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Friday, September 26, 2008

Calgary medical marijuana activist to Harper: “repeal prohibition”

Medical marijuana activist Douglas Cluff has a message for Prime Minister Stephen Harper: “repeal prohibition.” Cluff, an MS sufferer and the founder of Calgary Medicinal Marijuana Counselling (CMMC), believes that only when marijuana is legal will medical users have reliable access to marijuana and research into its “far-reaching medical benefits.”

While medical marijuana is legal in Canada -- the government even grows and certifies its own supply – Cluff told the Libertarian Party candidate for Calgary Centre-North, Jason McNeil, and party leader Dennis Young in a meeting Thursday that access is still the primary concern for CMMC members.

First, medical marijuana is only available to people who suffer from diseases from which marijuana is known to Health Canada to provide relief. If you’ve got MS or rheumatoid arthritis, you can get access to medical marijuana. If you’ve got fibre myalgia, for instance, you’re out luck. Cluff thinks this practice of excluding certain diseases from the list found in the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations is discriminatory and would like to see Health Canada expand the number of eligible diseases that can be legally treated with marijuana.

Second, Cluff says doctors are reluctant to sign medical exemption forms for patients because they have been instructed by the Canadian Medical Association not to authorize the use of medical marijuana if they are unfamiliar with the benefits.

Third, Cluff says the regulations established through Marihuana Medical Access Regulations are too strict, including the obligation that patients renew their exemptions every year, even in those cases where an exemptee is suffering from an incurable disease. Also, medical marijuana users must be less than 100 kilometres from a licensed supplier, often making it difficult for users and growers to connect.

Until April of this year, Cluff admits to actively distributing marijuana to members of CMMC (even to those without medical exemptions) as a form of civil disobedience, but “retired” from the practice due to the “paranoia” he had with getting caught. (His wife didn’t like it either.) He has now shifted his focus from distribution to education and activism.

Jason_dennis_doug_and_keith

Picture: Libertarian Party candidate  for Calgary Centre-North, Jason McNeil, joins party leader Dennis Young in a meeting with medical marijuana activists Douglas Cluff with Calgary Medicinal Marijuana Counselling and Keith Fagin with Calgary 420 at The Next Level hemp store (from left to right)

Posted by Matthew Johnston on September 26, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink

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To The Editor, RE: Calgary medical marijuana activist to Harper: “repeal prohibition”

“If you’ve got fibre myalgia (sic), for instance, you’re out luck.”

Not true. I have fibromyalgia (correct spelling), and I have had a license since 2003. But I can tell you from personal experience that having a license doe NOT guarantee a consistent, reliable, or safe supply. I have a five gram per day prescription, and I have never had access to more than a gram or two per day.

If you get it from the government, it is too expensive and ineffective. If you have a grow or a designated grower, you risk crop loss which can leave a patient without medicine (or money to buy any) for months at a time. If you get it from compassionate growers and distributors, it is high-quality, but often too expensive.

Aside from that, marijuana prohibition subsidizes gangsters, lawyers, cops, and jails, while simultaneously usurping the civil rights and liberties of all Canadians and depriving them of a valuable medicine. Marijuana legalization is not some fringe issue – it is quite simply the right thing to do. The conservatives, liberals, and the NDP all have one thing in common: they all want marijuana prohibition to continue. It leads me to wonder just which side of the law these clowns are really on.

Russell Barth
Federally Licensed Medical Marijuana User
Patients Against Ignorance and Discrimination on Cannabis
(PAIDOC)www.paidoc.org

Posted by: Russell Barth | 2008-09-26 5:54:44 AM


The side of Big Pharma, obviously.

Posted by: Tim | 2008-09-26 6:55:48 AM


Matthew,

1. Cluff is a patient, not a doctor, and in no position to be prescribing medications, certainly not controlled substances. His assertion that people should be able to use pot for whatever they want is no more valid than making the same statement about narcotics. Narcotics are good for treating pain, but you don't take them for colds. (They wouldn't work anyway.)

2. So some doctors are unfamiliar with the benefits. That's because the benefits are currently not scientifically recognized in the literature (although there have been a few papers published) and depend largely on unreliable anecdotal evidence. Physicians do talk to one another, and referrals are little more than a formality.

3. My understanding is that a medical exemption allows you to grow your own pot, eliminating the need to live close to a licensed supplier. Licensed suppliers may supply for no more than three patients per grow site anyway. As for renewing every year, boo-hoo. How hard is it to fill out a few forms?

Russell:

1. Sorry to hear about your condition. My wife has MS, but it's an extremely mild form that presents as occasional numbness with no pain or significant loss of mobility (so far; touch wood product).

2. All these disadvantages would be true even if pot were legal. The government grows it but you don't like it or the price; you could grow your own, but you might lose some (common; can't you just add a plant or two and hedge your bets?); and even compassion clubs are too pricey for you. What makes you think it'll be cheaper if it's legal, and TAXED?

3. Marijuana prohibition does not subsidize gangsters. The presence of a clientele willing to tolerate higher crime rates in exchange for their pet hobby subsidizes gangsters. If there were no market, the gangsters wouldn't bother. What does it say about the character of people who, in all likelihood, oppose blood for oil, but are perfectly happy with blood for pot?

Tim:

1. That's right, government conspiracies explain everything. Paranoid much?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-26 7:54:35 AM


Shane:

Cannabis (the proper term) is thee (correct spelling) most medicinally active plant on Earth. The endocannabinoid system to which it binds has been around for 600 million years. It's the oil of Life. Free radicals are the by-products of living, the friction of life, which Cannabis regulates.

Cannabis is ridiculously expensive directly because of prohibition. The cost of growing Cannabis without the violent oppression of the State would absolutely plummet. The best estimates range around what coffee costs.

Cannabis is better for your health, grows outdoors with minimal inputs, and indoors with daily loving care and normally with no need for pest or fungus control. Lights, fertilizer, water, air, temperature, extra CO2 and UV.

Cannabis prohibition was contrived by various corporate elite to maximize the return on patented processes and products. The black market was thus created. Prices have risen to their present level because the demand is there. Fortunes have been made by pulp and paper, pharmaceutical and other industries. Fortunes have been made by those in the black market.

There's a pattern here. But considering that weapons are rarely found in grows, I object somewhat to the comment that prohibition subsidizes gangsters (though it must to some extent - know any biker gangs that never smoke pot?), and to the suggestion that government is somehow blameless.

Posted by: Bruce Codere | 2008-09-26 8:52:27 AM


Shane blames the millions of immoral human beings who simply want to consume a product.

It was all of us to blame for the rise of Capone and the strongest (and wealthiest) mob ever known to exist in North America.

Stupid people who didnt care about others, taking a drink and killing innocents by supporting the mob.

Of course, one day somebody woke up and realised that only the prohibition of alcohol empowered the mob.

And then, suddenly, all those immoral beasts became human.

The Government is never wrong. Just ask your fellow comrades.

Posted by: Q | 2008-09-26 9:06:02 AM


I see people like Shane all the time. Well spoken, reads NEWSPAPERS. But no practical knowledge. Only a few papers published? Right there indicates you are totally out of touch. Canada Health does'nt start programs like the Medical Marihuana on the information of a "few" papers.
Not familiar with the Senate Report Shane? Here it is, this is not a "paper" but four volumes of exhaustive research: http://www.parl.gc.ca/illegal-drugs.asp this is one of probable 1000 reports on Cannabis use.
Here is a short list of the reports the Senate referred to:
http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/1/parlbus/commbus/senate/com-e/ille-e/research-papers-e.htm


Maybe spend some time on the Marijuana Policy Project website http://www.MPP.org


So we see you guys all the time, usually you are Cops/DEA, Journalist, of just ignorant. Which are you?

Posted by: Tony Jensen | 2008-09-26 9:09:23 AM


...all those suits in a hemp store. What's wrong with this picture?

Posted by: tomax7 | 2008-09-26 9:52:28 AM


Bruce.

1. Fanciful, flowery rhetoric. And “thee” is the proper spelling??? Define “medicinally active,” because that can be interpreted any number of ways. 600 million years ago, the most advanced life on Earth was coelenterates and molluscs. There is not one life form on Earth dependent on THC so far as I am aware.

2. Wrong. The hydroponics equipment used to grow pot is in itself legal and would be required in any case. The electricity required is expensive to the point that many home growers steal it. Outdoor growing is free and the chance of being caught is small, but the yield is lower and more sporadic. Other drugs, by contrast, can often be cooked in a makeshift lab.

3. Better for my health than what? As for the cost of growing, see above.

4. Hemp was replaced by nylon because it’s extremely abrasion-resistant and doesn’t rot, not because of corporate conspiracy. Less than two square miles of hemp was under cultivation in the U.S. in the early 20th century. Marijuana was restricted by the tax act of 1937 once knowledge of its psychoactive properties became widespread, and it was removed from the pharmacopeia of the U.S. in 1942 because of “numerous side effects.”

5. The only pattern is in your mind. Dope was outlawed because the downside was considered to outweigh the upside. Today that’s still true, although given certain favourable scientific experiments it could be restored to the pharmacopeia as a controlled substance like morphine.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-26 10:06:01 AM


Q,

1. Want does not translate to “God-given right.” Some people really need to come to terms with that.

2. Not necessarily; there are other rackets Capone could have got into. However, the bootlegging racket filled a market provided by customers who didn’t care about the crime. I drink alcohol, but if it were outlawed I’d stop. I don’t like it enough to have it floated to me across a lake of blood.

3. Yes, exactly. Do you deny it?

4. No, somebody woke up and realized that alcohol was too much entrenched in the society of that day to simply outlaw. The same would have been true of tobacco then (although perhaps not today). It wasn’t, and isn’t, true of dope.

5. Well, no, they didn’t. The fact that they ultimately found a legal source of alcohol doesn’t erase what they did beforehand.

6. Um...don’t the people elect the government?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-26 10:11:52 AM


Your passion is invigorating, Tony, but it’s also useless. Right out of the gate you had to personalize the matter by cutting down your opponent instead of his argument. Unfortunately, I see people like you all the time, too. Usually on the losing side of laws and legal debates. Bitter much?

“Few” is a relative term, inasmuch as the papers claiming medical benefits for marijuana are outnumbered by those that don’t. Also, please remember that Senators are not scientists (some are fashion designers or CBC apparatchiks), so a paper prepared by them does not constitute a scientific report. Also, considering that most of these Senators are baby boomers, who are now apparently using drugs in even greater numbers than today’s youth, their objectivity is a little suspect. As is yours, as evinced by your big, fresh mouth.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-26 10:17:19 AM


I applaud true democracy in action like Mr. Cluff's brave stand. I personally, openly and active do the same as Mr. Cluff is doing but for a different motivation.

Before I stuck my head into a police car and offered Cannabis for sale to the two officers, I had sent Wally Opal and Stockwell Day a copy of "Institutionalized Idiocy" My purpose was motivated by "A drug Deal gone Bad" to get drug dealing out of our playgrounds and society.
http://budoracle.blogspot.com

I continue on my road of civil disobedience, unconcerned for the government's stand, or policing powers. I can point to daily deaths and tragedies that are taking place directly due to Prohibition policies, while the government can't point to a single unclouded incident of the dangers of Marijuana, that would require prohibition. I am 100 % positive that should I come before a jury of my peers, the laws will fall, because of the safety to our children issue.
At least one juror is bound to see the truth of my stand. The government is morally, ethically and legally wrong in its stand behind these racist inspired laws and that is not hard for a person of reason to see.


Unlike Mr. Cluff's restricted access due his being in backward Alberta, the accessibility of Cannabis is secure here in Vancouver, menus commonly have six to ten different varieties all under ten bucks a gram. The only reason for me doing this is because I don't wish to be a criminal anymore, nor politically oppressed anymore, and I want a safer more lawful society where murders over drug turf are not common and children aren't exposed to criminal activity at an ever younger age.

I'm actually hoping that they will come to shut me down some more, so that I can defy them again, because from what I understand, you need to have more on your possession than I did when I stuck my head into the police car and offered Cannabis for sale. You can be sure that I will be openly defying these dangerous laws until I am either jailed or face a jury trial which is my right, or I expire.

From what I see, the Judges, the crown Attorneys and cops are in the government's pockets enforcing State tyranny and defacto rule by a foreign power and its right-wing religious fundamentalist war criminals.

I fully expect to get an Order of Canada, like Dr.Morgantaller did for his bold civil disobedience, for this necessary and timely stand, unless tyhe government preemptively changes its course.

I'm also very tired of being harangued by these right-wing morons continuously regurgitating propaganda in these forums and elsewhere and government denying me the very freedoms to believe and do what I wish, that they have in their churches. Today the world is a dangerous place because of hatred fostered by fundamentalist religions of others. The worship of god is much more deadly than the use of drugs to humanity, yet they have a right, nay are protected in their hatred of me and other Canadians so that they can produce more conservatism to counter my perspective but using the tyranny of the state.

Fack of Mr. Harper et al. Stick your prohibition laws where the sun don't shine and come and get me, so that we can get this over with and move on with my life.

Ok, so right now the elections are on, and yes you would like to pull the wool over Canadians eyes, yet our children are getting hooked and dying daily as they have since the first senate report recommended legalization.

I'm tired of the time lag for sanity to reach our society from our so called "Leaders." This is my line in the sand and you'll have to either execute me, or change the laws.

When you are holding a royal flush it is no time to fold.

Posted by: budoracle | 2008-09-26 10:38:18 AM


Typical conservative drivel, Shane. You ignore the evidence of marijuana's benefits in favor of political rhetoric. Do some research.

Posted by: L Weis | 2008-09-26 10:41:33 AM


L Weis wrote: "Typical conservative drivel, Shane. You ignore the evidence of marijuana's benefits in favor of political rhetoric. Do some research."

I have. Show me yours, you miscreant. And then show me how any such research can justify feeding organized crime by buying illegal marijuana for strictly recreational use. Go on, show me! Get off your high horse and justify blood for pot.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-26 10:45:14 AM


Budo

1. Democracy is about elected government, not protest. This common belief is a relic of the 60s.

2. And I’M the idiot?

3. You’re a real heavyweight, all right. Just what we need, a gas huffer with a God complex.

4. “Is bound to see” suggests a considerably less than 100% chance. And you’re not a person of reason; you’re a person of passion. I don’t think you’d recognize reason if you saw it.

5. “Menus” have grass for under ten dollars a gram? Didn’t know they sold this at restaurants, except at Da Kine, and wasn’t that joint closed down?

6. Yes, this kind of reminds me of Lisa Simpson’s science experiment in which she could get Bart to repeatedly shock himself on a low-voltage circuit just by putting up “don’t touch” sign. Thought you were tired of being a criminal; doesn’t sound like it.

7. Yes, that’s called law enforcement. And you get to elect the government. Now if only more people thought like you.

8. I fully expect you to get a private cage at the primate house. That is, if you can ever be housebroken.

9. No you’re not. You keep coming back for more. You’re as hooked to baiting “neo-cons” as you are to anything you can fit down your gob.

10. You mean you actually have a life beyond your quest?

11. Marijuana isn’t addictive. And as your own example proves, it’s perfectly possible to get hooked to unrestricted substances like gasoline.

12. We don’t care.

13. Unless you already know your opponent’s hand, and that it’s four aces plus a wild card.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-26 10:56:17 AM


Shane, you're turning this debate about medical cannabis into a personnel argument. I'd just like to say I'm not attacking you because of your opinion, but I'd like to point out, your statements are contradicting your arguments.
First, you're right, Capone would've been involved in anything that would make him loads of money and today that would be grow-ops. It's the modern day gold rush and prohibition is fueling it by making a substance that should be worth pennies worth millions.
Second, you said, alcohol prohibition was repealed because somebody realized that it was to entrenched in society to simply outlaw. Well this could be said of "DOPE", as you like to call it, in todays society. There's currently millions of Canadians that will admit to consuming cannabis in the past year, it just doesn't make sense to declare all of these people criminals. That's not counting the millions that will never admit to consuming cannabis.
Third, you say you would stop consuming alcohol if it were suddenly made illegal, although I find that very hard to believe I except it as true. Now what do you think all the other alcohol consuming Canadians would do, stop? I think not and to believe otherwise would be naive. Should all these alcohol consuming, hard working, taxpaying Canadians be declared criminals because some politicians decided they no what's best for all of us. I think not!
I feel cannabis should be legalized and regulated so we can start to gain some control over a substance that law enforcement will never have control over no matter how harsh the sentences are. All you have to do is look at the U.S. to see that putting people in prison for extended periods of time for non-violent drug offenses does nothing but destroy more lives then the drug itself and tear apart the fragile fabrics of society.
REPEAL PROHIBITION!

Posted by: Todd Lumley | 2008-09-26 11:24:12 AM


Todd,

1. I’m not turning it into anything. In my experience it’s the pro-pot crowd that gets personal and nasty. Many of them are bitter, and it shows, big-time. Budorocle, of course, is another species altogether.

2. Yes, probably. I never said organized crime didn’t take advantage of prohibition to create an illegal market where a legal one was not permitted. My point was that markets, black or white, don’t exist at all without buyers.

3. No, it couldn’t. Up to 90 percent of Canadians use alcohol fairly regularly. The figure for marijuana is much less, although the pro-pot crowd does love to inflate those numbers. Pot use is dropping among the young, suggesting that the baby boom generation is an aberration, not proof of a longer-term trend. Millions of Canadians speed, too; should we legalize those?

4. What you find hard or easy to believe is of no consequence. I’m not a liar; I wouldn’t say it unless it were true. You don’t WANT to believe it because it points out how easy it is to stop smoking pot, and casts those who would rather feed organized crime than stop in a particularly bad light. As well it should. No, not all Canadians would stop drinking; as the black market for marijuana proves, many people are well and truly selfish. But a majority would. Look at the numbers of smokers today versus a generation ago given education and strong tobacco restrictions, and tobacco is actually still legal.

5. What you feel does not matter; this is not about you. (This is the hardest part for many pro-pot types to overcome.) As for the U.S., you may see a land of overcrowded prisons, but I see a land whose crime rate is dropping and, with the exception of murder, is much lower than that in most of the European countries you would compare it with, and even with our own. Eliminate black-on-black killings and their murder rate is lower than ours.

6. Repealing prohibition would have to be a joint North American effort. It would have devastating political and perhaps economic consequences if Canada legalized dope and the U.S. didn’t, because organized criminals in Canada tend to grow for export and this activity would not stop. It might actually increase, as there would be no consequence for growing it up here. Not one legalization advocate I have blogged with has ever even attempted to address this question, and I fully expect you to be no different.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-26 11:38:46 AM


Exactly as I was saying. In the news this morning the conviction of 4 Nelson activists who sold marijuana openly in the shop "holy Smoke."

The Judge said that this was a matter for parliament to decide, not the courts. He is a shill of the government not at all doing his duty, hius legal responsibility to weigh the damage and deaths caused to society and the governments outright neglect to do what is right for Canadians because of foreign pressure.

I have said that unless I face a jury that there would be no Justice. This is an example of the KANGARO0 JUSTICE SYSTEM WE HAVE IN PLACE.

Where is the justice as more and more people suffer and die because lawlessness is fostered by the government's and court's inactions.

This law was signed into effect IN CANADA BY THE SAME RACIST PARTLIAMENTARIANS which brought in other racist legislation for which the government is now apologizing and paying reparations. It is not in some joint foreign agreement that Canada's law will be modified, you right wing American imperialist war mongers, over my dead body.

These laws were made in Canada without consultations of foreign governments and they will be repealed here, no matter what some lunatic fundamentalist war mongers think.

Rather than make me fear a similar fate, this mornings travesty of Justice in the mindless Judge's decision spurs me on more to get out from under this tyranny, police state, ruled by a foreign power and create a safe society for Canadians where the rule of sane safe law prevails. I want a future different from what Americans have and I have a right to bring this issue before Canadians if the government does not.

My is about establishing the rule of law in this Country, not some pretend shuffling of responsibilities by appointed Judges to further political oppression.

Posted by: budoracle | 2008-09-26 12:21:00 PM


Budo,

1. Well, well, well. Are you still 100% sure that you would be exonerated if you were brought up on similar charges?

2. The judge’s responsibility is to enforce the law. He can only strike down a law if it violates your legal rights, not just because it’s unjust in your eyes.

3. Budo, one look at you and a jury would have you in a padded cell on a 24-hour suicide watch.

4. The lawlessness is fostered by people like you, who ignore the law and line the pockets of criminals rather than give up an unnecessary habit. You are an accessory to all the crime and you don’t even need to be. You choose to be.

5. Blah, blah.

6. There were no airliners in those days, buddy-boy, nor cigarette boats or ship containers filled with dope. The immediacy and ubiquity of modern commerce requires greater international cooperation. Oh, yes, and the treaties too.

7. Yawn. Fab. Yawn, yawn.

8. You have spurned the law. You’re in no position to help draft them.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-26 1:11:55 PM


Shane, this is about me and my personal experiences, this is what people like YOU don't understand. I've had the pleasure of going to jail for a non-violent drug offense and I'd like to tell you it was in no way rehabilitating. I spent most of the time ripped, I was definitely more ripped on the inside then on the outside. Putting people like me in jail for choosing the intoxicant of my choice that does far less damage to my body then alcohol is just plain wrong. AS for people speeding, I've never heard of anyone going to jail for this, so this is not a true comparison of crime.
I agree the repeal of prohibition would have to be American approved first for obvious reasons, but this scenario of organized crime growing in Canada and exporting it to the U.S. has been going on for almost 20 years now and it's estimated in the 10's of billions of dollars a year. Prohibition is funneling this money out of our economy and giving it to the organized crime groups that are based in other countries but are here doing business.
So before you generalize me and put me in your dope head category just remember I work full time pay my taxes and most of all enjoy raising my child, who goes to catholic school and gets straight A's. I take great pride in being a law abiding citizen, I just don't see the difference between me enjoying the occasional Marijuana cigarette and you enjoying your occasional alcoholic beverage.
One last thing about buyers creating the market, if you let people grow their own you'll eliminate that argument and in the process eliminate the black market for cannabis. Oh Ya! I haven't bought "DOPE" since 1992 so I guess I'm not part of the problem.

Posted by: Todd Lumley | 2008-09-26 2:55:58 PM


1- Shane, what rights are "god given", and is that how you decide what is a right? I mean, please, what a silly argument.

2- First, your speculation is useless, as is mine. The fact is, the prohibition of alchol raised the price and potency of alcohol. It also empowered and enriched criminal organizations. Period

Your assertion that only people who "didn’t care about the crime" ignores the simple fact that most people didn't, and do not, view drinking as a crime. Same as Canadians view marijuana use today.

3- Of course I deny it. The same people drank both before, during, and after prohibition (as has been proven many times, prohibition has a very small effect on consumption). Yet, criminal organizations only became powerful and profitable during one period: when the government decided to prohibit the sale of alchol. So, quite obviously, it is prohibition and the creation of a black market that enables gangs and mobs. The existance of the market is inelastic.

4- Actually, the goals of prohibition were never realized. The same goals parroted for prohibition of MJ as alcohol. Prohibition failed to improve health, social virtue, or economic conditions. Repeal of prohibition dramatically reduced crime, government corruption, and greatly increased the safety of alcohol consumption.

We are reduced to your only argument: that prohibition works because it has been that way for awhile. Which in reality is no argument at all.

5- Ah yes. Shane believe the government is the almighty arbiter of whats right and wrong. Shane, your simplistic viewpoint would allow you to slaughter your fellow citizens in the Wiemer or USSR. Cheers to you. But please, join us in this century when you have some time.

6- In Canada, people elect MP's. The government is much larger than just who we elect. Please, try to keep up here.

Posted by: Q | 2008-09-26 3:23:46 PM


I think more pictures of that handsome Dennis Young character are in order.

Posted by: S. Copps | 2008-09-26 6:29:55 PM


All this lying, hate and judgment for a simple plant that has been with humans for a half million years. You can see its not really about marijuana, but political ideology.

I hold no hope for the future of humanity. Too many religious morons not allowing the human race to move forward in peace. See "Religion: the worm in Adam's apple?"

It is a strangle hold of the contentious, aggressive, war loving monotheists who have washed our society with bloodshed over their belief idiocies for 2 millenia. Each cult around the world has its moronic believers ready to slaughter, denigrate the others at a moment's notice.

You see them here denigrating others at every opportunity, against black equality, against gay equality, against freedom of choice for abortions against allowing others to believe and do as they see fit. These morons are trying to keep this fraudulent deadly Tyranny of the right in tact.

Canadians and Americans get to revel in the shallow pleasures of consumerism and fund the military aggression of our governments, while they ruin the lives of millions in pursuit of your stupid ideology. This is the rule of the beast in god's clothing.

I see no love of christ, allah or any good coming of religion only blatant attempts to control everyone through violence if necessary. Have it your way morons, but it will not stand for long,

As I stood on the American border in 2002 for 7 Sundays in a row from noon to one and tried to warn the world by telling our idiot warmonger friends and their supporters here in this country that:

"You should reflect more deeply on your present course of action. If the middle east becomes unstable you will be paying more for gas."

This coming economic "adjustment" is also part of this endless military aggression based on lies for which I tried to make the world aware.

google "laugh or cry, this story is not a lie."

I am still laughing at the idiocy of the Canadians who wanted to follow GWB into Iraq, including Harper. These people all read it wrong and I am still laughing at how incredibly stupid everyone was then, and still is now. This lefty was right and the Rush Bimbos wrong.

I am positive that the government is wrong and responsible for killing our children, by supporting prohibition policies as are millions of people of reason in this country.

You can huff and puff like all the Rush Bimbos did then and call me a lefty, but the fact remains we don't have enough of a spread of ideas to choose from to save ourselves, because only the myopic right wing agenda is ever heard. Therefore, because of this simple imbalance and nature's abhorrence of imbalance, there will come an end to this insanity of right wing rule.

Most likely some sort of nuclear exchange for preemptive purposes, because Iran scares the god fearing Americans, The same ones who deny the left its gentler voice through persecution and tyrann6y of Prohibition laws and other censorship. A nuclear exchange will be the only thing that the Americans can afford, because they are bankrupt. I hope it isn't a limited exchange for the sake of the biosphere and to rid the planet of these greedy contentious religious monkeys.

Have it your way Shane and your idiotic ilk. If its violence, social strife, lawlessness and hate leading to madness and war that you wish to have flourish, I can see you will have your fill.

Choke on it!

Posted by: budoracle | 2008-09-26 8:30:46 PM


Thanks for the comment, Russell.

I checked the spelling of fibre myalgia after reading your comment, and according to the source below it can be spelled either “fibromyalgia” or “fibre myalgia.”

http://www.arthritis-treatment-and-relief.com/fibre-myalgia.html

Thank you for sharing your personal story about being a fibromyalgia medical marijuana exemptee. I was reporting on comments made by Cluff who argued that fibromyalgia is not a disease recognized by Health Canada as being treatable with marijuana. Your case does seem to contradict this information.

You wrote that “If you get it from the government, it is too expensive and ineffective.” I wrote about the 1500% mark up on government-certified marijuana here:

http://westernstandard.blogs.com/shotgun/2008/04/break-the-costl.html

You also wrote: “The Conservatives, Liberals, and the NDP all have one thing in common: they all want marijuana prohibition to continue.”

You’re right. If marijuana policy reform is important to you, only the Green Party and the Libertarian Party support legalization.
It’s important to me, as well, even though I don’t use it medically or recreationally.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-09-26 10:22:40 PM


Shane Matthews wrote: “Cluff is a patient, not a doctor, and in no position to be prescribing medications, certainly not controlled substances.”

I don’t think Cluff would consider what he was doing as prescribing medication. He simply supports the right of people to self-medicate or self-prescribe. He was simple providing medical users with a safe distribution centre.

You also wrote: “So some doctors are unfamiliar with the benefits. That's because the benefits are currently not scientifically recognized in the literature (although there have been a few papers published) and depend largely on unreliable anecdotal evidence.”

I think you’re right, but medical users insist they find relief with marijuana. And there is now a publicly traded company -- Cannasat -- developing cannabis derived pharmaceuticals.

http://westernstandard.blogs.com/shotgun/2008/04/break-the-costl.html

And you wrote: “My understanding is that a medical exemption allows you to grow your own pot, eliminating the need to live close to a licensed supplier.”

Talking to medical users, some say they don’t have the expertise to grow marijuana, or they live in apartment where landlords object to even small grow operations, or they are too frail for horticulture.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-09-26 10:26:43 PM


Bruce Codere wrote: “Cannabis is ridiculously expensive directly because of prohibition. The cost of growing Cannabis without the violent oppression of the State would absolutely plummet. The best estimates range around what coffee costs.”

I think this is an important point. Prohibition drives up costs, creates opportunity for organized crime and places a heavy financial burden on users.

Some argue that this price inflation and financial burden is an important part of any drug deterrence strategy. Consider this comment by Conservative Gordon O'Connor, Minister of National Revenue on August 29, 2008 on tobacco control:

“Taxing tobacco products at a high level is an important element of the governments' health strategy to discourage smoking among Canadians. Smuggling and the contraband tobacco trade undermine this strategy. Enhancements to tobacco tax compliance and enforcement programs will ensure that the Government is meeting these goals with effective tax, regulatory and control measures.”
http://westernstandard.blogs.com/shotgun/2008/09/the-conservativ.html

Of course, there is an unseen cost to this strategy. I recently wrote an article about LEAP spokesperson and former Vancouver cop Tony Smith. Smith makes the case that the inflated price of drugs (he was speaking on “hard” drugs) increases property crime as addicts steal to pay for their addictions.

http://www.westernstandard.ca/website/article.php?id=2843&start=0

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-09-26 10:42:03 PM


Q wrote: “…one day somebody woke up and realised that only the prohibition of alcohol empowered the mob….The Government is never wrong. Just ask your fellow comrades.”

The comparison between the consequences of alcohol prohibition and marijuana prohibition are valid.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-09-26 10:45:50 PM


Tony Jensen wrote: “Canada Health doesn’t start programs like the Medical Marihuana on the information of a ‘few’ papers.”

Thanks for your comment, Tony.

I’ll have to take Shane’s side on this one. I think it’s fair to say that the government does things for political reasons and not always for sound scientific reasons.

Nevertheless, people have the right to choose alternative healthcare solutions.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-09-26 10:51:49 PM


Tomax7 wrote: “...all those suits in a hemp store. What's wrong with this picture?”

Hah. You should have seen the look on the faces of the customers. I think they thought the DEA was raiding the place.

Dennis Young and Jason McNeil are both ex-soldiers. They are both pretty straight.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-09-26 10:57:45 PM


Shane Matthews wrote: “Dope was outlawed because the downside was considered to outweigh the upside.”

That may be true, but the downside of prohibition outweighs the upside of prohibition, particularly for non-users.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-09-26 11:02:30 PM


lest we not forget the yellow journalism, racism, corporate corruption, and lies that cannabis laws were based on.

Posted by: krista zoobkoff | 2008-09-26 11:10:42 PM


Shane Matthews wrote: “…somebody woke up and realized that alcohol was too much entrenched in the society of that day to simply outlaw.”

If alcohol use hurts society and prohibition improves society, as I think you’re suggesting, why “cut and run”? Why not double down on this “entrenched” problem?

The answer is that prohibition, whether alcohol or drugs, is more harmful to society than alcohol or drug use.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-09-26 11:15:15 PM


Todd,

1. See, that’s the problem with a lot of dopers. Almost down to a person, they think everything is about them. Most people who smoke marijuana, I’ve noticed, are selfish, narcissistic, emotionally immature, and mad at the world. In short, a typical adolescent. But in baby boomers you still see this behaviour in sixty-year-olds. It’s really unattractive, and it doesn’t add value to their lives either. As for rehabilitation or lack thereof, you can’t blame the system for that. You have to rehabilitate yourself; all jail does is provide the incentive. Clearly more incentive was required in your case. By the way, since it’s almost impossible to get sent to jail for simple possession, I’m guessing your “non-violent offence” involved either a king-sized grow-op or some other aggravating circumstance.

2. It’s the Americans who are buying the marijuana, so we’re actually not losing anything. Canadians don’t want for pot; there’s quite enough to go around. As for the difference between me and you, it’s quite simple: I’m not stupid or stubborn enough to risk it all for something I just plain don’t need. Even if pot shouldn’t be illegal, it is. You knew that going in. So on your own head be it.

3. “If only, if only.” If my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle. There shouldn’t BE a black market for something as completely unimportant as pot. The fact that people are willing to jack up crime rates just to have a toke says a lot about them, none of it flattering. If you choose to identify them, it’s your reputation that suffers, not mine.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-26 11:25:20 PM


there you are shane.
that is some great sterotyping of one fifth of canada. compationate as well to people that are sick and in pain. how can you call cannabis unimportant when it can give use food, fuel, cloths, paper, medicine, recreation.

Posted by: krista zoobkoff | 2008-09-26 11:29:53 PM


Budoracle wrote: “I fully expect to get an Order of Canada, like Dr. Morgentaler did for his bold civil disobedience, for this necessary and timely stand, unless the government pre-emptively changes its course.”

Well that would erase any remaining respect conservatives have for the Order of Canada. :-)

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-09-26 11:30:29 PM


Budo,

1. Oh, so now it’s been with humans for half a million years, predating even the invention of fire. Actually, evolutionarily speaking, cannabis has been around a lot longer than that.

2. We don’t care what you hold hope for. And Western civilization has advanced more under Christianity than any civilization in history, so put that in your bong and smoke it.

3., 4., 5. Blah, blah.

6. Says you.

7. The Middle East is always unstable. Oil prices were driven high by world demand. Let’s see what a worldwide depression does to the price.

8. The current credit crunch is mostly the result of overinflated property values and the so-called “toxic” mortgages people took out to buy them.

9. Rhymes now? Mm-mm.

10. Iraq is improving. Had they put enough boots on the ground and cleansed the cities of killers immediately after victory it would have improved a lot faster. But better late than never.

11. Nobody cares what you’re “positive” of. We only care what you can prove.

12. We keep saying the same thing about the Left wing.

13. Great! You’re a genocidal maniac. I’m so glad that the decision to push the button does not rest with you. But you’re ready for city council, you bet.

14. Thanks to lawbreakers like you.

15. (cough) Happy?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-26 11:33:28 PM


Shane Matthews wrote: “…then show me how any such research can justify feeding organized crime by buying illegal marijuana for strictly recreational use. Go on, show me! Get off your high horse and justify blood for pot.”

I think this is a case of blaming the victims, Shane.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-09-26 11:36:33 PM


Matthew wrote: “I don’t think Cluff would consider what he was doing as prescribing medication. He simply supports the right of people to self-medicate or self-prescribe. He was simple providing medical users with a safe distribution centre.”

The layman isn’t competent to prescribe psychotropic substances. Granted, it’s their body. But it’s my dime if he winds up in the hospital. In today’s interdependent society, what you do to yourself doesn’t always affect only you.

Matthew wrote: “I think you’re right, but medical users insist they find relief with marijuana. And there is now a publicly traded company -- Cannasat -- developing cannabis derived pharmaceuticals.”

Users insist they find relief with copper bracelets, too. Next.

Matthew wrote: “Talking to medical users, some say they don’t have the expertise to grow marijuana, or they live in apartment where landlords object to even small grow operations, or they are too frail for horticulture.”

Those who live far enough away from a city for finding a licensed grower to be a problem will likely have enough of their own property to grow, Matthew, and won’t live so far from a hospital if they’re too frail to water a plant. In the cities where you’re more apt to live in an apartment there’s no shortage of growers, so problem solved.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-26 11:39:23 PM


Matthew wrote: “That may be true, but the downside of prohibition outweighs the upside of prohibition, particularly for non-users.”

Only because the prohibition isn’t very strict. If all drug dealers were sentenced to death, who would sell? A few. But not many. The price therefore would go very high, past what most people could afford. Perhaps high enough for them to ask themselves, “How is this worth it?”

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-26 11:41:48 PM


Matthew wrote: "I think this is a case of blaming the victims, Shane."

How is a recreational dope user a victim of anything, save perhaps his own stupidity? The black market exists because they support it. They are an accessory to all the crime that results.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-26 11:42:57 PM


Kirsta wrote: "that is some great sterotyping of one fifth of canada. compationate as well to people that are sick and in pain. how can you call cannabis unimportant when it can give use food, fuel, cloths, paper, medicine, recreation."

A group is defined by its own actions, Kirsta, not what I say about them. You know as well as I that the great majority of pot smokers are recreational, and that exemptions exist for those who want to use it as medicine. Cannabis, like most plants, is mostly cellulose and all but indigestible to humans, and so is little use as food. Pot has a low energy density and makes a lousy fuel. Cloth, paper, and medicine are all legal already. Recreational use is just plain dumb.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-26 11:45:56 PM


Shane Matthews wrote: “Democracy is about elected government, not protest.”

You’re right. Democracy doesn’t mean you consent to be governed only when your guy or your policies win the day. It means you consent to be governed so long as the process is democratic.

Civil disobedience is un-democratic, but it is part of our liberal tradition, and it can be a force for positive change.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-09-26 11:49:19 PM


Matthew wrote: "The answer is that prohibition, whether alcohol or drugs, is more harmful to society than alcohol or drug use."

You haven't read about the Opium Wars, have you?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-26 11:49:58 PM


people dont eat the stock shane. they eat the seed. er talked about this. cannabis seeds are a super food. they have a hughe nutritional profile. they are a complete protien. they have the best ratio of ogems for the human body. they are high in antioxidents and vitamin e. on and on.
i dont have the right to grow it and make clothes paper or biodiesel if i choose to. i beleive the majority of pot smokers are recreational and i think that is their personal freedom

Posted by: krista zoobkoff | 2008-09-26 11:51:21 PM


i am sorry for the spelling mistakes.

Posted by: krista zoobkoff | 2008-09-26 11:52:28 PM


Todd Lumley wrote: “There's currently millions of Canadians that will admit to consuming cannabis in the past year, it just doesn't make sense to declare all of these people criminals. That's not counting the millions that will never admit to consuming cannabis.”

I’m struck by how culturally established the cannabis community is. There must be a dozen hemp stores in Calgary. How many bong and rolling paper retailers does any city need? And there are the half a dozen marijuana-related magazine titles at my local newsstand. And, of course, there are the provincial and federal Marijuana Parties.

But that’s anecdotal. Krista Zoobkoff told me in Canmore that a UN study revealed that almost 20% of Canadian are marijuana users – not one time users, but users.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-09-27 12:01:01 AM


Nature got us to this present despite the idiocy of the religious nuts, like you Shane.

Maybe you give all authority to prescribe for you to doctors, where I know that in North America you 960 times more likely to die at the hands of a your physician than of gunshot wounds.

No one else tells me what medicine to swallow. I don't trust any of your medicine men, self serving arrogant snots.

Don't need you government health care because my parents had good genetics which they got from their parents without being told what to do by the government and herded like sheep.

Really, the way all these self exerted experts take their judgmental stand feel free to judge people because of the substance they use as if they were some kind of experts that could diagnose the entire cadre of marijuana users as immature.

You are all self serving idiots. Get off your judgment. If one were to look close at your lives we could find something to point at. All BS over a harmless plant which millions of Canadians safely enjoy daily, putting a lie to the government's propaganda about being harmful. The only facken harm is caused by the laws.

Posted by: budoracle | 2008-09-27 12:05:56 AM


Shane Matthews wrote: “As for the U.S., you may see a land of overcrowded prisons, but I see a land whose crime rate is dropping and, with the exception of murder, is much lower than that in most of the European countries you would compare it with, and even with our own. Eliminate black-on-black killings and their murder rate is lower than ours.”

When discussing drug war related crime, you can’t eliminate “black-on-black killings” because the drug war is waged primarily in inner city black communities. This is a tragic situation, Shane.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-09-27 12:11:13 AM


Shane Matthews wrote: “Not one legalization advocate I have blogged with has ever even attempted to address this question, and I fully expect you to be no different.”

Liberal gun laws in the US may create an opportunity for smuggling into Canada, where guns are severely restricted. Liberal drug laws in Canada may create an opportunity for smuggling into the US, where drugs are severely restricted.

I don’t think the answer to this “problem” is to maintain strict drug laws or gun laws in both countries. The answer is greater freedom, and if Canada has to move unilaterally on drugs, so be it. That’s what it means to be a sovereign country with a sovereign domestic drug policy.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-09-27 12:19:45 AM


Shane...
I can see you don't you know there is a global shortage of opium that is used for pharmaceuticals. Legalize it and allow dirt poor Afghanistan famers to produce it and sell it to pharmaceutical companies. Pharmaceutical companies win, dirt poor Afghanistan famers win and the violent gangs lose. Equals the world over wins except the violent gangs since the gangs would lose the huge profits they currently enjoy so much.

There are countries that do execute people involved in drugs. Still has not stopped drug consumption.

100 years of prohibition has only provided the world many powerful, rich and violent gangs. Over 30 years of mandatory minims in the USA and they have a lot more powerful, rich and much more violent gangs.

Through human history people have consumed all types of drugs. The threat of long prison terms and even death does not stop it nor will it ever stop it. That is the facts period!

Everyone of us has family and/or friends that do consume drugs (legal and illegal).

Lets not forget legal alcohol is a hard drug the same as cocaine, meth, opium and so on. Prohibition did not stop alcohol consumption in the past nor will it stop alcohol consumption now,

In any case you have made it very clear you are not going to do some research with a clear mind. Find a another way to end all these violent drug war gangs the world over Shane.

History is not going to be kind to the prohibitionists of the last 100 years. Due to the FACTS that are and have been available for many decades now.

Posted by: Keith Fagin | 2008-09-27 7:25:37 AM


So we see you guys all the time, usually you are Cops/DEA, Journalist, of just ignorant. Which are you?

Posted by: Tony Jensen | 26-Sep-08 9:09:23 AM


Hey Tony, that's a pretty good assumption...But!
Did you know that LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) has 100,000 US Members and 10,000 Canadian members...the tide is turning and the front line boys and girls of law enforcement are beginning a return to "moral" law as opposed to man made laws of control.
Obviously if the Feds could tax this and make money...they'd be all for its legalization. But sinse anyone can grow it that won't happen. Better to use it as a tool of control...because "law enforcement" is the only real tool of control the Feds have.

Posted by: JC | 2008-09-27 7:35:34 AM


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