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Thursday, February 21, 2008

WStv: Marc Emery addresses Western Standard readers

UPDATE: Jacob Sullum at Reason magazine has posted about our videos of Emery here.


Conservative opposition to the war on drugs has been building for over a decade.

It began in earnest with a Fraser Institute publication in June 1998 titled “Reassessing the War on Drugs.” This publication was a collection of essays on the failure of drug prohibition and included polling data that showed “only one in ten Canadians is staunchly against seeing marijuana use removed from the list of criminal code offences.” The Fraser Institute challenged its fiscal and law-and-order conservative supporters to seriously rethink the war on drugs, with Institute scholars like Patrick Basham leading this charge.

In May 2000, Stockwell Day joined the discussion. During his successful "Freedom Train" leadership campaign, Day told the Vancouver Sun that marijuana users should not go to jail:  “if you’re talking about simple possession, no, that should not be jail.” Day became the first leader of the Canadian Alliance and is now Minister of Public Safety with the Harper government.

In October 2001, Scott Reid made a powerful case for ending drug prohibition in the journal Policy Options. Scott Reid is the Member of Parliament for Lanark-Carleton and part of Harper’s brain trust.

The tag line on Reid’s article reads: “The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the Canadian Alliance Party.” And his views are still officially not those of the Conservative Party, although support for moderate drug liberalization is shared by many conservative-minded MPs.

Regular readers of the Shotgun blog may recall Peter Jaworski’s post about prominent conservatives who oppose the war on drugs. The list includes Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman and National Review founder William F. Buckley.

All of this is to say that conservative opposition to the war on drugs does exist. But while conservatives have tested the waters of drug liberalization, few are ready to dive into the deep end in support of marijuana legalization advocate Marc Emery. Vancouver’s "Prince of Pot," Emery is still facing the possibility of extradition to the United States to face drug charges for selling marijuana seeds. He was arrested in Canada by the U.S. DEA and, if extradited and convicted, could spend a lifetime in a U.S. prison. We covered Emery's case in "Seeding Sovereignty," a feature-length article by Western Standard reporter William Hopper.

The legal case against Emery's extradition should be strong. The Canadian government allowed Emery to operate openly. He paid taxes on his illegal seed business. Health Canada directed medical marijuana patients  to purchase seeds from him. He often ran for public office. Is this the kind of person Canadians, even conservative Canadians, want to see spend a lifetime in a U.S. prison? Probably not, but Emery’s uncompromising views and public, non-violent civil disobedience scares away conservative sympathizers. Emery is also not just philosophically committed to drug legalization; he promotes the drug culture with his magazine Cannabis Culture and his popular on-line video website POT.TV. This is too much for cultural conservatives, even those convinced of the failure of drug prohibition.

But like it or not, Marc Emery is at the centre of the debate over the legalization of marijuana in Canada, which is why we invited him to create a broadcast message specifically for Western Standard readers. Many will be impressed by Emery’s commitment to liberty and free market ideas. Others will no doubt be shocked by Jodie Emery's open marijuana use. Emery is a hero to many libertarians and drug peaceniks, but can he win the hearts and minds of conservatives?

This is Marc Emery in his own words, unbound:

Parts Two and Three below the fold

Part Two:

Part Three:

Posted by westernstandard on February 21, 2008 in Marc Emery, WStv | Permalink


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Keep it criminal. I can't stand the stink. Although I must admit, not all marijuana smokers are idiots.

Posted by: dewp | 2008-02-21 9:37:27 PM

Keep up the good fight Marc. The state has no business in the bong's of the nation!

Posted by: Matt | 2008-02-21 9:49:27 PM

He seems very sincere with his ideals, I share some of them. I don't want the government interfering in my life either. But I am a father of two kids. I DON'T want my kids growing up in a country where pot is legal or even "decriminalized". There is a good reason why pot and other drugs are illegal. They affect people's brains in a way that a user is not aware of. A drinker gets a hangover and knows that that was a bad choice they made. Drug users just want more. I am a libertarian, but not on the drug issue. There is just too much at stake for my kids.

Posted by: Mallard42 | 2008-02-21 10:03:48 PM

Marc Emery has broken a law he disagrees with.
Too bad ,do your time like a man and quit whining.

Posted by: bocanut | 2008-02-21 10:09:40 PM

Pot Smoking is for lazy-ass hippies and should not be legalized. I don't want to see my kids rotting there brains on smoking grass. We need to educate are kids better on the effects of Marijuana use, just like we did with cigarettes. When I was a kid everyone smoked, then we figured out exactly what it did. We need to do the same with marijuana. I realize for the most part the war on drugs as been not very successful, but just because we are unsuccessful one way doesn't mean we should stop trying. Emery deserves to sit in the can for a bit... someone should give him a book on the effects of marijuana... tell him to grow up not grow-op

Posted by: Redneck Ryder | 2008-02-21 10:32:10 PM

Personally, I happen not to like pot. I tried it first when I was 17 or 18, and have only re-tried it once or twice since. I have never tried any other stuf defined as "drug" by the state, except if you include alcohol, tobacco or chocolate. However, I do reserve my right to change my mind if my preferences were to change in the future.

But the most important point is this: if one only defends the liberties he enjoys exercising, while promoting the crimnalization of what he does not like, a free and peaceful society is not possible. The fashionable group of the day will use the state to crush the liberties of others. The "war on drugs" has already justified an onslaught on our liberties (think about searches, border controls, money laundering laws, etc.).

We should all support Marc Emery. We are defending our own liberties at the same time.

Posted by: Pierre Lemieux | 2008-02-21 10:38:57 PM

A recent study by the Research Institute of New Zealand and published in the European Respiratory Journal states that smoking a joint is equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes. The reasons: twice as many carcinogens; without proper filter; smoked to the tip; inhaled more deeply and for longer; smoker ends up with five times more carbon monoxide in their bloodstream. I have 11 grandchildren and I'm concerned that there are too damned many people saying that marijuana isn't a problem and yet we have little research on the long-term effects. Emery is a criminal and deserved to be jailed!

Posted by: KingAl | 2008-02-21 10:45:04 PM

Drugs are not a liberty, they are a constraint on the human mind and body. they do not free anything. They enslave the user to a life dependant on the drug. This ends up causing the user to become and addict, who is then reliable either on society to break the addiction or society to support the addiction through stealing or whatever. This then encourages the rest of society to take action to help these stupid asses, through some sort of nanny-welfare state programs, funded by tax payers like me, to get these stupid drug users who abused the idea of liberty to due permanent harm to themselves, and everyone else.

Posted by: Redneck Ryder | 2008-02-21 11:30:08 PM

Please pardon my ignorance. What law did Mr. Emery break? I understood that he broke no Canadian law, and if he did not enter the U.S. (as I understood) but sold seeds through the mail, then I see no reason why Canada should agree to his extradition.

As for legalising marijuana, I admit to being of mixed feelings. The so-called war on drugs is not working nor ever has even south of the border. It is an American concept imported into Canada. I do use illegal drugs as a personal choice rather than because of the law. It also seems to me that our law enforcement resources could be put to better use dealing with real crimes - murder, assault, burglary, vehicle theft, home invasions, etc.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-02-22 12:18:57 AM

Any one notice the Ron Paul poster in the background (upper left)?
Just when I was beginning to like these two.

Posted by: Conrad | 2008-02-22 1:13:43 AM

Some prescription drugs are very dangerous too and can cause harm. As for marijuana, I've seen the awful effects it has had on some peoples' health. Especially with memory. But I don't think we should go with the American way as it doesn't solve the problem.

Posted by: Tim Trudeau | 2008-02-22 2:58:24 AM

Medical marijuana is a crock. The active ingredient can be put into pills. The man Emery is paranoid.


Posted by: Anonymous | 2008-02-22 4:00:55 AM

Mallard42: There is a good reason why pot and other drugs are illegal.

Really? I'd be interested to hear it. When pot was initially prohibited in the US, the law was drafted very quietly in hearing where only people in favour of prohibition were given opportunity to speak (the one doctor who came in and said it was madness was quickly silenced) and the bill was passed as an act to tax marijuana, not to ban it.

The ban came under attack from doctors. The government solution was to start arresting doctors - over 3000 arrests in a very short time - a matter of a year or two - all doctors who knew pot could help their patients. Once the American Medical Association agreed to endorse the law, arrests dropped off significantly - from thousands to like a dozen.

Other drugs were banned in more selective form at first - opium was banned in all forms except for eating because, well, how could you ban eating such a great medicine? That's how self-respecting white folks took it.

At the end of the day, drugs were banned for the same ridiculous reasons as alcohol and both prohibitions should be treated with equal contempt.

Worried about your kids? Keeping pot illegal means the easiest place to buy it isn't from the corner store, but from YOUR KIDS. Instead of funding a local business or pharmacy so they can buy groceries and pay rent, drugs fund gangs so they can buy guns, knives and more drugs. That's what prohibition does, folks.

Worried about overdoses? Well wouldn't the solution be to let producers be held accountable for their goods, rather than having goods of unknown producers come through shady channels and never know where it came from to demand legal responsibility for wildly different purities, we leave it to folks with guns to sort it out, if they even care.

Drug use hurts users in some (but not all) cases, but not anyone else. The overwhelming majority of crime associated with drug use is a result of its prohibition, not of drug use itself. The rest is as negligible as theft by alcoholics - not exactly a crime plague sweeping the nation.

At the end of the day we have to ask ourselves - are we against it because they need to be protected from something for their own good? Because they "don't realize" what it does to them, in our opinion? If so, we don't really believe in freedom - a belief in freedom means nothing unless you believe in the freedoms you most disagree with as much as your freedom to worship as you choose, run a business and raise your children as you choose, and think and say that drug users are ruining their lives.

Posted by: Janet | 2008-02-22 6:43:46 AM

Janet:"Drug use hurts users in some (but not all) cases, but not anyone else." Clearly you have never visited Vancouver's downtown Eastside. Drug users hurt everyone, including the abuse on their own families and friends, their neighbours who gets their possessions robbed, poor social workers who have to go in and clean up the mess, and the tax payers who fund all the programs to help these morons. In a day where morality is already lacking severly, To set drugs aside as being ok and on sale down at the local supermarket is ludicris, the ideal to liberate something that is completely detrimental to society is so liberal that it stupid or lefist, and I am choosing to have the liberty from stupidity, absolute freedom is not free at all. It is stupidity. so called freedoms that infringe on the rights of others freedsom are not freeing at all, and drugs infringe on others freedom.

Posted by: Redneck Ryder | 2008-02-22 9:14:28 AM

1st of all Redneck Ryder is the prime example of how ALCOHOL rots your brain! He suggests that someone give Marc a book about the bad effects of Marijuana. There is not 1 SCIENTIFICALLY sound study that says that! Also, had he smoked cannabis, he would know the difference between "there" and "their" and know that "educate ARE kids"(sic) is downright illiterate!
What a poor misguided individual. I can ONLY assume that his "information" is as valid as his spelling/grammar!
The ANONYMOUS MD (yeah, right!) should be aware that THC is NOT the only active ingredient that offers relief! And by focusing ONLY on THC is a reason why pill formed alternatives are falling short!
King Al is referencing a flawed study that is rebuked and has been rebuked since the 1st study on Rasta's!
I have been smoking more than 20 joints a day for MORE than 20 years! I have clean lungs and perfectly clean arteries. Because my MD/DO is also ignorant I am constantly given medical tests that smokers get! And I come through them with flying colors! The study he mentions reminds me of the the kills brain cells study from the 70s.... They gave rhesus monkeys so much smoke with no oxygen that they were literally suffocated!
REAL WORLD experience says more!
It seems the ONE thing the haters have in common is IGNORANCE! The War on Drugs hasn't been going that well? What PLANET does that person live on!!
Give up cigarettes, which KILL! Give up alcohol, which kills YOU and OTHERS! Smoke a joint. The world will be a better place!
KUDOs to the Western Standard

Posted by: Niemand | 2008-02-22 9:35:39 AM

Strange how Marc Emery's commitment to "liberty" apparently doesn't extend to the basic right to life and medical care that the elderly and sick are supposed to enjoy. Consider this quote from the last B.C. election, in which Emery was a candidate:

"Old people are the biggest welfare recipients of our medical system," Emery said. "We spend far too much of our taxpayers' money on a rapidly growing population of old people. We're spending lots of money keeping many many millions of old people alive when it would be much more honourable to let them die..." The remark was carried in a Langley, B.C. newspaper.

Or maybe he's simply applying free-market principles to human life.

Posted by: Terry O'Neill | 2008-02-22 9:41:08 AM

Redneck... Comparing HEROIN ADDICTS with marijuana smokers is a typical transparent tactic of morally bankrupt people trying VERY hard to be taken seriously!
How much TAXPAYER monies is being used for CANNABIS TREATMENT?
Why insist on comparing apples and prehistoric sea creatures?


MORE money, taxpayer money, is WASTED in eradication then TREATMENT, especially if you narrow it to cannabis!

Do some RESEARCH before your next diatribe..... You are looking more and more foolish! And thats pretty hard to do since YOU want to EDUCATE ARE Children!!

Educate YOURSELF first!

Posted by: Niemand | 2008-02-22 9:43:00 AM

Thanks for the quote Terry.
Says everything I want to know about the man.

Posted by: Bocanut | 2008-02-22 9:56:23 AM

Niemand: oh ya and you look pretty normal with all your ranting a raving... lunatic. I might not be the most grammatically correct person in the world, but when it comes down to it... I will be the last one standing... alcohol hasn't rotted my brain, because i don't drink. and drugs haven't either because I don't do that. I also have never smoked, and I have an amazing genetic history. sooo... I hope you have fun in hell when your brain finally turns to mush because you've been smoking "I have been smoking more than 20 joints a day for MORE than 20 years"... congrats... your a real winner... glad to know you exist.

Posted by: Redneck Ryder | 2008-02-22 10:03:50 AM

You folks know far better than I about the proper use of the term Libertarian, since it seems to be the political philosophy which is paraded on this blog as the "Conservative" ideology of Canada, which opposes your Liberals (political parties).

This unfortunate melding of the terms Libertarian and Conservative is the destructive force which destroyed the USA Republican Party.

Conservatives have only a sliver of shared beliefs with Libertarians, and greatly oppose the bulk or basis of the Libertarian philosophy, which is entirely Atheistic and narrowly self centered.

Conservatives are all about normal family, community, nation, etc. Conservatives are as anxious for expanded LIBERTY as possible, but liberty to preserve and build, not to destroy.

Libertarian is just an "I got mine, screw you" short sighted (e.g. Atheistic, Feminist, Homosexual) view or philosophy.

The criminal guy being discussed in this posting broke a law (in America) because that is how you make MONEY with a crappy horrible "product" you provide soemthing ILLEGAL and thus get a premium, way the hell above what he gets (I'm confident) from similar sales in Canada (where this crap is legal - or so I am now learning by reading this blog topic). He isn't any sort of Libertarian icon, he is just a crappy bum criminal living off of ill gotten gains.

And Libertarians are NOT Conservatives by any stretch of the immagination, they just (like creepy Ron Paul) infiltrate a valid national political Party, and by seemingly sharing a small government (e.g. max freedom) philosophy, fool the optimistic people (i.e. the Conservatives of the Republican party) into thinking that they agree with the ORIGINALISTS, the Conservatives, who fight and strive to KEEP freedom, by holding onto the philosophical VERY RELIGIOUS AND FAMILY ORIENTED values of our founding fathers.

Legalizing marijuana is just a stupid loser notion for folks who have no connection to anyone other than a contracepted or homosexual orgasm.

Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2008-02-22 10:16:35 AM

Redneck, you talk about how your generation learned that smoking is bad for you and many quite. You did this while tobacco was legal. As I parent I teach my kids the pitfalls of many things, such as smoking, alcahol, sex, careless driving, drugs, etc. Making something illegal just because some people think it is harmfull is not a good enough reason to give the government power over us.

If health care was not a governemnt monopoly, then nobody would care if their neighbor destroyed their health.

I don't know Emery and I may not even like him. But he should be free to do mutually exchange with other consenting adults, no matter how much I might not like it.

Posted by: TM | 2008-02-22 10:29:14 AM

I don't want to get into a nasty exchange on this because I'm not a pot smoker. But...

Pot is non-addictive, so Red Ryder's comparisons really are misleading.

Pills do not have the same effect as smoking. That has been clinically proven. It doesn't really matter if it's a placebo effect.

My kids have made their own choices for a few years already, and legalizing pot would not have any influence on those choices.

I smoked a lot of pot thirty some years ago. I also drank a lot of booze. If anything should be outlawed it's the booze. It's addictive. It kills people on the highway. It rots your brain and your liver. It makes people way too brave and way too smart.

Posted by: dp | 2008-02-22 10:36:16 AM

Interesting story - America runs the world (Canada included) . . . you need to quit fighting us on issues. When will you learn that we always win. It comes down to money and influence. You are a small (economically/population, etc.) country. When has the Canadian government not gone along with the US? I applaud your efforts as I would like to see the US get back to being a democratic republic and not a democracy . . . but it will more than likely not happen in our lifetime. Look at the current candidates running for president. They are all socialists . . . more government control over the people thus less freedoms.

Posted by: Chris | 2008-02-22 10:40:53 AM

Hey Conrad. Is it not possible for you to post a comment without mentioning homosexuals at least twice? You have a serious problem my man. Better look in the closet, I think I heard something stirring.

One thing I should add about pot vs booze. Pot smokers tend to drink less alcohol than non-smokers. Driving stoned is nearly as bad as driving drunk, but the bravado of the drunk driver is what makes it far more life threatening.

Posted by: dp | 2008-02-22 10:45:23 AM

Conrad-USA: There is no attempt to meld or merge libertarian political philosophy and conservative political philosophy (the lower-case "l" refers to the philosophy, upper-case "L" refers to the political party.) This blog, and content on this site, is consistent with the founding ideals of the Western Standard--to showcase libertarian and conservative philosophies, and to provide a venue for a *debate* between the two.

Calling libertarianism "atheistic" and "self-centered" is to display a marked ignorance of what is essential about the philosophy. The Acton Institute in the U.S., for instance, is a Christian libertarian organization focused on family, religion, and liberty. If you'd like to investigate this more, take a look at the Acton Institute, this Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_libertarianism, or simply read (or re-read) C.S. Lewis

As for being "self-centered," there is a bevy of what might be called "communitarian libertarians," whose primary focus is on the role the state has played in shattering our community involvement, our inclinations to focus on others, and our charitable instincts. The core argument is that the state displaces families and community organizations in the provision of various social services. When the state takes over these functions, we have one less reason to join our local Elk or Moose Lodge, or to attend and become a part of the local church.

De Tocqueville wrote about an America brimming with local initiative, and with a community approach to solving problems like potholes in roads (they would form spontaneous community organizations to solve the problem, without agitating for state involvement.) Once the state became the vehicle for "solving" these problems, the community ties became more shallow, and the discovery of a problem--like a pothole--became reason not to talk to your neighbours to solve it, but to petition the government and to call a bureaucrat.

Thus neither atheism nor self-centeredness is essential to a philosophy that insists on individual liberty. What you are probably thinking of is the particular version of libertarianism that has its roots in Ayn Rand. But it isn't as though libertarianism sprang up only when Rand came on the scene, especially since it had a long and rich tradition in the writings of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, and other "classical liberals" (a synonym for libertarians). The founding fathers of the United States are best classified as libertarians. Same with the founding of Canada, which also had its roots in the libertarian tradition.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-02-22 11:38:21 AM

>>Janet:"Drug use hurts users in some (but not all) cases, but not anyone else." Clearly you have never visited Vancouver's downtown Eastside.

No, I'll admit I haven't, but I've been to some pretty bad neighbourhoods with some very sad stories - many of which could have been avoided through legalization.

>>Drug users hurt everyone, including the abuse on their own families and friends,

By abuse do you mean hurt feelings or treating someone poorly? It's not illegal to cheat on a significant other, to belittle friends or family, or to let them watch you ruin your life in countless other ways, and all these things certainly hurt our friends and family as well.

>>their neighbours who gets their possessions robbed,

Theft is a crime completely separate from drug addiction, and should be dealt with as theft, not as addiction.

>>poor social workers who have to go in and clean up the mess,

Uh, what did they think they were going to be doing as social workers?

>>and the tax payers who fund all the programs to help these morons.

On this, of course, you're completely right. Taxpayers shouldn't be subsidizing the bad decisions of others. Again, though, this is a separate issue from drug addiction. Help for addicts should be paid for by the addicts, their families or charities funded by voluntary donations.

>>In a day where morality is already lacking severly (sic),

Morality isn't the business of the law.

>>To set drugs aside as being ok and on sale down at the local supermarket is ludicris (sic),

Are you also opposed to selling alcohol at the supermarket? Most of the US, Quebec, Newfoundland, etc. seem to be dealing with it.

>>the ideal to liberate something that is completely detrimental to society

False. I know a guy who did nothing but sit around and play metal until he started smoking pot. He has a PhD now.

>>is so liberal that it stupid or lefist,

Laws shouldn't be based on such subjective value judgements. I think it's stupid to tell people they have to get married because they want to have sex, but you don't see me trying to get the government to ban churches from teaching that to their followers.

>>and I am choosing to have the liberty from stupidity,

Good thing I don't want tax dollars funding it then, eh? That would be the only way I could see this stupidity impacting you.

>>absolute freedom is not free at all. It is stupidity. so called freedoms that infringe on the rights of others freedsom (sic) are not freeing at all,

I'm not sure what you mean by "absolute freedom." I believe in the harm principle. So far, though, the only infringed right that you've been able to successfully point out is the right to not fund others' mistakes. I agree with you there.

>>and drugs infringe on others freedom.

Again, other than through taxpayer funded programs, this is something you've failed to prove.

Posted by: Janet | 2008-02-22 11:59:49 AM

Just returned to this blog and this subject and see my comments posted yesterday were full of typos. Anyway the one I do wish to correct is that I meant to type that I do not use illegal drugs...

That should teach me not to try writing and listening to something else at the same time.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-02-22 12:14:21 PM


You're sadly mistaken about libertarians. (Note the small "L" (philosophy) - a much different meaning from the capital L Libertarian (party member) you're using. There is also a difference between Conservative (party member) and conservative (philosophy).)

To say libertarian philosophy is entirely atheistic would be akin to me saying that only evangelical Christians are conservatives.

There are many very religious libertarians. They believe in the value of family, the Bible, traditional values, etc. but believe that these whether to follow these teachings was a choice given to us by God, and that legislating morality takes the choice on whether to be a sinner away from us. If you only act virtuously to avoid jail are you really a virtuous person? But they do still believe in laws protecting us from force and fraud - as all libertarians do.

And speaking of protecting us from force and fraud, that seems like an awfully strange thing to do as a self-serving libertarian, doesn't it? After all, I could benefit myself a great deal by using force and fraud to strip you of your assets and taking nice long vacation to Europe. Libertarians also do not believe in making gains from anything other than the cooperative, voluntary transactions with their fellow man.

You are right, though - libertarians are not conservatives. Conservatives (small-c) can support things like subsidizing lifestyles such as bearing children or getting married. Libertarians treat all lifestyles and non-aggressive choices as equal, including conservative choices, so long as they're not being shoved down our throats.

Should Marc have been arrested for opening his business to Sunday shopping? For selling banned CDs? Putting something into law does not make it just. Any premium Marc was making off cannabis seeds was thanks to the war on drugs - they would be much less lucrative a product without prohibition, but again that doesn't make his gains ill-gotten.

Posted by: Janet | 2008-02-22 12:16:24 PM

I don't see why something being bad for you is a reason for the state to clamp down on it. Some of you will have to tell me more, since there are plenty of things that are bad for me that are legal.

I don't see what some of your preferences have to do with the law. I don't care that you don't like the smell of something, that's hardly a reason for me to do anything in my own house. And I don't care that you don't like, or are offended by, cartoon depictions of Muhammad, I don't see what that has to do with what I get to look at in my own house.

Whether you're offended by the smell of something, or by the sight of something, or by the sound of something, should--all of it--be a matter of indifference to those who fashion the law. Mere offense is your problem; it should not be a function of the state to ensure that people are not offended.

And while I find it interesting that you have children, I hardly think that that justifies getting the state to do your parenting job for you. If you don't want your children to do drugs, then do your job as a parent. If you don't want your children to see cartoon depictions of Muhammad, then do your job as a parent. Stop outsourcing your parental duties to the state.

Incidentally, I don't smoke pot, or do any other illegal drug. My history with marijuana is the same as Pierre Lemieux's history, and my judgment is the same as his--I don't like it. But it makes no difference whether Pierre or I like or dislike something. When I get offended I don't call the local civil servant, I either grow a thicker skin or confront the source. I don't threaten with violence those who offend me, and I don't ask a third party to threaten with violence those who offend me.

I, for instance, don't like the expression of homophobia and anti-gay sentiment--in fact, it offends me--but I don't call the government to stop it because I believe in freedom of speech and expression (and I refuse to be a petty authoritarian who insists that everyone else live the life that I think is fitting, appropriate, or acceptable).

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-02-22 12:16:56 PM

P.M. Jaworski -

Thanks for your efforts to enlighten me and for the undoubtedly useful reference citations. I do possess some acquaintance with the various definitions and I suppose even proper use of capitalization.

I don't know (recall) whether you represent yourself as Libertarian or not, but it is obvious to me that the ongoing Western Standard philosophy is decidedly Libertarian, of the version or definition as I would use it, i.e. Atheistic and Homosexual, although that latter trait is more a Liberal (present day) element of the practicioners of Libertarianism (i.e. basically as an engine for the decidedly anti-family aspect of the Libertarian mindset).

Are you an Atheist? Are you a Homosexual? Are you a Libertarian? Anyone is completely free to adopt whatever of these or any other philosophical or lifestyle choices they wish, in my book. I merely oppose the mix-match transposition of "Conservative" with Libertarian, since the Canadian people have political Party lables which say much more than they mean, and it carries over onto conversation. I'm a foreigner and so I don't know LOTS of things about Canada, but I've been tolerated and allowed (even felt welcomed) to comment.

dp - seems to worry about me (but then she's a girl), but otherwise I think my efforts to focus precisely and constantly on the profound basis for problems (Atheism leads to Homosexuality leads to Feminism leads to Abortion leads to Totalitarianism which is Communism, sold to short sighted people as Liberalism or Democrat Partyism down here, etc.), rather than superficial passing "issues" are appreciated here.

Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2008-02-22 12:28:06 PM

"I don’t believe in a government that protects us from ourselves."
~Ronald Reagan

"..in recent months Reagan has taken to using the term "libertarian" (or "libertarian-conservative") to describe his political philosophy."

"If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is."
~Ronald Reagan


Posted by: Speller | 2008-02-22 12:37:25 PM

Conrad: I'm a libertarian. To be honest, I cannot think of any reason why you would say that the ongoing philosophy of the WS is both atheistic and homosexual. It is not, and has not been. Could you point me to a single instance of either one of those claims? I don't think you can.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-02-22 12:48:14 PM

Very shortly after the "take over" of this blog by the new owners, your poster-contributor Neil Flagg and others exerted muscular editorial censorship all over this blog and deleted comments with a 100% consistent bias in their censorship work. Mr. Flagg and others clearly bristled at anything critical of or adverse to the HOMOSEXUAL agenda bias "Liberal" screwed up philosophy which seemed a 180 degree turn about from the very free wheeling and easy going (or rough and tumble) open forum of this blog when the print magazine was still around.

LOTS of your regular commenters felt the "heat" and left, rather than have their comments deleted as the new preferred means of "answering" the "free speech" which you all didn't like.

That's the fact of it. And if I knew where those other commenters went, I'd go there myself.

Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2008-02-22 1:01:37 PM


There is no change that I can see in the allowance of content here at the Shotgun.

I had posts deleted here and was given a warning for expressing 'hatred' against homosexuals by Kevin Steel in the spring of 2004.

I was temporarily banned right before the Israeli/Hizb'allah War in 2006.

I apologized personally to Ezra Levant, promised to repent, and have since mended my ways.

Posted by: Speller | 2008-02-22 1:08:20 PM

Alcohol is the worst drug out there! It is the only drug other then heroin that stimulates both parts of the brain.
You guys go on and on about how marijuana is bad but yet drugs are being produced from the pharmaceutical companies that harm people WAAAAAy more.
People who take anti depressants are killing themselves and others! Jeez!
Ever hear of a pot head going on a rampage killing people?
To tell you the truth I would rather be in a room filled with marijuana smokers then a room of alcoholics.

Posted by: notloz | 2008-02-22 1:09:18 PM

Speller -

Thanks for the insight. It may well be that they have been more tolerant of my infraction of the homosexual (political activism movement) criticism thing because I am a foreigner, than evidently they were with you, a native.

Thanks for the many useful insights and factual matter you provide with your comments (yeah, I saw the Reagan quote). ; - )

Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2008-02-22 1:13:42 PM


Nice comments. What I like about the Western Standard is that -- as its best -- it gets conservatives and libertarians talking to each other. Unlike modern liberals, both libertarians and conservatives do a lot of self-conscious exploration of their own foundations. For the most part, liberals assume everyone agrees with them on the major issues, and that those who don't are simply irrational bigots, racists, etc.

Libertarians, with the possible exception of Ron Paul supporters, accept that there is major, reasonable disagreement on a whole host of issues, all the way down to the foundation level. We don't even agree on whether the best defense of private property is deontological (starting from man's rights, and working outward) or consequentialist (starting from the benefits that accrue to all of us as a result of strong private property protections.)

To be honest, I don't think liberals have a real consensus at the foundational level, either. The difference is, they're pretty blissfully unaware of that fact.

Conservatives, too, spend a lot of time thinking about the heady philosophical issues. So when the Western Standard works, it brings together the two thinking halves of the political spectrum and has them talk to each other. That conversation can't help but be interesting and productive.


Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-02-22 1:31:40 PM

Conrad: Neil Flagg was on this blog prior to the new ownership deciding that the Western Standard was worth fighting for and preserving. Without the new owners, the Western Standard would have sunk entirely. It was not a "take over" in the sense that you seem to imply, it was an outright purchase to keep it from going under entirely.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-02-22 1:33:01 PM

Thank you Janet, PMJ and Speller for your clear statements. I do not label myself with any particular political stripe, because I find too often these labels too confining and inaccurate. However I fully endorse that my me the state has no business in trying to protect people from themselves. First of all it just never works and more importantly it removes personal responsibility from people. Canada is just one example of the sickness this approach creates.

PMJ - I have to disagree with the term homophobia for there simply is no such thing. Personally I get rather sick of these invented terms being thrown at anyone and everyone who does not endorse homosexuality. I do not support the state policing the private sexual conduct of consenting adults, but neither do I support the state being used to force me to endorse and to accept such sexual conduct. Again as far as I am concerned I place the radical homosexual lobby in the same category as all the other special interest groups using the state to force their agenda on everyone else, and to this I strongly object. This is exactly the same thing as a state imposed religion and I want nothing of it.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-02-22 1:48:35 PM

Consider if the situation were reversed, and an American used the mail to export a product that was legal in the USA but illegal in Canada - using the mail as Mr. Emery has - say, for instance, a handgun. He broke no US law but did break a law - just or unjust - in Canada. Why would we not want that American to have to face justice in Canada, the place the offense took place? Personally I don't believe the drug laws are effective and good on Mr. Emery for challenging them in Canada - but the USA is a sovereign nation, with it's own laws. I can't fault the Americans for upholding them.

Posted by: Ross | 2008-02-22 1:54:38 PM

As a side note, Conrad, you are welcome to post here, and I look forward to reading your comments, even if I (often) disagree with you. You should not feel "tolerated," you should feel welcome here. As should many others. There is no point in having a debate with people who already agree with you.

Speaking of which, I think it's high time for those who disagree with the legalization of marijuana to offer arguments that can withstand scrutiny.

Personal preference won't cut it. Neither will arguments that attempt to shirk parental responsibilities by insisting that the government should raise children, rather than you.

The only plausible avenue is either 1) showing that marijuana is bad for you in a way that justifies making it illegal (unlike the countless other things that are bad for me that are justifiably legal), or 2) demonstrating that legalization of marijuana would have a sufficiently harmful effect on non-consenting others. I see no third option, although I may be blind to other plausible arguments.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-02-22 2:01:38 PM

>"The only plausible avenue is either 1) showing that marijuana is bad for you in a way that justifies making it illegal (unlike the countless other things that are bad for me that are justifiably legal), or 2) demonstrating that legalization of marijuana would have a sufficiently harmful effect on non-consenting others. I see no third option, although I may be blind to other plausible arguments."
P.M. Jaworski | 22-Feb-08 2:01:38 PM

3) Smoking marijuana will turn you into a Rastafarian.

All Hail, Haile Selassie!(pbuh)
Airy ting goan be awww'ree, mon.

Posted by: Speller | 2008-02-22 2:10:33 PM

Ross: Your argument doesn't work because the extradition treaty between the U.S. and Canada states that *only* those activities which are illegal in *both* countries can be the subject of an extradition. If something is legal in the U.S., and illegal in Canada, then the U.S. has no legal obligation to extradite, and similarly vice versa. Call this the first test.

Secondly, the Canadian law states that we extradite unless the punishment in the country where we are to extradite someone would "shock the conscience" of Canadians (or be "cruel and unusual" or otherwise "extreme"). Call this the second test.

Thirdly, Canada has grounds to extradite unless the government of Canada has explicitly or implicitly approved of the illegal activities. Call this the third test.

Selling cannabis seeds is illegal in Canada, so Marc is subject to the extradition treaty and passes the first test.

His cannabis seed selling activities have netted a maximum fine of $200 in Canada. Marc is facing life in prison in the U.S. should the deal Marc talks about in the video fall through. The difference in punishment is extreme, and may be sufficient to successfully argue that Marc's case fails the second test.

When the Supreme Court of Canada made medical marijuana legal, the government-provided marijuana was universally condemned as being shoddy. As a response, the government of Canada sent marijuana patients to Marc Emery to get their marijuana. I consider this explicit approval of Marc's activities, and consider the third test to be an utter failure.

Marc paid his taxes. Consider the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency complicit in his activities. Another reason to think the third test fails.

I believe Marc could and should win a challenge against his extradition. The punishment in the U.S. is conscience-shocking and utterly extreme, while his activities were (at least tacitly) approved of by the government of Canada. I consider his spending a minute in prison, any prison, anywhere on the planet, contrary to justice.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-02-22 2:12:57 PM

"Marijuana?! Marijuana's not a drug! I sucked cock for crack cocaine did you suck cock for weed? did you?" Half baked (Bob Sagit)

Come to think of it, I've seen people do some pretty bizarre things while under the influence of alcohol and in really sad cases, do bizarre things for more booze.

Pot is addictive regardless of what people say, but it is all relative. It does cause some people to lose their ambition, to procrastinate and it can rob you of self - esteem. So can working in an unhealthy environment, should that be illegal, too?

To keep cigarettes legal and pot illegal is hypocracy. To keep alochol legal and pot illegal is hypocracy.

I see the "war on drugs" as a way to keep the DEA in business.

Any of you old enough to know a Thalidimide baby?

Posted by: Dawn | 2008-02-22 2:45:50 PM

Nice try conrad. I'm not going to bite at the "she's a girl comment". I feel fairly comfortable with my manhood. You on the other hand have some definite shortcomings. I notice you only used the word homosexual once in your last few comments, though you did capitalize it. You're getting closer and closer to coming out.

That's telling it straight Notloz. I've been there. I've had more fights on booze than on pot (street fights that is). In fact, I can't remember ever hitting someone after smoking. I knew only one guy who liked to scrap while smoking, but he didn't need anything to get him started.

The fact that booze is a stimulant and a depressant is often overlooked. Did drowning your sorrows with booze ever work? Didn't think so.

Back to the issue. Emery crossed a line that he didn't need to cross. He got stung, and wants us to save him. I would support his efforts to change legislation in this country, but I'm not sure if I'd try to take the issue abroad. If he'd thought this thing through he'd have realized he's dealing with people who don't think a lot like we do. All he needed to do was read a couple of conrad's comments to see it's best to keep clear of their justice system.

Posted by: dp | 2008-02-22 3:09:49 PM


I did a quick and admittedly incomplete Google of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, 1996.

I am not a lawyer, but doesn't Mr. Emery's export of seeds (which appear to be classed under Schedule II of the regulation), mean that he's in for a world of hurt, specifically under 6 (1) which specifies a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Perhaps I misread the statute...

Not to mention the conspiracy charge and the other subsequent charges. The conspiracy charge itself could land you in jail for a LONG time.

Even if the maximum penalty would be $200, would that not be $200 per incident? I can imagine with the US claiming he is the #1 smuggler that must add up to a LOT of $.

As for whether the Government of Canada approved of his operations, I must admit I don't have an answer for that at this point. I'd also want to clarify what level of the Government would have to approve of his operation - would it be as low as a solitary police officer (as they are, in effect, agents of the Crown)?

FWIW, I always did consider the CCRA to be a criminal organization.

Posted by: Ross | 2008-02-22 3:11:47 PM

The third test is a reworking of the first test, I agree. The third test is not a legal test, not recognized in the law (at least not on paper, unlike the first two). However, I consider the third test a legitimate test for the justification of extradition.

It is not obvious what message we would send. I submit that the only message we would send is that marijuana is no big deal in Canada. It would not send the message that you can break U.S. laws in Canada and get away with it. Everyone in the U.S. is aware of our laid back attitude towards pot, and everyone there will shrug their shoulders and say, "well, those Canadians just don't think marijuana is such a big deal. No wonder they didn't extradite Emery."

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-02-22 3:17:44 PM

Hey Ross: The $200 charge was not per incident, but for the millions and millions of dollars of seed sales that he racked up. For *all* of that, he got a $200 fine in Canada.

If the U.S. agrees to the deal, then he's facing a 10-year sentence, including five years in prison. If not, then he is facing life in prison in the U.S., should Canada decide to extradite, and should the Rob Nicholson, the Minister of Justice, decide not to intervene. World of hurt? You bet.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-02-22 3:23:17 PM

>"Did drowning your sorrows with booze ever work? Didn't think so."
dp | 22-Feb-08 3:09:49 PM

People drink to forget, at least for a little while.

It works.

Alcohol abuse causes short term memory loss.

For those who are interested in how marijuana became illegal in the United States of America, the home of the "Free" and the "Brave", I give you Dr. Charles Whitebread, the first to write the history of it:

The History of the Non-Medical Use of Drugs in the United States
(by Charles Whitebread, Professor of Law, USC Law School

A Speech to the California Judges Association 1995 annual conference)


It's a good read, Whitebread's Tennesse accent and folksie manner come through in the speech.

For a short World History of Marijuana go here:

If you smoke marijuana you may turn into a pod person like THIS guy:

or THIS guy:

I hope you learn something.

Posted by: Speller | 2008-02-22 3:40:19 PM

I have witnessed the complete spectrum of consequences of "trouble-free" marjuana use. The advocates apologists on this blog must be naive.

Again, I grasp tightly onto anonymity, but I suggest that those who opine on this (or really any social) issue should "disclose" whether they have any children whom they in fact raise in a family setting, or if they are single and/or childless.

It would seem to me, that single fact, if disclosed truly, would show that the marajuana user or legalization advocates (and other Libertarian type ideas of "freedom" or "liberty") to be just effectively naive-irresponsible children themselves (hmmmmm, that would probably include a lot of government "workers" and government school teachers as well).

One last thing. I've owned a wonderful beautiful ocean view farm in Canada for a number of years where I sort of dream of retiring (also a dream), but until reading this blog on this specific post I didn't know that marajuana was "legal" in Canada. That fact shows somebody is real dumb, but which one?

Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2008-02-22 3:50:49 PM

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