Boy, what a fracas this week! The Liberals are getting ready to decriminalize marijuana, and it’s got our neighbours to the south frothing.
But what’s the fuss all about? We’re not talking about making it legal, now (which, by the way, is the intelligent thing to do). Nope. All that’s being contemplated is changing possession of small quantities from a criminal offence to a ticketable offense. It will be still be illegal to own the stuff. It will still be a criminal offense to own, or produce it, for the purposes of trafficking.
In other words, not much will change, except that high schoolers who get caught with the stuff will still be able to become lawyers, engineers, or docters, whereas under professional statutes today, they are barred from these lines of work if they have a criminal record.
John Walters, who is the White House Drug Czar, went on the record this week saying this would mean a flood of pot moving south of the border. And David Murray, John Walters assistant, implied that this would require the US to start being more vigilant at the border, and slow traffic down.
After Murray’s speech in Vancouver, Vancouver Councillor Jim Green said "I just really was unimpressed with the lack of depth and the lack of analysis."
Paul Celluci, in Ottawa, was slightly more conciliatory, noting that since the US didn’t have the details of what Canada was planning, it was hard to predict what impact that might have on US drug enforcement policies.
Eight US states have already decriminalized, and allow medicinal use. Even so, the US Feds have stated that they will continue to raid and prosecute individuals in those states. They can’t get their own house in order, but they’d like to try and help us get ours in order. Oh… and there’s $85BB in trade at stake if we don’t play ball.
This is purely and simply an issue of Canadian sovereignty. It’s unwanted, unwarranted, unnecessary US involvement in Canadian affairs.