If you've been reading me for a while, you'll probably know a few things about me, one being that I'm absolutely convinced that a lot of the 'rules' are established for quite different reasons than what The Man wants you to believe.
You'll also know that about a year ago, when I was on a mission to prove to my son-that-I-stole that he was wrecking his health, I spent five or six hours researching pot, reading up on it, what it is, where it comes from, health issues related to it and about the current legal situation.
I found out - from about 20 different sources - that I was wrong, wrong, wrong about pretty much everything I thought I knew about pot. Even Stats Canada told me I was wrong!
Around the same time, my boyfriend, George Strombolopolis, who is arguably the most excellent CBC personality ever, hosted the two fellows who made The Union: The Business Behind Getting High.
Click here for a list of people who were interviewed on camera for this film
And before I go on, I want to make it absolutely clear that under no circumstances do I support anyone using anything - religion, chocolate, alcohol, vicodin, expensive cars, shoes, or pot - to excess or as a means to check out of real life.
So, back to pot.
Did you know that Pot puts $7 billion dollars into the British Columbia economy alone, annually??? $7Billion, the majority of which money comes from sales to the US.
Did you know that pot has not only been legal in Canada, it was a required crop at various times in the past. REQUIRED, as in if you refused to grow it you could be prosecuted. Why? because the by-products - fabric and rope and related stuff - were so durable and indestructible and necessary for WAR uses... yeah. War. Clothing and ropes and stuff.
Did you know that internationally - that is, all over the world - there is NOT ONE case of overdose or death from pot. NONE. There are thousands and thousands of cases of alcohol poisoning and caffeine poisoning annually.
Did you know that pot was criminalised at one point because it made soldiers turn into pacifists? Did you know that alcohol is encouraged for soldiers? Why? Because alcohol encourages aggression.
Did you know that of those who are in "treatment" for marijuana 'addiction,' not one person is addicted? People who enter 'treatment' do so to avoid a criminal sentence, not because they're addicted.
Pot is highly effective for pain control and relief; it is an excellent antidote to nausea brought on by chemotherapy; it is the only known effective treatment for glaucoma; it is an excellent treatment for Tourette's Syndrome and is also excellent for calming tremors in those who have cerebral palsy; it is extremely effective for sufferers of MS. If you were big pharma and pretty much all the biggies you're treating with expensive, toxic drugs could be treated with an easy to grow weed, would you want it legalised?
If you were a police department getting huge funding for "the war on drugs," would you want the source of your funds to dry up?
The realities of why pot is illegal in the US and not legal in Canada (I am making a specific distinction here) have nothing at all to do with weed being dangerous, at all and everything to do with business, police funding and politics. In the meantime, US prisons are overflowing with people who are there for carrying around a joint, while US (and Canadian) streets are regularly crowded with drunk drivers who have multiple convictions.
Anyway, I am not an advocate for anything other than people being informed. I hope, if you're reading this, you will find a copy of The Union - it is available, but I don't support illegal downloading, so perhaps contact the producers first. It is available on The Pirate Bay, HERE
If you can't find it, then click here for Woody Harrelson's film, Grass
Apparently, I'm taking a risk by even daring to blog about this stuff. Remember a few years ago when Tommy Chong was arrested? Yeah. He was arrested for selling unused 'paraphernalia' on line. He has a criminal record for selling products that are perfectly legal to sell.
Oh. My point above that pot is not illegal in Canada: in July 2007, the Canadian Supreme court struck down the possession laws in Canada. Why? because in Canada, where we have some compassion, those who have a medical right and reason to possess and use pot could also be arrested for possession because the law made no distinction. So, rather than rewriting the law, the Supreme Court just struck the whole thing down.
You can still be arrested for trafficking if you have loads of weed on you, but amounts for personal use (and that is where the law is 18% gray) are not illegal to posses. By the way, this is the second time in this century the pot law has fallen. According to The Pot Law has Fallen, there is a class action suit going on, launched by people who were charged with possession during the year or so in 2003 when there also was no possession law on the books.
I could go on about this for pages and pages. Our politicians and law enforcement agencies have found themselves a really, great source of revenue - and yes, they are absolutely enjoying the benefits of the pot industry in Canada - and they are not going to jeopardise it by making any moves to legalise. Oh, and yeah, part of that is due to threats from south of the border.
See? I could so go on...