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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Face-Off: Marc Emery and Gerry Nicholls debate what the best way to get liberty is

What's the best way to fight for liberty?

That's the question Marc Emery, columnist here at the Western Standard, and Gerry Nicholls, blogger here at the Shotgun, e-debated for us. It's a little taste of the debate that they will have in person at the Liberty Summer Seminar this upcoming weekend in Orono, Ontario (you can still register and attend). You can read the Face-Off debate here: "Face-Off: What's the best way to fight for liberty?"

Gerry is a little bit more staid and conservative than Marc is. Gerry thinks we should join advocacy groups, and support the work of think tanks like the Fraser Institute. That's the best way, he thinks, of building and promoting a culture of liberty--expose people to the ideas of liberty, make an intellectual case for liberty, and then push for liberty within the law, urging political, legal, and social change.

Marc disagrees. The best way to get liberty, he tells us, is to break unjust laws in a transparent, non-violent, and public way. Marc thinks this is really the only way we've ever seen success--think of the American Revolution, the civil rights movement, Rosa Parks, and other instances. All of these helped foment social and political change that led to more liberty. And all of them were violations of the law.

And that, says Marc, is the best way to get to liberty.

It's a timely discussion in light of the extradition proceedings against Emery (he faces the extraditioners in February of next year), and the Human Rights Commission hearings against Ezra Levant, Mark Steyn, and Guy Earle (to name just a few).

All of these cases are a result of possible violations of the law. In Marc's case, we know he broke the law, and he freely admits it. In the HRC cases, we're not yet sure if there will be a judgment against any of the people I've mentioned, but we do know that, technically, people like Stephen Boisson, who wrote a letter to the editor critical of homosexuality, have broken the law. And it is possible that Ezra, Mark, and Guy will share Boisson's fate.

But would they have done something different if they had known, in advance, that the law prohibited publishing depictions of the prophet Muhammad (in Ezra's case), or publishing an excerpt from "America Alone" (in Mark's case), or responding to heckling by unleashing a torrent of anti-lesbian commentary (in Guy's case)? Suppose the law was not a vague mystery about "giving offense" and "hurting feelings," but clearly stated that you can't insult lesbians, can't publish editorial cartoons of such-and-such a sort, and can't argue about demographic shifts that threaten western values?

Would we criticize them if they did it anyways? Or would we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them, in open defiance of laws that clearly undermine our freedom of speech, economic freedom, or other liberties? And if Canadians failed to raise a ruckus about the trials and the government's response, would that mean that they were wrong to break the law, or would we be criticizable for failing to stand up for their liberty?

In his rebuttal, Gerry makes it plain that, without a social and cultural foundation of support for liberty--a foundation that advocacy groups and think tanks provide--it would be next-to-impossible to generate the kind of feedback from the public that would lead to greater liberty. Without the work that these groups do, people like Ezra Levant and Marc Emery would be left to defend themselves without public support, and without the kind of clout that might actually generate changes in the law that help protect and preserve, rather than defame and defile, our personal and economic freedoms.

Read the exchange. Then drop a comment and let everyone know where you stand on the issue.

Posted by P.M. Jaworski on July 22, 2008 in Western Standard | Permalink

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Comments

One military deserter was sent home last week because he gave himself up not because we forced him out. I thought I might add that.

Posted by: Justin Steen | 2008-07-22 8:28:40 PM


If you want to purge society of badness, start with crack heads, ecstasy producers.

Oh yes John and how do you suggest we deal with the crack heads? I know the Libertarian answer very well legalize crack.
Then we have legalized crack heads. Yes let people do crack if they wish and such its called free will.
Marc is no saint and he has destroyed the lives of thousands of people.
As for Jodie yes you are corrrect Marc has lots of SUPPORT in vancouver I sure I lived there and all the pot heads love him!!!
At least be honest Jodie that you live off the avails of illegal drug use and the sale of seeds is the same as selling buds and plants.
I have no respect for how you make your living selling seeds maybe unknowingly to gangs of criminals, but that is the reality.
You help poison society with your enteprise.
Its disgusting and worthless and has no positive value to the well being of society!!!!None at all as I have seen you and Marc on TV toking your bong-weay to go with such a great life you live.

who ever said one can get addicted to apples like dope is either insane or very dishonest.'
What a joke to make such a argument.

Posted by: Merle | 2008-07-22 8:39:06 PM


"I have not looked at anything because I have better things to do. Like anything else."

So, you have all the time in the world to hang out here and post rants against Marc Emery, to make personal and factual attacks against him -- yet you 'have better things to do' than to check if everything you're saying can be proven wrong?

Wow, I'm sorry you live that way. It must be embarrassing... You see, I do research before making my arguments, whereas you do nothing before making an ass of yourself.

"Better things to do"? Fabulous, why don't you go do them! After all, such an intellectual heavyweight like yourself shouldn't waste precious time here on an "ordinary criminal" like Marc Emery -- especially if it means you can't spare any time to fact-check your arguments.

Have fun doing your "better things"!

Posted by: Jodie Emery | 2008-07-22 8:40:43 PM


Jodie good grief yes Marc has support, but he will never have any support from mainstream society for his criminal acts.
You are with the man in more ways than one and it is clear you agree with his crusade.
Its not much of a crusade to be stoned all the time now is it...
How you can be so proud of what he does is beyond me really-He is no Mother Theresa as she helped people-Marcs work has no redeeming value to society at all. NONE!!!

Posted by: Merle | 2008-07-22 8:44:55 PM


Zolton,

Stop your campaign to discredit Emery. We can all see right through you. What's worse is that you're probably a cop wasting our tax dollars by sitting on the web.

When drugs are legalized, the law will be ex post facto and you and all your cop buddies are going to prison for your crimes of break and enter ("drug raid"), theft ("seizure"), and kidnapping ("imprisoning"). Just you wait.

Posted by: Robert Seymour | 2008-07-22 8:46:27 PM


Holy shit Merle. The poison of society is people with your attitude towards punishing innocent people who just want the ability to choose whether or not they want to take a substance. You think the government hands are clean. Look at the thousands of lives they have have ruined with their ass-backwards drug policy who incarcerate innocent tax paying people with families of their own. Pot is not addictive, end of fucking story. It's no more addictive then alcohol and alcohol can kill you very quickly. Your ignorance is a plague on the rights and freedoms of everyone.

Posted by: Justin Steen | 2008-07-22 8:47:37 PM


hey Justin...

" 419, so what your saying is people should be punished for bad laws that oppresses people.."

.............. no, you're saying that

" I see yor logic .."

..............don't patronise me

.. you had your little run at me, now please quit it, stare your case, if you have one.

dope laws don;t oppress people..they keep intoxicated idiots out of heavy traffic. If you want the drug laws to change, call your MP..

Posted by: 419 | 2008-07-22 8:49:19 PM


Merle,

"At least be honest Jodie that you live off the avails of illegal drug use and the sale of seeds is the same as selling buds and plants. I have no respect for how you make your living selling seeds maybe unknowingly to gangs of criminals, but that is the reality."

Marc Emery has not sold seeds since the raid in July 2005, as his bail conditions forbid it. As such, the BC Marijuana Party store has been doing legitimate business selling tons of books, movies, hemp clothing & accessories, glass art and pipes, and more cannabis-cultural items. Marc also opened a brand new convenience store across the street after the old (sketchy) one closed; the new store keeps the neighbourhood in good standing.

I live on income from working as an editor for our magazine and websites. Cannabis Culture is our magazine that Marc has published for over a decade. He and I work daily editing and publishing, on top of the other businesses. Everything is legal and legitimate. There are no drugs or seeds sold in our facilities. Marc has never been a "drug dealer".

Posted by: Jodie Emery | 2008-07-22 8:49:40 PM


419, don't think I haven't called. Why can't I patronize you, its so much fun. :P

What I'm trying to say is, your reasons are flawed and unjust. Marc paid taxes on his profits and he gave most his money away to help support legalization in Canada. Also, as I said before by Canadian law, he cannot be punished by American law due to the difference in sentencing. If he does, we know we have lost true independence as a country and we are all subject American law. By current law, this shouldn't even be an issue. The DEA is just trying to snuff out another activist who very well may have crumpled the DEA taking away their jobs. No crime to fight, no food on the table.

Posted by: Justin Steen | 2008-07-22 8:58:03 PM


419 is Roddy Heading, a.k.a. "Alexander Sumach" of the book 'Grow Your Own Stone', which Marc Emery re-printed long ago and sold copies of for years, giving Roddy much-desired recognition and financial help ($3 per book).

Yet he hates Marc Emery. He seethes with obsessive vitriol, and it's not explained why. Marc did a lot for him long ago. Roddy is the same insane guy stalking You Tube videos of Marc and myself -- with various identities we have to ban due to spam -- and spends his time voting down positive comments and leaving nasty lies and slander, exactly the same garbage he leaves here as the user "419".

Roddy Heading drove his wife insane, and now he's gone just as nuts. It's really quite sad and I feel sorry for the poor old madman. Still, I wish he'd leave us alone. I guess what Marc's father told him is true: "no one will resent you more than the people you've helped the most".

Posted by: Jodie Emery | 2008-07-22 9:06:07 PM


Jodie -- have your Mom come and get you

Posted by: 419 | 2008-07-22 9:11:41 PM


Rebels without a clue.

Posted by: set you free | 2008-07-22 9:16:56 PM


Right, I have no clue. Try this on for size. Conformists who do don't question authority.

Posted by: Justin Steen | 2008-07-22 9:20:28 PM


Got any answers yet?

Discovered self-control, the only control anybody can exert over anybody else?

What are you fighting against? Yourself?

Thought so.

Posted by: set you free | 2008-07-22 9:22:49 PM


Robert Seymour has a prescient point, what to do with the war-on-drugs politician criminals who have been in office during this massive pogrom?

The Justice Ministers from Trudeau to present (includes John Turner, Kim Campbell, Toews, Nicholson, Cauchon, et al) will need to be indicted and prosecuted for knowingly lying to the people and for committing crimes against humanity. As Attorney-Generals, they oversaw the prohibition and acceded huge power to criminal organizations that terrorized Canada as a consequence of prohibition.

All division heads of the RCMP, OPP, will be sacked. All police malfeasance in the drug war since 1968 will be reviewed and prosecutions determined where necessary. Any police union head who advocated continued prohibition will be sacked and the union decertified.

The heads of Health Canada, Health Ministers, Deputy Ministers, will be held accountable for those deaths that can be shown to have occurred prematurely due to the lack of a policy of medical cannabis and prosecuted accordingly.

Thats why we need many toughened warrior who regard jail and prison as just the necessary stages in an all out revolution to reverse the fascism and police control that we have enveloping us today. The cops and politicians and their mercenaries abroad (Canadian armed forces) have all the guns, and so we must be determined but careful in our revolutionary pursuit.

I remind all revolutionaries tempted to go easy on the Canadian military, there are 88 Canadian soldiers dead so far for absolutely nothing. The Canadians soldiers abroad are trying to eradicate hashish and opium, and like in Canada, each year sees more hashish and opium, and the enemies of the central government more empowered than ever. The Canadian military is an occupation army there in Afghanistan, much the way the RCMP is the occupation army here in Canada. Pushing the drug war, imposing their Christian crusader ways.

The US imperialist empire is going to crash soon and it will drag much of the world down with it. Declining empires rotted out by their own corruption, betraying the very specific mandate framed by the Founders in 1776 and 1789, are very ugly things. First the currency is debased as to be nearly worthless, then the inability to finance the military occurs, precipitating mutinies and disciplinary breakdown, then the social welfare net collapses as payments in inflated currency cause panic....

Posted by: Marc Scott Emery | 2008-07-22 9:25:59 PM


Oh nice comments about "US imperialist empire" blah blah blah. Tell it to your cellmates in Florence, Colorado! Since most of them are terrorists, they might be receptive.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-07-22 9:30:01 PM


Marc emery is a beacon of freedom not just in bc but for all of Canada. He is loved respected and supported. I personally am grateful and inspired by his courage. I am a medical marijuana user. I can honestly say that if it weren’t for marijuana I would not be alive today. Marc emery has made many personal sacrifices to fight for people like me. I am truly grateful and I vote for FREEDOM!

Posted by: daniela | 2008-07-22 9:32:04 PM


Jodie that is the whole point-if he could sell those seeds he would. You may think using the terms seeds negates what Marc really does.
The fact is w/o those seeds you can not grow a pot plant now can you?
He has destroyed many lives and caused mayhem and inner gang wars.
I am not going to call Marc a drug dealer as I dont want another defamtion suit on me. One is enough from other sources.
Yet I can say I have no respect for what Marc did before his bail and what he does now.
You seem rather intelligent as I have seen your youtube vids and you are attractive along with that.
Get out of this mess while you can and get into real meaningfull employment Jodie.

Posted by: Merle | 2008-07-22 9:32:39 PM


Zeb:

Didja know we are living in a fascist, police state?

US imperialist empire will crash soon?

Only because of the immoral rot from within for rebels without a clue like Emery, who have no moral compass.

That's how great societies crumble ... because of those who promote freedom from responsibility.

Have a nice time in jail.

Posted by: set you free | 2008-07-22 9:35:53 PM


SYF: if memory serves, fascist states like Italy and Nazi Germany operated by ordinary civilians cooperating with the authorities to round up trouble makers. If so, where can I volunteer to have Emery and his supporters 'detained for questioning'?

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-07-22 9:38:57 PM


"That's how great societies crumble ... because of those who promote freedom from responsibility."

Are you listening to yourself. Your saying that freedom destroys society? Wow. I wouldn't call this society great. It's a Cancer on the earth consuming everything in its path.
--------
Zeb: Fascism has changed over the years. Governments have learned you can't control people by force. You can control how people think though by influencing the media.

Posted by: Justin Steen | 2008-07-22 9:49:49 PM


Zebulon,

you are what's wrong with western society in general.

Posted by: Justin Hanna | 2008-07-22 9:56:04 PM


Merle,

"The fact is w/o those seeds you can not grow a pot plant now can you?"

Actually, the most common method of making marijuana plants is one used by grannies in backyard gardens every day: cloning, or cutting.

It's free and easy. You cut off part of a plant, put it in water or soil, and it becomes a new plant. WOW! That's what organized crime does. You can make thousands of plants from one plant.

The people who bought seeds from Marc Emery were looking for particular cannabis types, just as wine connoisseurs seek various wines and cigar aficionados buy various cigars.

No one was forced to buy from him, or spend large amounts of money with him on the most expensive seeds. Every transaction was between consenting adults. Marc offered a service that many others offered -- and still offer today -- in Canada, the USA, and Europe.

Marc had no passion for seeds in particular, or for growing pot. No, what he wanted was to make money somehow to fund a movement. He decided to use the prohibition of marijuana (which makes marijuana valuable/pricey) to make money to help end prohibition, hence, "Overgrow the Government" and "Plant the Seeds of Freedom". His seed catalog said so: "When you buy from Marc Emery Direct, your money will go towards ending the drug war!" I don't understand why people hate him for that?

Also, my mother and entire large family support me and Marc in our marriage and in his fight against extradition. My family loves me, which Zebulon must has missed out on. Having an unhappy childhood makes you an unhappy adult (or old man).

Zebulon, when will you use a real name and post a real email address, like the rest of us? Afraid to? You're just an anonymous troll hiding at home with nothing better to do (despite your claims otherwise). Be a man, not a coward -- step up and identify yourself. What have you got to hide?

Posted by: Jodie Emery | 2008-07-22 9:59:39 PM


Morality is sooo subjective. I consider it immoral to throw medical marijuana users in jail for medicating. I consider it immoral to throw innocent people in jail for life style choices that only effect themselves. I consider it immoral the billions of dollars wasted on stopping whats considered a personal choice. There are a lot better places this money could be spent like paying down the trillion $ debt the American government has from entering a war in Iraq on false pretenses.

Posted by: Justin Steen | 2008-07-22 9:59:57 PM


Justin:

No, I'm saying that those who promote freedom from responsibility do not appreciate that great societies were built of moral values.

Once the moral compass is lost, the societies start to rot from within because the citizens cannot appreciate what made them great.

The US, thankfully, still has a populace with a strong moral compass ... unlike Canada, which will rot and decay from within a long time before the US will collapse.

B.C.'s lower mainland and greater Toronto are getting close to the tipping point, if not there already.

Once again, the problem is not that individuals are being controlled in Canada, it's that certain individuals lack the self-control and discipline that's necessary to understand what gave them the freedom to behave like irresponsible idiots.

OK, everybody's young and stupid at some point.

Most of us grow out of it and finally understand that control is from within ... we are totally free to act in a responsible manner.

Posted by: set you free | 2008-07-22 10:06:02 PM


Lets take a look at some statistics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Canada

"The rate of property crime in the US and Canada are roughly on par. However, historically, the violent crime rate in Canada has been lower than the US and this continues to be the case. For example, in 2000 the United States' rate for robberies was 65% higher, its rate for aggravated assault was more than double and its murder rate was triple. [4].

That said, in recent years the gap between in violent crime rates between the United States and Canada has narrowed. In some cases the US has seen a reduction in the rate of some types of crimes and Canada has not. For example, while the aggravated assault declined for most of 1990s in the US and sat at 324 per 100,000 in 2000, the aggravated assault remained relatively steady throughout and sat at 143 per 100,000 in 2000. In other cases, the US saw a faster decline. For instance, whereas the murder rate in Canada declined by 36% between 1991 and 2004, the US murder rate declined by 44%. [5]

The homicide rate in Canada peaked in 1975 at 3.03 per 100,000 and has dropped since then; it reached lower peaks in 1985 (2.72) and 1991 (2.69). It reached a post 1970 low of 1.73 in 2003. The average murder rate between 1970 and 1976 was 2.52, between 1977 and 1983 it was 2.67, between 1984 and 1990 it was 2.41, between 1991 and 1997 it was 2.23 and between 1998 to 2004 it was 1.82. [6] The attempted homicide rate has fallen at a faster rate than the homicide rate. [7]

By comparison, the homicide rate in the US reached 10.1 per 100,000 in 1974, peaked in 1980 at 10.7 and reached a lower peak in 1991 (10.5). The murder rate dipped below 6 for the first time since 1966 in 2004. The average murder rate between 1970 and 1976 was 9.4, between 1977 and 1983 it was 9.6, between 1984 and 1990 it was 9, between 1991 and 1997 it was 9.2 and between 1998 and 2004 it was 6.3. [8]

Approximately 70% of the total murders in the US are committed with firearms, vs. about 30% in Canada."

If you consider violent crimes immoral, I'll have to agree with you there. hmm.

Posted by: Justin Steen | 2008-07-22 10:12:51 PM


We are not totally free to act in a responsible manner, if that was true there would be no restrictions on self control. I have a hard time seeing what your referring to when you say self control, over what? What do you consider bad, what do you consider irresponsible? What does it matter to you? You're your own person, what gives you the right to tell me what I can't do to myself.

Posted by: Justin Steen | 2008-07-22 10:17:17 PM


>>>If Ernst Zundel, Toronto's favorite son, can be deported, so can Emery, Vancouver's favorite son.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 22-Jul-08 2:48:26 PM

And so, then, can Ezra, Calgary's favourite son?

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 22-Jul-08 2:52:58 PM

The Cdn gov't would ever extradict someone to a country to face the death penalty, let alone to a country without an extradition treaty.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 22-Jul-08 3:01:40 PM<<<


I'm sure Saudi Arabia would be happy to put Ezra in jail for the rest of his life for doing something they consider wrong enough to warrant such a punishment rather than subjecting him to the death penalty in order to get an extradition.


I fail to see any difference in the principle of the two cases beyond your own bias. If it's your bias, fair enough, but it's not a basis on which to rest your argument.


There are no. substantial. facts. that indicate that selling marijuana seeds are any more dangerous than putting a picture in a magazine. In fact, the cartoons have probably killed more people.


Whether or not you're the type of person ready to break unjust laws, we need to rally behind those willing to do it to protect their - and our - freedoms.


Whether it's someone selling their wheat freely, fighting against being forced into a union, putting election results on a blog, handing out bigoted materials or selling something illegal because consenting adults want to pay money for it, you can be sure that these "crimes" are controversial in some circles - otherwise they would not be crimes.


Controversy is not an excuse for abiding tyranny, and bias is not an excuse for perpetuating it.

Posted by: Janet | 2008-07-22 10:18:00 PM


The American Moral compass is fucked up, there is no separation between church and state. Moral bigots are trying to tell me how to act responsible. I know how to act responsible, I have education with a well paying job. I have a strong social life with people I happen to smoke pot with. We are not raping people, pillaging the neighborhood, and its definitely not hurting anyone else.

Posted by: Justin Steen | 2008-07-22 10:20:55 PM


Always deflecting away from your own lack of self-control?

I'd rather been in a free society, where people can make their own decisions to get along with each other.

Even more importantly, a free society where the blueprint of hard work, honesty, compassion are building blocks to greatness.

A society where people understand their own imperfections and spend little time obsessing and pointing their fingers at the imperfections of others.

Not one where your jealousy of the successful creates such hatred where you need to constantly tear down something you have no ability to understand.

You have the power within you to be just as successful, but you squander it in the belief that you have no control over your life, that somebody controls you.

What a bunch of crap! Just because you cannot control yourself does not mean somebody else is controlling you. What a bunch of maroons!

Posted by: set you free | 2008-07-22 10:22:28 PM


Justin:

Do you even have the foggiest idea of the concept of separation of church and state as written in the US Constitution?

Google it and it specifically prohibits the state from creating a religion.

Enlighten me, please. What is the official religion of the US? Or Canada for that matter?

Who feed you this crap?

Posted by: set you free | 2008-07-22 10:26:38 PM


Who says I'm not controlling myself. I know exactly what I'm doing. fuck you for saying otherwise. Nobody is controlling me specifically right now but there are lots of people who are controlled. Your over generalizing. If I wasn't controlling myself I'd follow every letter of the law and believe every politician in power who lie every day.

Posted by: Justin Steen | 2008-07-22 10:30:31 PM


I find it interesting that "(Work will) set you free " was the greeting at Auschwitz Extermination Camp, and its the Nazi ethos that 'set you free' finds so appealing.

" its not that individuals are being controlled in Canada "
" its certain individuals that lack self-control and discipline "

Ridiculous. Canadians are generally wonderful, quite disciplined generally, and polite too, and if not allowed to pass laws against other Canadian's peaceful lifestyles, are a good bunch. The government clearly is trying to control virtually every aspect of our lives, and anyone who denies that government is concentrating power is not in favour of liberty, period.

British Columbia and Toronto disintegrate before America? America is already disintegrating. The Canadian dollar has appeciated 55% against the US dollar in 6 years. The US is in worse shape in any measurable way. The war in Iraq and the US imperialist empire abroad assure Uncle Sam he is going to be one broke-ass desperate motherfucker in the next decade.

'Set you free' is an apologist for the worse face of conservatism/fascism. Its honest of him to quote a Nazi death camp as his handle tho. Thats where men like 'set you free' would take all dissenters, to the slaughterhouse ovens.

Posted by: Marc Scott Emery | 2008-07-22 10:37:26 PM


Well considering George Bush is a christian, I'm gonna have to go with the Catholics. Here I'll get another link for you.

"Separation of church and state is a political and legal doctrine that government and religious institutions are to be kept separate and independent from each other.[1] The term most often refers to the combination of two principles: secularity of government and freedom of religious exercise.[2]"

"Bush believes he was called by God to lead the nation at this time, says Commerce Secretary Don Evans, a close friend who talks with Bush every day."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-04-01-bush-cover_x.htm


"President Bush told two high-ranking Palestinian officials that he had been told by God to invade Afghanistan and Iraq and then create a Palestinian state to bring peace to the Middle East, they recall during a documentary on Middle East peace that airs next week in Britain. "

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/10/07/MNGNVF3SFM1.DTL

Fighting for God may not be specifically a church activity but he does bring Christianity in to his government policies.

Posted by: Justin Steen | 2008-07-22 10:38:41 PM


The above post shows what drugs will do to your mind.

Hey I'm an apologist too! An even bigger one too - and a collaborator.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-07-22 10:40:18 PM


Marijuana is not harmless, there ar risks, possibility of addiction, etc... that nobody can honestly argue. But booze, cigarettes, medications, caffeine also have risks, and the possibilty of addiction.
The laws in place to stop people from using/producing/ trafficking marijuana do not actually stop people. All it does is drive the market underground, which ultimatly creates a huge black market and creates crime and overwhelms the law enforcmnt agencies and justice system.
Do you know one person who says "I really want to smoke pot but its illegal so i cant."
The choice a person makes about smoking pot is a personal choice based on that persons own life style.
If marijauna was legalized people who dont smoke pot, still wont smoke it.

This quazi-decriminalization thing the Canadian govermnt has been flirting with is really dumb when you think about it, The govermnt says, "its ok to smoke pot, we wont give you a criminal record" but at the same does not allow anyone to produce or sell it. This just promotes the black market even more then prohibition, and sends a mixed message to the public.
Legalize it, tax it, regulate it. Make it legal for a person to smoke marijuana; impose age restrictions; keep impaired driving rules, if someone is caught driving and is obviously high, car full of smoke red eyes, then they should have to face the law but drop the new blood test law... it doesn't work because it only tests if thc is in your blood and it take about 3 days for the body to get rid of thc, so it really is not an effective way to police this law; legalize cultivation for personal use (with restrictions) ; regulate commercial growers and sellers; use some of the money from taxing pot to educate the public on the real dangers of smoking pot, not the irrational, glorified fear mongering BS they try to pass off as drug education now. Try something like the no tobbacco campains the govrment has done in the last few years, it has been effective in lowering tobbacco use, the same honest stratagy could possibly work for pot too.
Legalizing pot does not mean the goverment promotes pot use, infact if done properly it could get rid of a huge black market, bring the govermnent hundreds of millions in taxes (while at the same time relieving the over burdoned law enforcement agencies and justice system)and possibly lower usage with an effective education policy.
It's about time people started looking at this seriously. If you dont smoke it, great, but dont disregard this issue, it is important, people who are hard working tax paying citizens, who hav broken no laws except for cannabis laws, ar sitting in jail right now, seperated from family and friends, treated as criminals, all for a drug less harmful the alcohal and tobbacco and less addictive then caffeine.

ps sorry about the spelling mistakes... wireless keyboard low batteries and I dont have the time or patience to fix all the mistakes!

Posted by: Carx | 2008-07-22 10:40:57 PM


Ooops forgot the link for the first quote. Here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state

Posted by: Justin Steen | 2008-07-22 10:41:04 PM


Let me summarize the argument from the pro-dope crowd and correct me if I'm wrong.

“The world is f**cked up, so it's OK for me to smoke dope."

Whatever.

The world has always been f**cked up. So what? Get over it.

But 232 years ago, something that had never been tried in the history of mankind, an experiment that recognized the inherent God-given freedom of the individual.

“We the People." Those are the first three words of the US Constitution.

And, you idiots want to throw it all away.

There is no more freedom beyond ‘we the people.' It's a recognition that no state can suppress the human spirit.

With the freedom, comes responsibility.

For most of the 232 years since the Declaration of Independence, citizens understood they had to work hard, be honest and compassionate for their society to work.

Now, a movement of irresponsible layabouts, who believe the world owes THEM a living is rotting the values of the society with their own Declaration of Dependence ... on chemical substances.

Not on their own wits, their own creativity. They spit on the freedoms that millions gave their live for ... for what?

For a hollow nothingness, which the drug culture is.

Vacuousness has never equalled intelligence.

Bitchiness does not equal intelligence.

Grow up and appreciate what you have. Stop tearing the society down and open your stoned eyes to the values that have made it great.

Without the hatred toward where you live and what you are, what ultimate long-term reward can you actually achieve?

Many generations before you ingrates paid the price for freedom. It's a precious and fragile legacy. Try not to squander it. Try not to spit on the graves of your ancestors.


Posted by: set you free | 2008-07-22 10:42:03 PM


Zeb, nice argument. O_o How about something with some substance.

Posted by: Justin Steen | 2008-07-22 10:42:21 PM


Attention JODIE EMERY-
aka MARIJUANA PERSONALITY
aka GODDESS OF GANGA etc etc

RE: your little hobby of "outting" people on screen here and your inane demands that others you have not yet "outted" Identify themselves onscreen as you see fit ..is gonna backfire at some point.

maybe marc is dumb enough to attack the DEA with a microphone and keyboard but that doesn;t mean you get to invade peoples privacy who don;t agree with your murky vision of Doptopia when the flitty mood to "out" them strikes you.

take a hint your Majesties: smarten up


Posted by: 419 | 2008-07-22 10:43:33 PM


Set you free, what do you think we are fighting for, nothing? We are fighting for our rights and freedoms and you tell us we are stupid for it. Seems like you are the one with hatred. I feel proud that I'm arguing for fundamental freedoms that are being being taken away one by one since they were first instituted. I will die standing up for what I believe in. I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will fight for your right to say it.

Posted by: Justin Steen | 2008-07-22 10:46:39 PM


Emery:

You never disappoint me.

It's always about somebody else, isn't it?

Somebody is controlling you, somebody is f**cking up.

Guess what? You're not perfect either.

Your narrative is getting boring.

Your half-wit lackey Justin also has Bush Derangement Syndrome.

It's all Bush's fault. It's always somebody else's fault, isn't it?

Hate, hate, hate.

Followed by smoke, smoke, smoke.

Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. Correct?

Posted by: set you free | 2008-07-22 10:48:26 PM


419, you call it dumb to fight for what you believe in. Way to go.

Posted by: Justin Steen | 2008-07-22 10:48:41 PM


It's not directly bush's fault but he's still instigating the shit storm that's killing America. Bush's policies are widely hated in Canada. I'm not alone, believe me.

Posted by: Justin Steen | 2008-07-22 10:51:47 PM


Justin:

Hate, hate, hate.

What religion belief is Bush, though the instruments of the state, imposing on you?

If you'd actually think about the crap that you're writing, trust me, you wouldn't need dope.

I've never heard Bush say a bad thing about you, personally, Have you?

Posted by: set you free | 2008-07-22 10:55:19 PM


SYF: actually I did hear President Bush (Peace Be Upon Him) personally denounce Justin in his Second Inaugural in 2005. Of course, I just obey orders.

The Confederate States of America also fought for freedom and liberty - to own slaves! Think about that the next time these criminals talk about "fighting for freedom"

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-07-22 10:58:06 PM


Set You Free,

"Let me summarize the argument from the pro-dope crowd and correct me if I'm wrong.

'The world is f**cked up, so it's OK for me to smoke dope.'"

I don't think this is the argument at all. In fact, the argument is far simpler:

1. The law should not prevent people from putting whatever substance they want into their own bodies.

2. Marijuana is one such substance (as is nicotine, caffeine, etc.)

Conclusion: Therefore, the law should not prevent people from putting marijuana into their bodies.

It's pretty easy, really: it's an argument from self-ownership, the idea that people own their own bodies and that the role of the law is to protect that right of ownership from the incursions of others.

A person who smokes a joint doesn't affect my right of self-ownership in the least. You can claim that all of those who use pot at lazy, lack self-control, etc, etc (a false claim, I think), but that doesn't refute the argument.

Lazy people own themselves just as much as the industrious do. The pot smoker neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg, to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson.

So what's the problem? We think the law should prohibit laziness now? That the state should iron out every character flaw?

Let the dope be smoked! If it truly turns people into losers, libertarians won't ever force you to hire them, live near them, or fund their supposedly wretched activities.

Best,

Terrence

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-07-22 11:00:03 PM


Justin:

What shit storm would you be referring to?

Even the Democrats are admitting the war in Iraq is won. Did you miss that bit of news?

The sub-prime crisis is killing America?

Hardly. That's a financial problem and the US went through worse times less that 20 years ago in the Savings & Loan crisis.

The financial sector will stagger around for a while because it gave mortgages to people it shouldn't have given loans to, but the losses are just paper losses.

As I've pointed out before, the strength of the US is its people, who have a much stronger moral compass than anywhere else in the world.

Europe will go down the tubes before the US will.

I didn't have to smoke any dope to know that much. All I have to do understand history and pay attention, something anybody with a clear mind has no difficulty observing.

It's amazing how much better life is when you carry no hatred or jealousies.

“We the people" is stronger than any ganja.


Posted by: set you free | 2008-07-22 11:02:54 PM


ZP wrote: “The Cdn gov't would never extradite someone to a country to face the death penalty, let alone to a country without an extradition treaty.”

I had to step away from my computer, ZP, but let’s continue where we left off.

You are right that the Canadian government would be reluctant to extradite someone to a country to face the death penalty. (Charles Ng is one exception that I’m familiar with.) The death penalty would constitute “cruel and usual punishment” by Canadian standards.

So Ezra is safe, but what about Emery?

Do you think the Canadian government can legitimately send Emery to the US to face a lifetime in jail for a so called crime that in Canada is punishable by a small fine?
Would that not constitute cruel and usual punishment?

The Canadian government has already said that they will not house Emery in a Canadian jail for his so called crimes as they regard any jail time as an unfitting punishment for the crime.

Is this not an admission on the part of the Canadian justice system that they do not think it is just to imprison Emery for selling seeds?

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-07-22 11:04:33 PM


If you want to get Technical. Bush is a Methodist. I may have been a little misguided on the religion card but he's still influenced by large corporations, that is for sure. Corporations do not have mine or your best interests at heart.

Posted by: Justin Steen | 2008-07-22 11:05:23 PM



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