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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Green Party plan for marijuana reform unworkable: Libertarian Party

Libertarian Party candidate Krista Zoobkoff today launched her campaign in the federal riding of Wild Rose with a press conference with party leader Dennis Young.

Zoobkoff and Young released the party’s strategy for marijuana policy reform at a Canmore hemp store owned by 29-year-old entrepreneur Zoobkoff, who also owns businesses in Banff and Airdrie.

The party’s three-part strategy for reforming Canada’s approach to marijuana policy includes:

Legalize the cultivation, sale and use of marijuana by adults

• After 80 years of prohibition, at least 10 million Canadians have still used marijuana. Legalizing the cultivation and sale of marijuana will ensure the safe, peaceful trade of a drug that is substantially less harmful than alcohol or tobacco.

Pardon and expunge the convictions of all non-violent marijuana law offenders

• 600,000 Canadians have criminal records for marijuana possession. These criminal records make international travel difficult or impossible and can limit employment opportunities. The Libertarian Party would pardon Canadians with non-violent marijuana convictions.

Stop the extradition of Canadian magazine publisher Marc Emery to the U.S.A.

• Canadian magazine publisher and political activist, Marc Emery, will spend the rest of his life in an American prison for selling marijuana seeds unless the Canadian governments asserts its sovereignty over drug policy and stops the politically motivated extradition trial against him by the American Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

“The prohibition of cannabis is more damaging to society than the plant itself,” Zoobkoff told reporters. “The war on drugs is a war on the Canadian people. It can’t be fully enforced, cost taxpayers too much, and breeds violence and organized crime,” she continued.

Party leader Dennis Young said “the Libertarian Party is the only party with a comprehensive strategy for ending marijuana prohibition and ending the organized crime associated with the trade in marijuana.” He was also critical of the Green Party plan for marijuana policy reform.

“Elizabeth May and the Green Party should be congratulated for not running from the important issue of marijuana policy reform, but her plan is unworkable. It will not take the organized crime out of the marijuana trade. Legalizing marijuana for personal use will do nothing to restore peaceful trade in the marijuana business. We must legalize the cultivation and sale of marijuana and take the violence out of the marijuana business once and for all,” said Young.

Young also called on May to publicly oppose the extradition of marijuana legalization activist Marc Emery, who faces an extradition hearing -- scheduled to take place between February 9 –17, 2009 -- that could land him in a US prison for the remainder of his life. The Minister of Justice is responsible for the implementation of the Extradition Act an has the authority to prevent Emery from being prosecuted in the US for selling marijuana seeds, or, alternatively, to charge Emery in Canada for the same offence, the penalty for which in Canada is only a small fine.

“May must commit to restoring Canadian sovereignty over drug policy by joining the Libertarian Party in working actively to prevent the extradition of Canadian publisher and activist Marc Emery to the US for selling marijuana seeds. Will Elizabeth May stop the extradition of Marc Emery? If she won’t, she is not serious about a made-in-Canada approach to drug policy,” said Young.

Young is calling his strategy an "adult" approach to drug policy, one that trusts adult Canadians with choice and is realistic and honest about the failure of marijuana prohibition.

“After 80 years of prohibition, at least 10 million Canadians have still used marijuana, and the number is probably higher. We need to be honest with ourselves. The war on marijuana has been lost, and, despite the best intentions of policy makers, it is doing more harm than good. We must legalize the cultivation, sale and use of marijuana in the interest of public safety, public health and personal liberty,” concluded Young.


(Picture: Libertarian Party candidate Krista Zoobkoff outside her Canmore hemp store)

Posted by Matthew Johnston on September 25, 2008 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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Hey Budoracle,

Shanes arguments are upsetting you because his points are based on the law- you know, the law you break rather than try to understand . the one you are in trouble
with right now, the one you keep breaking and getting caught
ya that one.

Posted by: 419 | 2008-10-01 8:38:44 PM

Just make it leagle there nothing wrong with it its better than tabacco.

Posted by: alten-jhon- whoo | 2008-10-09 5:02:47 PM


Posted by: shavluk | 2008-10-11 11:03:09 AM

I don't even understand why marijuana should be illegal in the first place. Because someone has some religious problem with someone doing something in their own home? Which is likely where marijuana use would be limited to, anyway. I doubt they would allow Netherlands-like cafes here in Canada (even though one can go to bars and blast their brains with alcohol, and bring their cars, too - why do they allow bars to have parking lots when drunk driving is illegal - and much more dangerous than smoking pot at home?)

If pot were legal, it would take away the legal market. The price would surely drop, and take away the attraction from gangs, who would have to go through a licensing process. Do you see Labatt's and Molson's shooting it out over territory?

As for "ruining lives", well, people find all kinds of ways to ruin their lives. They ruin it with legal alcohol and gambling, too. They ruin it by choosing the wrong mate. They ruin it by having kids too early, or having too many kids that they can't afford and bear to put up with. They ruin it by taking part in dangerous sports (skiing or skydiving, say) and crippling themselves. The same goes for "health care costs". I hear people moan and groan about how much it costs to take care of drinkers and smokers, but I never hear anything about how much sports injuries cost society (I don't play or watch sports, BTW, and have no use for them or over-paid athletes - but does that mean they should be outlawed?)

As for keeping things out of the hands of kids, well, they'll get something they want one way or another, whether it's booze, cigarettes or pot. And why can't adults be left alone to do adult things without having to think about someone else's kids all the time? And if someone wants to smoke or drink around their own kids, that's their own choice. It doesn't necessarily mean the kids will wind up the same way, either. I know one couple who smokes cigarettes, and he is a drug addict and she is an alcoholic. Their two daughters "rebelled" by being straight and sober (and one of them doesn't even smoke cigarettes.)

Why can't a pot smoker be afforded the same dignity as a drinker or cigarette smoker, and be able to go buy their stuff from a (licensed and regulated) retail outlet, and carry it home without fear of arrest? Why should someone be daemonized because of someone else's view of "morality"? A grown adult smoking legal pot in his/her own home would harm no one.

And, what right does a non-smoker have in acting all holier-than-thou over someone who is a smoker (of pot or tobacco?) Maybe the non-smoker has a habit or something that the smoker doesn't like! As a smoker of both pot and tobacco, yeah, I get a lot of frowning upon. But - I absolutely despise hunting. I would sooner see hunting and trapping be made illegal than smoking. but hunting and trapping are considered almost sacrosanct in Canada - but smoking of anything is treated like devilry. Why? Hunting is, bottom line, a violent activity against another, non-consensual living being, and more often than not, is unnecessary for the hunter's survival (I know one guy who gave it up because it is too expensive.) Smoking may be self-destructing, but at least I'm only harming my own lungs by my own choice.

Our jails are overcrowded as it is. I say leave room for the real criminals to be put away, and leave the pot smokers alone. Ir would also free up jail space if people weren't put in jail for selling it to willing customers, too. (Though I will admit that possession charges usually don't end up in a jail term any more. One can do community service and pay a fine, and, on first offence, one can even do community service and have the charge stay off their record. I know this from personal experience.)

We need sense and rationality in our laws, not outdated religious-based rules about what a person can do himself.

Posted by: Darwinian Outcast | 2008-10-11 7:46:08 PM

Well, then, Darwin, let me clue you.

1. You fall into the common trap that ensnares many radicals—that everyone who disagrees with you, and conservatives in particular, do so out of a religious motivation. But Scriptures and the Church are silent on the issue of marijuana, despite the fact that, as its supporters so gleefully point out, it is older than either. And frankly, I doubt that people who are willing to feed organized crime to get stoned are going to suddenly straighten out and listen to a law that says “smoke dope at home only.”

2. If pot were legal, it would take away the legal market? Ignoring that clanger for a minute, let me get this straight—we can’t control the marijuana market with laws, but we CAN control it with taxes and regulations? Is that really what they believe on the planet you’re from?

3. Spare me the litany. You’re just pissed because society rejects your habit and you’re feeling left out. Next you’ll be talking like Chris and saying we should outlaw Javex.

4. Yes, because kids always eventually get what they want. Safes, fences, Dobermann pinschers and machine guns are all inadequate to hold the North American teenager at bay, who can tunnel underneath moats, scale straight walls of polished glass, and make themselves invisible at will. Wake up, Darwin. Fighting pot is like fighting crime. We’ll never eradicate it, but we can minimize it. If we dismantled every institution on the basis that it was not perfect, we’d have none left. Anarchy.

5. Why can’t I toke, toke, toke? Why won’t society accept me as I am? Why can’t I have everything I want, when I want it, and damn the consequences? Why, why, why, why, why? Well, I’ll tell you, Darwin. The reason the drive to legalize pot has not succeeded is because it is being run by potheads.

6. You’d better not eat meat, then. I’ve got news for you—contracting your killing out, which is what you do whenever you buy meat from a farmer, a butcher, or a supermarket, is NOT morally superior to doing the job yourself. If anything, the reverse is true. You’re paying an “untouchable” to do the icky part so you don’t have to get your oh-so-civilized hands dirty. Know what the number one cause of death among game animals is? Starvation. Me, I’d rather be shot at an unannounced time than face that.

7. You ARE a real criminal, Darwin. Which is why you have a REAL criminal record, if what you say is true.

8. See 1.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-10-11 8:21:57 PM

1. I really can't see any reason for telling people they can't imbibe in a substance besides religious proclivity. Except maybe a drive to control people for the sake of controlling them.

2. Legalize it, and take it out of the hands of "organized crime" (save maybe the criminals in government.) And most people who grow and sell pot in Canada, at least, are not "organized criminals", to begin with. No ties to the Hell's Angels, Mafia, or what have you. As for being willing to contribute to organized crime, if one wants something, one simply may not care where it comes from. Do you look into where, say, coffee comes from?

As for where to smoke it, most places in Canada have strict rules on where one can drink or smoke tobacco. Did you know that some places even ban tobacco smoking in private cars if someone under 16 (or is it 18?) are in the car? And smokers tend to follow these rules, no matter how draconian they are - so long as they can still get their tobacco from a retailer. Ban tobacco completely, then they will get it from the same type of people who sell pot - because they want it, and don't see why anyone should stop them getting it.

3. Controlling a substance with taxes and regulation worked with booze after Prohibition, didn't it? You'll never take away the market for ANY substance by banning or legalizing it. Best thing to do is recognize that there IS a market, and put it into the marketplace like any other substance. Neither prohibition nor legalization changed the market for liquor, but it did change who profited from it.

4. Fighting pot is like fighting crime. Well, why fight pot? What's the point in it? Because you don't like it?

5. So what if the drive to legalize pot is run by potheads? Who headed the drive to relegalize booze but drinkers? Who else will champion it? Someone who doesn't smoke it doesn't care, any more than someone who doesn't drink doesn't care if booze is illegal.

6. If starvation is so bad, maybe we should send the hunters to shoot all those starving Africans we see all over the TV? Would be more humane, would it?

7. Laws against pot are arbitrary, and have no basis in reason. If pot was legal, then a pot smoker would not be a criminal. QED.

Posted by: Darwinian Outcast | 2008-10-11 10:17:37 PM

Well said Darwinian Outcast.

The reason it is still on the books and strictly enforced is not the stated reasons of concern for the welfare of the citizens but to denigrate and oppress with state tyranny those who don't like to follow the moronic rules; the intelligent free thinkers. The ranks of pot smokers are inhabited by lefties, and upstarts who rebel at such obvious idiocy. These people are denigrated and sidelined in their political expression because pot smoking makes you a criminal. It's nothing but the right of society oppressing the left legally.

Well, no more for me! See my stand and here my podcasts and stories. I am proud to be a pot smoker and assert the politics that I have. I openly challenge the Institutionalized Idiocy until the government repeals these laws which are killing more of our citizens daily than Afghanistan by far, especially the youth.

Listen to "Drug Deal gone Bad" and understand why I came up with Institutionalized Idiocy and then stuck my head into a police car to offer Cannabis for sale. I am determined to make our playgrounds safe for all children again.

Try out an Email can change the world to find out just how stupid pot smokers are compared to the highest ministers of the land.

Posted by: budoracle | 2008-10-11 11:49:12 PM

"It's nothing but the right of society oppressing the left legally."
~budoracle | 11-Oct-08 11:49:12 PM

Marijuana was made illegal in Canada and the U.S. buy the Liberals and the Democrats in the early 20th Century.
Check your history.

The cops will serve ANY political master as long as that master will let the dogs slip the leash.

Posted by: Speller | 2008-10-12 12:16:35 AM

Speller are you ever myopic. Those guys were ultra right wing compared to todays right. It's like the theory of relativity, it's all relative and isn't defined by political labels, especially with a century of interlude to muddy the whole cultural differences between then and now.

Take for instance our Liberal Party the rules in BC is not anywhere near being liberal.

You really must broaden your focus or all you will ever see is the trees, never the forest.

Will you agree that today's pot smokers are to the left of both the liberals, the conservatives and mostly of the NDP as well?

And those are the mainstream parties, none of which espouse my version of being liberal, because they are all to the right of it.

Did you notice how they fought to exclude Elizabeth May? She is the closest of the "mainstream" parties to my point of view. And even though she has no clout compared to them the tried to oppress her and she represented me.

Can you get that through your thick contentious indoctrinated skull? IT'S ALL RELATIVE !

Posted by: budoracle | 2008-10-12 12:42:55 AM

They were Leftists.
They had the same philosophical views as Hitler, Eugenics, but not the same opportunity to wield unfettered power in the pursuit of their agendas.

Posted by: Speller | 2008-10-12 1:08:45 AM

You are a revisionist. Why not live in today's world, that's where I live and where I am being oppressed by morons like you!

Get into your own dull life and live it fully, you friggen idiots.

Posted by: budoracle | 2008-10-12 8:02:45 AM

The only way we will get the laws change, is if we all stand up together and fight for the same thing that why I am asking for everyone to sign my petition thanks

Posted by: Peter Richardson | 2009-05-03 2:46:36 PM

Uh, signing that petition means putting one's name and address on it. That's not something I'd give to the state.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-05-03 3:16:37 PM

Pete, maybe you haven't noticed, but this thread is six months old.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-03 3:40:09 PM

Can we sit down now?
my feet are sore--

Posted by: 419 | 2009-05-03 3:59:13 PM

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