijuana just as they sell alcohol and cigarettes, it’s clear that many Canadians have no problem with the proposition.

Among the highlights:
— 37.3 per cent say marijuana should be legalized;
— 33.4 per cent say possession of small amounts of marijuana should be decriminalized with a fine rather than a criminal record;
— Just 13.7 per cent say the country’s marijuana laws should stay the same;
— 12 per cent said marijuana penalties should be increased.

The results of the national survey of 3,000 people, commissioned by the Department of Justice, is bound to add fuel to the political debate now intensifying in advance of the 2015 election.

The Liberals under Justin Trudeau are advocating the legalization of marijuana so that its sale is regulated and pot is harder for youths to obtain.

The Conservatives say they won’t take that step because they believe it would lead to more kids smoking marijuana. Instead, the government is considering allowing police to lay fines against those who are caught with small amounts of marijuana.

As both parties prepare for the political battle, the government hired Ipsos Reid to conduct focus groups and an extensive poll to gauge Canadians’ views on hot-button issues such as marijuana and prostitution.

The results of the research were posted online by the government Wednesday and provide an explanatory backdrop to its policy agenda.

“The government of Canada wanted a clear and current understanding of the Canadian public opinion on a range of justice issues,” said the report.

“This research was conducted to provide insight into the views, concerns and priorities of Canadians on criminal justice issues.”

The poll, conducted Jan. 30 to Feb. 7, found Canadians were relatively divided about how the government should legislate on prostitution. In early June, Justice Minister Peter MacKay introduced contentious legislation to prohibit the purchase of sex from prostitutes.

It also bans sex workers from selling their services near schools, playgrounds and daycare centres. Critics say the bill is deeply flawed and will eventually be struck down by the courts.

By comparison, the poll suggested Canadians are not happy with the status quo on marijuana.

It found that many Canadians don’t think legalization would increase pot-smoking in this country: 52.6 per cent believe marijuana use would “stay about the same” if legalized, 38.4 per cent say it would increase, and 6.3 per cent say it would decrease.

If marijuana is legalized in Canada, it is unclear how it would be distributed and who would be allowed to sell it. The pollster asked Canadians if “companies” should be “allowed to produce and promote the sale of marijuana just like tobacco and alcohol.” In response, 55.6 per cent said no, and 42.4 per cent said yes.

Meanwhile, 82.9 per cent of Canadians believe marijuana should be legally available for doctors to prescribe to their patients — something that is now allowed.

In the 14 different “focus groups” gathered by the pollster for in-depth discussions on the issue involving 10 people, summaries of sentiments — rather than numerical findings — were provided.

Most focus group participants supported either leaving the law alone or imposing a fine on people with small amounts of marijuana so they would not have a criminal record. There was some support for legalization in focus groups held in British Columbia, said the pollster, but outside the province, there was “very little support.”

Deputy Liberal Leader Ralph Goodale said Wednesday the poll shows Canadians believe that existing marijuana laws don’t accomplish their “public policy objectives.”

“The status quo is obviously failed policy,” said Goodale, whose party wants a regulated system to keep pot out of the hands of youths.

“That’s clearly recognized by the vast majority of Canadians. They come to some different conclusions about what exactly to do about it, but clearly they want change.”

Mary Ann Dewey-Plante, a spokesperson for MacKay, responded to the poll by saying that Trudeau will “fully legalize recreational marijuana, which would make it easier for kids to buy and smoke in their neighborhoods, like cigarettes today.”

She said the Liberals want to make smoking pot “a normal, everyday activity for Canadians. We, on the other hand, want to protect children and teens from the harmful effects of smoking pot on their health and development.”

She reiterated that the government is considering a proposal by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police to allow police to lay fines against those caught with small amounts of marijuana.

The political debate over marijuana legalization in Canada sharpened this week, following a New York Times editorial that called for the U.S. federal government to repeal its 44-year ban on pot.

The influential newspaper, which says the question of legalization should be left up to individual U.S. states, is running a six-day series on the issue, and has reignited a hot debate among Americans.

It concluded that the ban has inflicted “great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.”

The editorial comes as some U.S. states reform pot laws. Marijuana for recreational use went on sale in Colorado Jan. 1 and Washington followed suit this month. Oregon and Alaska will vote on the matter in November.

These are the results of a poll by Ipsos Reid commissioned by the Department of Justice.

The survey of 3,000 adult Canadians was conducted between January 30 to February 7, 2014 and has a margin of error of 1.8 percentage points.

Conservative government’s poll shows Canadians want pot laws changed | Ottawa Citizen
 
tay
#16
Marijuana was criminalized in 1923, but why?








That happened in 1923, and if there was any kind of parliamentary debate, historians have been unable to find a record of it.


When Parliament decided to add marijuana to the schedule of proscribed drugs that year, Canada became one of the first countries to make smoking pot illegal. The U.S. didn't accomplish that until 14 years later, in the midst of the Great Depression.


In 1923, then prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King's Liberal government introduced an Act to Prohibit the Improper Use of Opium and other Drugs. The federal health minister at the time, Henri Beland, said the bill was a consolidation of other legislation that had been passed over the previous few years, with some changes.


At the time, the only drugs on the schedule were opium, morphine, cocaine and eucaine (a local anesthetic first introduced as a substitute for cocaine).


The new bill added three drugs to the proscribed list: heroin, codeine and "cannabis indica (Indian hemp) or hasheesh."


The only mention of the proposed changes to the schedule recorded in Hansard was on April 23, when Beland told the House of Commons, "There is a new drug in the schedule."


In fact, there were actually three new drugs. Historian Catherine Carstairs says Beland was likely referring to cannabis when he said there was “a new drug,” because in the government's view, "the other two are extensions of other products that had already been added to the schedule."


Carstairs is the author of Jailed for Possession: Illegal Drug Use, Regulation and Power in Canada, 1920-1961 and chair of the University of Guelph's history department.






more




Marijuana was criminalized in 1923, but why? - Health - CBC News
 
petros
+1
#17
Harper need to walk into a med weed store and check out the age of the people buying. He should also take their advice considering the majority have 10-20 years on him.
 
Cliffy
Free Thinker
#18

The Harper Song Steve It39s Time to Leave by John Roby - YouTube

 
tay
+2
#19
Unbelievable that Stephen Harper's Cons are trying to use doctors to attack Justin Trudeau by inviting them to endorse an anti-marijuana ad campaign clearly designed to reinforce their own filthy and misleading attack ads. (external - login to view)




And leaves me wondering how on earth did the Harperites ever think that they could get away with such a scummy scheme? Whatever gave them the idea that they could degrade doctors so foully?


And the only thing I can think of is that they must be really DESPERATE.


Well now the countries three main medical organizations have delivered their answer: no thank you Great Leader.

The main groups representing Canadian doctors have declared they will not participate in Health Canada's upcoming anti-drug campaign targeting young people.





“The educational campaign has now become a political football on Canada's marijuana policy,” said a joint statement released Saturday by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. “We did not, and do not, support or endorse any political messaging or political advertising on this issue.”

And not only is it a massive slap in the face, it also pulls the slimy carpet out from under the Con campaign.

Because now the Trudeau Liberals can point to that statement to claim that their attacks on his marijuana policy are politically motivated, and have nothing to do with the health of young Canadians.






wwwyoutubecomwatchvYyPg3Jte

c&feature=player_embedded
 
JamesBondo
+1
#20
This demonstrates to me how out of touch the Liberal party still is.

I didn't vote for the CPC based on marijuana laws.

Pierre with hair is mistaken if he thinks that I will take my vote away based on marijuana laws.
 
skookumchuck
Free Thinker
+1
#21
The potheads continue to feather their own beds by twisting facts. Perhaps, like most children, they would like to be allowed to destroy themselves? If you want pot recognized, first provide some actual science regarding what it does or does not do, rather than lies and flights of phantasy and hearsay like is heard from everyday drug addicts. Has anyone noticed that the medical community said that they would not be onboard with the political aspirations, they said nothing else no matter how it is twisted.
 
taxslave
No Party Affiliation
+1
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by skookumchuckView Post

The potheads continue to feather their own beds by twisting facts. Perhaps, like most children, they would like to be allowed to destroy themselves? If you want pot recognized, first provide some actual science regarding what it does or does not do, rather than lies and flights of phantasy and hearsay like is heard from everyday drug addicts. Has anyone noticed that the medical community said that they would not be onboard with the political aspirations, they said nothing else no matter how it is twisted.

Would you believe the facts?
 
55Mercury
#23
twisting facts, or fabricating them rather, is how the sh!t became illegal in the first place. nuff said
 
skookumchuck
Free Thinker
+1
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Would you believe the facts?

There are no scientific, medical, and peer reviewed studies to support the claims made for pot, so, no facts. If you are aware of some please provide me links. Lots of people like it, fine, however it destroyed one of my children.
 
Ron in Regina
Free Thinker
+3
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by skookumchuckView Post

There are no scientific, medical, and peer reviewed studies to support the claims made for pot, so, no facts. If you are aware of some please provide me links. Lots of people like it, fine, however it destroyed one of my children.

I have no dog in this race, and am indifferent on the legalization
of pot to the general public, but I would like to interject here.

There are scientific, medical, and peer reviewed studies regarding
marijuana in treatment for glaucoma, M.S. and pain control for chronic
issues up to and including cancer among a handful of other ailments,
and thus the legalization of medical marijuana.

Personally, I wouldn't want to live on a mind altering substance to manage
a medical condition if there was an alternative like Tylenol or whatever, but
that's just me.

Lots of people function just fine dabbling daily with this drug, and many think
they do but just don't....and are to whacked out to see it themselves. I also
know a young man who ended up in a phyc ward for months after his first
night playing with marijuana, and has never been the same since.
 
skookumchuck
Free Thinker
+1
#26
Correct Ron. My daughters early use brought on BI Polar with a crash and at age 42 she has never and will never be trusted not to blow up almost daily, btw, she still smokes pot daily, claims it "cures" her and she does not need other meds. The jury is still out however regarding its actual ability to reduce pain, for some it acts as a distraction. It never did for me. My Wife is stricken with MS. She has not walked for 6 years and finds no relief with Pot. I have a dog in this fight.
 
Tonington
+1
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by skookumchuckView Post

There are no scientific, medical, and peer reviewed studies to support the claims made for pot, so, no facts. If you are aware of some please provide me links.

Information for Health Care Professionals: Cannabis (marihuana, marijuana) and the cannabinoids [Health Canada, 2013] (external - login to view)

This is just the table that Health Canada summarizes findings from smoking/vapourization. Scroll around the link and you'll find references (there are a total of 1000) pointing to therapeutic uses for other forms, dosages, and delivery vehicles for many indications.
 
JamesBondo
#28
I heard on the radio ( not exactly the most reliable source, I'll admit) that chronic patients that use marijuana tend to experience extended periods where slow and constant dosages of THC are required, while comparable patients on alternate medications are able to go off their medications more often and longer.

just saying.
 
skookumchuck
Free Thinker
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

Information for Health Care Professionals: Cannabis (marihuana, marijuana) and the cannabinoids [Health Canada, 2013] (external - login to view)

This is just the table that Health Canada summarizes findings from smoking/vapourization. Scroll around the link and you'll find references (there are a total of 1000) pointing to therapeutic uses for other forms, dosages, and delivery vehicles for many indications.

This document has been prepared by the Controlled Substances and Tobacco Directorate at Health Canada to provide information on the use of cannabis and cannabinoids for medical purposes. Cannabis is not an approved therapeutic product and the provision of this information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the use of this product, or cannabis generally, by Health Canada. Despite the similarity of format, it is not a Drug Product Monograph, which is a document which would be required if the product were to receive a Notice of Compliance authorizing its sale in Canada. This document is a summary of peer-reviewed literature and international reviews concerning potential therapeutic uses and harmful effects of cannabis (marihuana) and cannabinoids. It is not meant to be comprehensive and should be used as a complement to other reliable sources of information. This document should not be construed as expressing conclusions from Health Canada about the appropriate use of cannabis (marihuana) or cannabinoids for medical purposes. Cannabis (marijuana, marihuana) is not an approved therapeutic substance in Canada and has not been issued a notice of compliance by Health Canada authorizing sale in Canada.
 
tay
#30
Well it could have been just another day in the glamorous life of Rona Ambrose Health Minister.



Serving the public, like an Angel of Mercy, and servicing Stephen Harper, like the Angel of Death.

Not necessarily in that order.


But then she blew it. Again.


By trying to make the country's doctors believe that the Con cult's massive tax payer funded anti-marijuana ad campaign wasn't blatantly political.


Health Minister Rona Ambrose says a new anti-drug campaign isn't asking doctors to take a partisan view on marijuana. She says if anything, it's Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau who has politicized the issue.
"Telling kids to not smoke pot is not a partisan attack on Justin Trudeau by Health Canada. It is a sound public health policy backed by science," she said on Monday.
Which left the Canadian Medical Association seeing red, or being treated for high blood pressure.

"The CMA is on record as calling for a public education campaign on the dangers of marijuana use by youth. "We did not ask for a multi-million-dollar taxpayer-funded advertising campaign to be turned into a political football."

Left the Con's anti-marijuana/Justin Trudeau campaign on life support, or on a trolley heading for the morgue.

Because if that sleazy smear campaign isn't dead now, it soon will be.

And of course left me rolling on the floor, clutching my side, and gasping for breath.












 

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