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Monday, January 05, 2009

Marc Emery and the Liberty 100

The Liberty 100 is the Western Standard's list of the 100 Canadian friends of liberty who have made significant contributions to individual liberty (both personal and economic) in 2008 (Top 10, Top 25, Top 50, Top 75, Top 100). The list was selected by our publisher, Matthew Johnston, who has intimate and wide-ranging knowledge of, and familiarity with, the Canadian liberty movement.

Given that this is the first installation of an annual list, Matthew decided to also include those liberty activists whose lifetime contribution to the liberty movement deserved recognition and credit, regardless of their activities in 2008 alone.

The most controversial selection on the list appears to be that of Cannabis Culture publisher and Western Standard columnist Marc Emery. In the comment sections of the list (here and here), several people complained that Emery shouldn't be on the list. Kathy Shaidle (65 on the list) expressed, uhm, grumpiness at the selection. And in emails that both Matthew and I have received, people were unhappy at the inclusion of Emery.

Maybe these responses are a result of some confusion. The list is reserved for those who are struggling for individual liberty, in a political context. Since this is the goal, it is hardly surprising that the list features libertarians more than it features conservatives, liberals, or adherents of other political philosophies. 

Libertarianism, after all, is synonymous with the struggle for greater individual liberty in personal and economic matters against the intrusive power of the state.

Conservatives, generally and according to the stereotype, want to increase economic liberty, while maintaining government control over personal matters. That is, conservatives are pro-liberty when it comes to economic matters, but anti-liberty when it comes to personal, cultural, or social matters.

The reverse, meanwhile, is true, generally and according to the stereotype, of liberals -- more personal, social, and cultural liberty, and opposition to economic liberty.

For this reason, some call libertarianism an amalgam of fiscal conservatism and social liberalism. But the standard really should be liberty, and we should call fiscal conservatives economic libertarians, and social liberals something like civil libertarians. It's political liberty that is at stake when it comes to these labels, so why not make liberty the noun to be modified?

So given that the list is a liberty list, I'm having trouble identifying why anyone would be opposed to the inclusion of Marc Emery who, without any doubt, is the most significant advocate of individual liberty when it comes to marijuana. It is a violation of individual liberty to have the state dictate to us what we can and cannot put into our own bodies, just as surely as it is a violation of individual liberty to have the state dictate to us what we can and cannot read or say.

We might not want people to read or say certain things, and we might not want people to smoke, eat, or inject something or other, but it really is a violation of their individual liberty for us to make use of the coercive power of the state to enact our vision of how people should live their lives. Ensuring that people are nice, kind, decent and virtuous, that they not harm themselves, that they exercise regularly, that they read Shakespeare and avoid Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five or the writings of Oscar Wilde, that they eat their vegetables and not munch on hash brownies (or pot brownies, or whatever they're called -- I mean brownies with a bunch of marijuana in them), and so on, is, according to the individual liberty, or libertarian, perspective, the proper function of parents (in properly rearing their children), in civil, voluntary institutions like the church (in instilling certain virtues, and providing a community for fellowship and fellow aid), in voluntary market responses (like boycotts and public relations campaigns to make less profitable those businesses we disapprove of), and so on. It is decidedly not consistent with individual liberty to have agents of the state show up to shut up those people whose writings we don't like, to impose a daily eating and exercise regimen, or to imprison those adults who decide to smoke pot or sell it to consenting others.

If you think Emery should be imprisoned for selling marijuana seeds, if you think people who smoke pot should be jailed, then you are an opponent of individual liberty when it comes to marijuana. That's too bad, as far as I'm concerned, but so be it. Just don't call yourself an advocate of liberty when it comes to pot. Call yourself what you are -- an advocate of the state dictating to adults what they can and cannot smoke.

Some of the more clever advocates of state intrusion insist that they want the state to intrude for the sake of greater autonomy. The more nuanced advocates of jailing pot smokers claim that greater autonomy in this sense means greater liberty. After all, doing drugs alters your mood, your appetite, and alters your preferences and desires not through rational deliberation and rational endorsement, but through chemical means. And, at least when it comes to illicit drugs, many think this undermines our ability to create and act on plans and projects of our own choosing. Put differently, we might no longer identify with our plans and projects because of our use of certain drugs.

Of course, I don't believe that marijuana is fairly lumped in with heroin or cocaine when it comes to this position. Empirical literature and studies appear to demonstrate that marijuana does not have the effects that opponents claim it does, that it is not a gateway drug, that it does not diminish autonomy to anything like the levels that would warrant state action if we thought that undermining our own autonomy was both something to be opposed and something that it is right for the state to interfere with. (That both are necessary is crucial and often overlooked. I call it the "ought-state gap." We need to be clear that advocates of state action need to show not only that something is bad and ought to be opposed, they also have the burden of demonstrating that the state is the right kind of institution to effectively oppose whatever we don't like. Everyone agrees that, say, you breaking a promise to come see a movie with me on Tuesday for no good reason is wrong, but we hardly think that I should therefore call my local police department. We also agree that adultery is wrong, but very few think this warrants state action.)

More to the point, the diminution of autonomy through drug use is, while worrisome, not a matter of specifically political liberty. Political liberty is the freedom we have as against the state. It is the room we have to mind our own affairs without the intrusion of state actors. It is not the freedom we have simpliciter, or the effective autonomy we have in our daily lives.

There are, obviously, nuances that I'm not covering. I'm not, for example, explaining why children should be treated differently from adults, or giving an account of "harm to others" that explains the difference between the kinds of harms (theft, violence, etc.) that warrant state interference consistent with political liberty, and the kinds of harms (you making me unhappy and sad at your use of heroin, which most certainly counts as a "harm") that do not. So there is still much left to be said.

Nevertheless, it should at least be, I hope, clear why Emery deserves to be on this list, and why he deserves to be near the top of it. No one has done more for individual liberty when it comes to marijuana. No one. And not just in Canada, but in the world. Marc Emery just is the world's most prominent, most tireless, and most significant activist in defense of the freedom of adults to enjoy marijuana as they'd like, without the state crashing through their doors, destroying their lives, tearing apart their families, and otherwise doing what really is utterly despicable and revolting.

While we might not want people to do drugs, the state-run war on drugs is, really, a war on individual liberty. Since Emery is vociferous in his opposition to it, he is a defender of individual liberty. That's why he's made the Western Standard's Liberty 100 list this year in such a prominent position. And that's why he'll probably continue to be on it year after year after year. And a good thing too.

Posted by P.M. Jaworski on January 5, 2009 in Libertarianism, Marc Emery | Permalink

Comments

Bravo!

Posted by: Mahara | 2009-01-05 3:27:42 PM


There are two types of people who support the "war on some drugs."

They are:
1. The uninformed, and
2. The just plain stupid.

Posted by: Dan Givens | 2009-01-05 3:40:24 PM


Splendid post, Jaws.

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2009-01-05 3:44:18 PM


So is the Prince of Pot your number one
Canadian Liberty hero or what?
-I have five bucks on this

Posted by: 419 | 2009-01-05 3:54:02 PM


I wasn't a fan of Marc Emery,after reading your explanation on Libertarianism,I agree he has done more for the freedom of adults to use the medicine of their choice (cannabis)then anyone else,he gets my vote,as I am one of those people denied the use of my medicine for a long time.

Posted by: tony adams | 2009-01-05 3:59:19 PM


419: I haven't thought about it as much as Matthew has, but I would probably put Emery at number 2 or 3. I do think that the war on drugs is, currently, the absolute worst policy, but I have a hard time thinking that anyone could beat out Mike Walker for the top spot. I agree with Matthew's top three selections.

I'm just glad I didn't have to rank anybody.

So: this probably means you lost $5, yeah? Sorry about that, 419.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2009-01-05 7:38:36 PM


ya thats $5 ( $3.95 US ) I will have to kiss goodbye.. owie !

However, we still have the bigger betting pool in progress, thin odds for your hero-in-a-jar-

** outcome of the the extradition trial
** handover date to the Americans,
** the US three charge trial
** length of prison sentence
** release date of the Princes'
exhaustive Autobiography

There will be lots of opportunities for the Wipehead Community to part with their grow opp money backing this lame bunt for stoner elete triumph during the coming year...

and don't you know it...
sorry about that honourable Editor


Posted by: 419 | 2009-01-05 9:40:08 PM


if you think people should go to jail for using or growing marijuana then you are a scumbag or a moron.

if you accept that the government has the right to tell us what to do with our own bodies, then you must accept their ownership. That means the government owns you - like a pet, or a slave, or cattle - and that we have only the rights that they grant. If you accept that, then maybe you deserve to have no rights at all.

Posted by: Russell Barth | 2009-01-06 4:36:16 AM


If the criteria for being listed in the Liberty 100 list is a devotion to the liberterian ideals of individual liberty and freedom, then how does Marc Emery's platform for his BC Marijuana party advocating that marijuana be " taxed, regulated, "
(source: http://bcmarijuanaparty.com/v2/node/33)

I contend that Emery's inclusion in the list makes the Liberty 100 a farce.

Posted by: spanky | 2009-01-06 6:06:42 AM


Russell: people haven't been going to jail for using marijuana in Canada for a long time (well, except for Marc Emery when he demanded he be arrested in front of the cop shop in Saskatchewan, the only place in the entire country he COULD get arrested, but only after a country-wide promotional tour culiminated with much fanfare of his arrival), then you're ignorant.

People are going to jail for growing it, but that's only because it is criminalized, so criminals profit from producing it. If it were legalized, that wouldn't happen. When Marc Emery started the BC Marijuana Party, his personal opinioned differed from the leader he installed at the time, Brian Taylor. Taylor advocated that marijuana be "taxed and regulated" but said that "Marc only wants it legalized". At some point since then, however, Marc Emery changed his mind, as Brian Taylor is no longer part of the party, Marc is the leader, and the BC Marijuana Party's official website has a page outlining their current platform, claiming to be authored by Marc Emery himself (with the link provided above), in which he states that marijuana should be "taxed, regulated". So Marc is certainly much less of a libertarian today than he once was, and perhaps the Western Standard is simply out of touch.

Posted by: spanky | 2009-01-06 6:16:11 AM


If the criteria for inclusion in the Liberty 100 list is devotion toward libertarian ideals such as "individual freedom", then how does Marc Emery's mission statement at the BC Marijuana Party's website (http://bcmarijuanaparty.com/v2/node/33) that marijuana should be "taxed, regulated", figure in?

When Marc Emery started the BC Marijuana Party, his personal opinion differed from the leader he installed at the time, Brian Taylor. Taylor advocated that marijuana be "taxed and regulated" but said at that time that "Marc only wants it legalized". At some point since then, however, Marc Emery apparently changed his mind, because while Brian Taylor is no longer part of the party, and Marc is the undisputed leader, the BC Marijuana Party's official website has a page outlining their current platform, claiming to be authored by Marc Emery himself (with the link provided above), in which he states that marijuana should be "taxed, regulated". So Marc is certainly much less of a libertarian today than he once was, and perhaps the Western Standard is simply out of date?

Posted by: spanky | 2009-01-06 6:20:25 AM


oops sorry for all the reposts, I havent been here in a long time, I'm rusty. If you could delete all but the last one, that'd be great. Also, leave this one because I have one more point to make:

If Marc Emery gets elected on his BC Marijauna Party platform, and manages to get marijuana "taxed, regulated" in BC, I wonder what exactly he'd propose to do to people who fail to pay their marijuana taxes? Ultimately, throw them in jail like anyone else who steadfastly refuses to pay taxes? Yeah, his 'legalization' campaign sure looks like a shangrila of liberty... you people are pretty easy to dupe!

Posted by: spanky | 2009-01-06 6:42:56 AM


As Robert Metz told me today, Marc is deserving of being on the Liberty 100 even separate and apart from his work opposing marijuana prohibition. On his radio program ("Just Right", CHRW, London, Ontario, Thursdays 11-noon) Robert did a profile on Marc back in November of 2007. It's still available online:

http://www.freedomparty.org/justright/BROADCASTS-2007/20071101-justRIGHT-029-MARCemeryGoesToWASHINGTON.wma

(There are other "Just Right" broadcasts that discuss Marc. See: http://www.justrightmedia.org )

Marc, together with Robert Metz, founded Freedom Party of Ontario in 1984. Many of Marc's other efforts to advocate freedom, during his Freedom Party years, are documented in Freedom Party of Ontario's official newsletter, Freedom Flyer (see the pre-1993 issues, because Marc ceased to be associated with FPO 17 years ago):

http://www.freedomparty.on.ca/freedomflyer/toc.htm

Note that, while he was with Freedom Party, Marc didn't use marijuana prohibition as his means for advocating individual freedom. Indeed, if you listen to the radio broadcast linked above, I seem to recall that Robert mentions that, at the time, Marc was not even interested in smoking marijuana. Liberty, not marijuana per se, is what drives Marc. And, as Bob said to me today "If marijuana were legalized today, Marc would simply be advocating liberty with respect to some other issue tomorrow".

I've never met Marc face to face. I disagree with some of his strategy/tactics (e.g., encouraging people to vote NDP), and with some of his philosophy (he sometimes appears anti-state/anarchistic, and I regard anarchism to be inconsistent with individual freedom). However, Marc's activist actions speak louder than his politician words and, on the basis of the things he has done while with Freedom Party of Ontario (re: Sunday shopping, BIAs, government monopolies on garbage collection, government funding for sports/cultural events, etc.) and since (risking life imprisonment in an under-appreciated effort to have government repeal marijuana prohibition) I can think of no Canadian activist more deserving than Marc of being on the WesternStandard.ca's Liberty 100.

Regards,

#15.

Posted by: Paul McKeever | 2009-01-06 10:29:56 AM


Oops, pardon me: #16.

Posted by: Paul McKeever | 2009-01-06 10:35:29 AM


If you think Marc would advocate for any person on earth to do even 5 minutes in jail for anything to do with cannabis you are delusional. Marc is simply being realistic, and knows the only way to achieve our freedom to use cannabis is to make the non-using public to feel that it will benefit them. When cannabis is legal it will be easy to avoid paying taxes on your personal supply by growing it yourself.

Posted by: DrGreenthumb | 2009-01-06 10:43:44 AM


Russel barth doth wrote:


"...if you accept that the government has the right to tell us what to do with our own bodies, then you must accept their ownership. That means the government owns you - like a pet, or a slave, or cattle - and that we have only the rights that they grant. If you accept that, then maybe you deserve to have no rights at all...""

rough words from a federal Medical marijuana permit holder. You applied, of your own free will for that government permit, did you not Mr Barth? Therefore ...in effect... lining up to become a slave pet cattle of this same government you offer such vile contempt for ..

This thread is about Western Standards' champion of liberty top 100 Mr Barth, not tambourine practice for lesser heros of the drug war ..please try to stay awake til 4:20 and try again at which time maybe you could finally decide just how your fellow citizens who are not govt pot dole recipients are, as you put it so colourfully ...." Scumbags or Morons "

We have five bucks on whether you are able to do this or not

Posted by: 419 | 2009-01-06 12:40:16 PM


OK, let's review:

- Marijuana is currently not regulated

- Marc Emery wants the government to get into the marijuana regulation and taxation business

Are you sure you people know what the word 'libertarian' means? Seriously, I think it might be time to consult a dictionary.

Posted by: spanky | 2009-01-07 2:05:35 AM


Emery is not interested in anyone's liberty - he only wants to avoid jail for his crimes. Let him rot.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-01-07 2:56:02 AM


ZP - you have such a hard time remembering that Emery has said he is willing to go to prison for the cause (but does not want others to be pulled down with him) that I'm tempted to make stereotypical jokes about your excessive use of some memory-affecting substance.

Posted by: Janet | 2009-01-07 6:52:46 AM


PM, far too much of your argument rests on assumptions and standards you've dictated for yourself. It is heavily larded with phrases like "liberty when it comes to X," "Marc Emery just is," "I don't believe," and so on. These provisos don't strengthen your argument; they weaken it. They make it sound essentially self-serving and like you're trying to weasel around the truth. Knowing you as I do, I doubt that's the case, but that is the aftertaste your rhetoric leaves.

Marc Emery is not about individual liberty in general, even if he makes that part of his spiel. He focuses like a laser on the one issue that matters most to him, then wraps it in the flag of liberty to provide it with legitimacy. His every word and deed smacks of egocentrism, self-promotion, and narcissism. He is not a martyred saint or a long-suffering holy man, like Gandhi. He's more like Kevorkian, Morgantaler, or Freeman--a tireless self-promoter with both a Messiah complex and a product to sell.

If marijuana use were the most important personal liberty issue of the day, AND Marc Emery had restricted himself to advocacy only, you might have a shot at raising him to the pedestal of which you deem him so conspicuously worthy. But it isn't--there are far more serious threats to our liberty today, even to free speech itself--and Emery, not content to protest or to publish, stooped to drug smuggling.

Sorry, JC, but your saint is a sinner. The fact that he has less survival sense than a rabid lemming doesn't make any difference.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-01-07 7:36:21 AM


Barth wrote: “if you think people should go to jail for using or growing marijuana then you are a scumbag or a moron.”

Gee. I wonder what thinking that growers and pushers, if not users, should be debrained with a revolver makes me?

Barth wrote: “if you accept that the government has the right to tell us what to do with our own bodies, then you must accept their ownership.”

ANY law tells you what you can’t do with your own body, Barth. You can’t use it to commit murder, you can’t use it to commit theft, you can’t use it to commit arson, and so on. I’d tell you to think about it, but marijuana has been shown to affect higher brain functions, so there would be little point.

Barth wrote: “That means the government owns you - like a pet, or a slave, or cattle - and that we have only the rights that they grant. If you accept that, then maybe you deserve to have no rights at all.”

By definition, we have only the rights government gives us, Barth. The only enforceable rights are legal ones and these derive from the legal authorities. The difference is that in this country we choose the government, and therefore indirectly our rights. We own the government, not they us.

P.S. Don’t use the word “maybe.” It makes you sound like a petulant child.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-01-07 7:44:07 AM


Spanky wrote: “1. People are going to jail for growing it, but that's only because it is criminalized, so criminals profit from producing it. If it were legalized, that wouldn't happen.”

Firearms, tobacco, and alcohol are all legal products, Spanky. Criminals are involved in smuggling all of them. Did you know that in many American states it is perfectly legal to own a fully automatic weapon?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-01-07 7:49:20 AM


"Marc is simply being realistic, and knows the only way to achieve our freedom to use cannabis is to make the non-using public to feel that it will benefit them."

It will take a lot to make up for that skunkish reek, granted.

"When cannabis is legal it will be easy to avoid paying taxes on your personal supply by growing it yourself."

Unless the raw materials and hydroponics equipment are taxed as well, Dr. Greenthumb.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-01-07 7:53:11 AM


"ZP, you have such a hard time remembering that Emery has said he is willing to go to prison for the cause."

Well, Janet, if Marc Emery says it, it must be true, because activists and politicians never lie.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-01-07 7:55:44 AM


P.S. If he's willing to go to prison, why is he fighting it every step of the way? Those other two volunteered; they knew the risks.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-01-07 8:24:59 AM


.. and now back to the further adventures of Canadian Liberty- starring Marc Emery. the Prince of Darkness- I mean POT- brought to you by the WESTERN STANDARD..where award winning journalists give awards to uh,, uh,, well, well uh..you know.. uh.. cool people they have over to the house

Posted by: 419 | 2009-01-07 10:29:15 AM


Let's hope that Emery gets what he deserves in prison.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-01-07 1:08:23 PM


Shane - I always appreciate your efforts at engaging the argument. However, I am constantly surprised by your inability to distinguish when I (or others) are *reporting* their beliefs, attitudes, and moral judgments, and when people are *arguing for* those beliefs, attitudes, and moral judgments. There's an important difference, especially when it comes to the burdens of argument.

When I say that I "have a hard time believing x," I am not also suggesting or saying that you, too, ought to have a hard time believing x. I am merely, in that instance, reporting what I have a hard time believing. This is important for simply *understanding* my position (the first step in actually engaging the core and central issues of an argument). In other cases, I provide reasons that, I hope, are genuine reasons not merely for me alone, but for everyone. In a case like that, I am challenging those who oppose my position to provide reasons to think otherwise, reasons that are not merely reasons for them, but reasons for everyone.

So your attack on my "rhetoric" is actually merely a category error -- you fail to distinguish reports from arguments; fail to distinguish my efforts to make understanding my position easier from my efforts at persuading others to agree with me.

But on to the substantive point you were making: I don't know how well you know Marc Emery. I don't know whether your entitled to your claims about Emery's purposes, interests, and intentions. I happen to have a lot of familiarity with Emery, and not merely his history (which everyone has access to), but also him, as a person. This is because I have, on several occasions, met with Emery face-to-face, spent a great deal of time with him (he stayed over at my parents' house on more than one occasion), and have spoken to him on many, many occasions over the telephone. For this reason, I think I have a better basis from which to judge his "real" intentions. It seems to me (although I could be wrong, since I really don't know how well you know Emery) that you do not have grounds to claim anything about his intentions, apart from what you read in newspapers, and apart from what you know about his reported history.

It is on this basis that I claim that Emery has a genuine, abiding, and sincere interest in individual liberty. Of course, if you read what Paul McKeever wrote above, you will also see that his history is as a consistent advocate of individual liberty, and not merely on the issue of marijuana. It is just that, at one point, Emery decided that he would focus his attention on marijuana, rather than other issues. If I may be permitted this analogy: It is much like a doctor deciding to focus her energies on, say, prostate cancer, rather than diseases in general. We do not say that the doctor takes no interest in the alleviation of other diseases apart from prostate cancer. Instead, we will be more likely to hit the truth about her genuine interests when we say something like: She has an abiding interest in the health of individuals, but feels that more will be gained if people specialized, and has decided to specialize in prostate cancer. I think Emery is the same way (mutatis mutandis).

But I also think that judgments about Emery's character are irrelevant to the issue. Whether or not Emery doesn't care about individual liberty tells us nothing about whether or not, in fact, he is promoting individual liberty. A politician who decides to eliminate property taxes has still advanced liberty *even if* she 1) does not give a damn about liberty, and 2) is only motivated by a desire to get re-elected *and nothing else*. Thus, Emery's "actual" or "genuine" interests are a side show, yet another red herring to distract us away from the central point. Whether or not we think Emery is personally laudable is separate from whether or not Emery has fought for liberty.

That's it for now.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2009-01-07 2:17:59 PM


"Unless the raw materials and hydroponics equipment are taxed as well, Dr. Greenthumb"

They already are taxed, they are the same supplies that one would use to grow orchids indoors.

When weed is legal though it will mostly be grown outdoors, or in greenhouses so that free sunlight can be used instead of expensive hydroelectricity. kind of hard to tax sunlight, rain, and mud.

What "raw materials" do you think are needed to grow plants anyway? 2 or 3 seeds is plenty enough to get yourself going. Cannabis is no harder to grow than tomatoes.

Posted by: DrGreenthumb | 2009-01-07 8:07:49 PM


It's hard to grow pot when you're in jail.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-01-07 8:16:38 PM


"...It's hard to grow pot when you're in jail..."

very true

as of January 01, 2009 the Canadian Provincial Courts are handing out loooong jail sentences, several months to a year or two for convicted for profit pot growers- even just a few dozen plants in the basement and its curtains...the courts must now consider as an " agrivating factor" if the accused is an annoying pro pot agitator activist and / or a repeat drug offender.

So when exactly will weed be legal did you say?

Posted by: 419 | 2009-01-07 9:58:20 PM


You'll have to point me to something that demonstrates that being a pro-pot activist is an aggravating factor, because I don't believe it. Agitating for changes to the law is not illegal in Canada, yet. And it has nothing to do with whether or not someone did something illegal that they are agitating to change those laws.

Also, the laws will change soon, 419. Soon.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2009-01-07 10:03:37 PM


Honourable Mr. Jaworski :

If you know Marc Emery so well,
why did he sell a three cent cannabis seed for $25 ?

Posted by: 419 | 2009-01-07 10:06:53 PM


Sorry for the overly long enclosed press story, but I guess, Honourable Mr Jaworski you need more than a hint that the 420 miracle is just not happening.
You need a court document and here it is

Maybe read the news, not your own press releases

"...You'll have to point me to something that demonstrates that being a pro-pot activist is an aggravating factor, because I don't believe it..."

I really should have suckered you into a ten dollar bet, but I feel sorry for you for some reason.. although I know you are honourable when it comes to paying up...
so keep your money and give it up to the new reality show...

" Justice Minister Intervention "

Lights, action, camera-- Roll 'em--

article below appears, today- taken directly from
the epicentre of Canadian Wipeheadism -
the website of your mystic pen pal
...... the Prince of Pot--
- Marc Emery himself
Western Standards Top Ten Champion of Liberty
& internationally acclaimed money launderer
and marijuana producer felony 500 superstar...

that should suffice as a reliable source
even for a Libertarian stoner apologist--: )

scroll down to the double ***
***
****************************************************************

by Laura MacInnis, (07 Jan 2009)
Miramichi Leader New Brunswick

MIRAMICHI - The woman who was caught growing what she described as a "compassionate marijuana grow op" in her home in Bay du Vin will be going to jail in spite of telling the court she was attempting to help people who were sick and not to make money.

Eva Marie Duplessie, 45, flew back to Miramichi from her home in Toronto to hear her sentence on Monday, and found out she wouldn't be flying home soon.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Jean-Paul Ouellette sentenced her to 12 months in jail for the operation, which was uncovered in 2007.

During the investigation, officers uncovered 213 plants growing in her home, along with highly elaborate equipment including lighting and timers. In total 24 pounds of harvested marijuana bud was seized from the home.

Standing to hear the decision, Duplessie did not cry but grew stone-faced, staring straight ahead.

It was significantly less time than the Crown asked for at the sentence hearing a month ago. While the Crown prosecutor submitted the request for a harsher punishment of 18 months to two years, Ouellette was satisfied a year was appropriate for a first time offender who was far from a commercial grower.

Nor did he agree to the house arrest sentence as pursued by defense lawyer Geri Mahoney, who said this drug production was different from anything the Miramichi was used to seeing. She submitted it did not resemble the highly profitable tactics of those caught in Operation Jackpot in 2005. Duplessie testified at the sentence hearing she took a loss on production because she wanted to help those who were ill.

But in his decision Ouellette said it was not his job to assess the ethics of her crime.

"This court does not decide the rightfulness of the offense."

He noted the large amounts of marijuana seized from her home and her attitude toward the drug as part of the reason for the jail time.

"This was clearly to feed her own addiction, but she felt morally justified," said Ouellette. "The offender does not intend to seek help."
*****************************************************************
As an aggravating factor he listed her presence in the drug culture and online network involved in aims to legalize marijuana.
*****************************************************************

"This was not one of impulse or a momentary lapse of judgment," he said.

Ouellette said his decision also arose from the exposure of marijuana production to the teenagers living in the house. Her daughter lived with her in the home when she was producing marijuana and though she said her daughter never saw it, she admitted she knew what was going on. As well, Duplessie had recently taken over the care of another teenage girl who was the daughter of a family friend.

After she is released, Duplessie will serve a two-year supervised probation. During this time she is to undergo assessment and treatment for drug abuse as well as a mental health assessment. She will not be allowed to use or be in possession of alcohol or illegal drugs.

Duplessie will also pay a $100 victim surcharge and will be prohibited from the use or ownership of a firearm for 10 years.

The items seized from her home found to be products relating to the growing operation will be destroyed.

As the court cleared out Duplessie spoke briefly to her lawyer and asked to if she could call her daughter as she was taken back into the holding cell by a court sheriff.

*****************************************************************

Complete and unabridged
God Save the Queen

Posted by: 419 | 2009-01-07 10:38:18 PM


To make money, 419.

Unless, of course, you're opposed to people making money.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2009-01-07 10:55:32 PM


Yo Mr J-

you asked for documentation that the courts consider pot activism an aggravating factor in sentencing for drug trafficking - and you done gotted it delivered up real good.

You are welcome for the splendid and fresh research.
.
"...To make money 419 Unless, of course, you're opposed to people making money..."

ahh that bumper sticker-" love of money is the root of all evil "

maybe take that up special concern with Ottawa, while you can and hurry- the 420 Honour Guard is going down fast
--- we are sure your point " to make money" will will help rush the day of atonement where pot is legal and clear the way for Rt Hon Marc Scott Emery as our Federal Minister of Freedom..

Till then, - and only til then...
have a nice day,
& may there be many, many nice days

Posted by: 419 | 2009-01-07 11:24:20 PM


PM,

1. I’ve found that reporting and arguing for beliefs generally go hand in hand. One is a logical extension of the other. In any case, beliefs are of no importance to anyone but the person holding them. Others don’t care what you believe; they only care what you can prove. And if you can prove something, it’s no longer belief. It’s knowledge.

2. Separating the factual wheat from the chaff is more of an art than a science, it’s true. A strong head for logic as well as an innate sense of balance, justice, proportionality, and freedom from bias are required. Experience and wisdom also help, as does emotional maturity. That said, a reason is not genuine “for” anyone; it is either relevant or it is not. This bespeaks an essentially egocentric approach to reasoning wherein perception becomes the equal of reality. They’re not remotely equal.

3. It’s not a category error; it’s the truth. Your belief has no bearing on the ultimate truth or lack thereof of your base assertion: that Marc Emery represents the very finest of Canadian libertarianism, that the battle he fights is of the utmost importance for the survival of personal liberty. More important than freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of thought, freedom of association, and in the case of the unborn the freedom to live at all, is the freedom to…get stoned? You can’t be serious.

4. I don’t have to KNOW Marc Emery in order to recognize the patterns of his behavior. In fact, the more I knew him as a person, the less objective I could be. I merely compare his actions to those of others who have behaved similarly and on whom extensive psychological and professional profiles have been compiled. It doesn’t take any great genius to recognize that the man is a Grade-A narcissist. I suggest you read the biographies of Jack Kevorkian, Walter Freeman, and Henry Morgantaler. You’ll uncover some chilling parallels, several of which I’ve already outlined. The fact that you know Emery personally damages, not enhances, your credibility. You’re biased.

5. Marijuana is hardly a pressing rights concern for the majority of Canadians. There were many other nobler causes he could have embraced, although in truth there would have been few more lucrative.

To sum up: You have not made a case that Marc Emery’s work is more important to Canadian liberties than anyone else’s. You haven’t even compared him to anyone else; you’re choosing from a pool of one. Like I said—biased.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-01-08 12:10:59 AM


Dr. Greenthumb,
The equipment used in marijuana grow-ops is highly specialized and quite a lot is needed. Most gardeners who grow florists indoors don’t have to rip off other people’s electricity to stave off bankruptcy, nor do their houses turn into mouldering fungus huts. As for growing weed outdoors, don’t make me laugh. Weed requires at least eight hours of light a day and sixteen is best. You also can’t grow outdoors during the winter, and have less control over the conditions, meaning both quantity and quality of yield will be variable. Besides which, most city dwellers—who make up the majority of smokers—don’t have the land on which to grow anything.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-01-08 12:16:48 AM


PM wrote: "Unless, of course, you're opposed to people making money."

He opposes people making it by immoral and illegal means, as do I and, apparently, the judge. This is a pretty lame comeback from one whose arguments are normally much more fulsome, I must say.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-01-08 12:24:46 AM


That said, unless I'm missing something, I really don't see the need for the firearms prohibition. I don't recall seeing anything that suggested a tendency toward violence. Are they going to take away her silverware, too?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-01-08 12:26:14 AM


There's too much nonsense, bugaboo, and plain old (intentional?) misunderstanding of my response to you for it to be worth my while to try and explain, again, the difference between reporting and arguing, and the fundamental role of reporting in argument for the sake of *understanding* the position. Reporting a belief does not engage the same burden as presenting an argument does.

I never said that the freedom to smoke pot is more important than any other freedom. What I said was that Emery is a remarkable fighter for freedom, who happens to focus on marijuana. Shall I link to a wikipedia page on logic to demonstrate, irrefutably, your silly error, or do you see it now, yourself?

To make it plainer: Suppose that people who painted bright red pictures were thrown in prison for life. And suppose that Smith decided to fight this law for the sake of the freedom of people to pain bright red pictures. No one would suggest that this freedom is really all that important. But, given the consequences to painters, the expense of the war on red paintings, the real costs in terms of human tragedy, someone who fought for this freedom *in this context* might be seen as a significant fighter for liberty.

If separating the factual truth from the chaff is more art than science, then your entire argument is just a bunch of red herrings swimming around. Unless your sloppy analogy is sloppier still, and you don't mean by the distinction between "art" and "science" what we ordinarily mean by that distinction (namely, that the former is driven by aesthetic considerations, while the latter is driven by truth considerations).

What in the world is an "innate sense of balance"? Utterly meaningless. A "strong head" for logic? Also a sloppy metaphor. You probably mean "you need to be good at logic." But you're not so very good at it, Shane.

What I believe is relevant to understanding my position. But I said that already when I pointed out your category error. And then you attribute a bunch of beliefs to me that I did not, ever, say. In fact, you include a bunch of nonsense that I don't believe. And for someone who is as opposed to "rhetoric" as you like to think you are, this should be beneath you. Strangely, it's not.

Here's a second basic error you commit: Familiarity with someone may make you biased in their favour, but it also gives you a better basis from which to judge someone's actual intentions and other mental states. It's the latter, not the former, that was relevant to my comment about my knowing him. Try to put the right things in the right categories, Shane. And I agree that Emery is a narcissist, but I don't see why that's relevant to anything at all. In fact, I pointed out why Emery's intentions are, in fact, irrelevant to the issue, even if I do have reason to believe that his intentions are, really, to promote individual liberty. And his "pattern of behaviour" actually reenforces my opinion. Look up his history of activism in defense of liberty. Please.

I don't see what the relevance of point 5. is. Whether or not there are "more pressing" issues is beside the point. Yet another red herring. I think from now on I'll try to point out each and every red herring you toss out. There will probably be a school of them in your next response, if your past history of commenting is any indication. There are "more pressing" issues than prostate cancer too, Shane. Or, better, chin splints. But that doesn't mean that making wraps for chins is a worthless pursuit.

Uhm, 419's question was why Emery sold three cent seeds for $25. Obviously by implication, he was attacking the profit margin, and not the moral or immoral nature of the product being sold. If he had meant a moral objection, he would have phrased his question more like this: "tell me, Honourable Mr. Jaworski, why does Emery make money doing something immoral?" Basic economics teaches us that you charge as much as the market will bear. As is obvious, the market will bear a $25 price tag. If you don't like it, don't buy it. It's as simple as that. Unless, of course, you're in the clutches of some left-wing, anti-capitalist, anti-profit ideology. Then you can go ahead and bleat about "windfall profits" and other silly nonsense.

Address the issues without changing the subject, category errors, basic logical fallacies, imputing beliefs to me that I do not hold, and red herrings, and we'll get further ahead in this discussion.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2009-01-08 1:49:50 AM


Yo Mr J...

were you drinking alone in your office late last night?

Posted by: 419 | 2009-01-08 9:16:41 AM


PM wrote: “1. There’s too much nonsense…”

1. This is not a rebuttal. It’s an attempt to seize the moral and intellectual high ground by doing nothing more than looking down your nose. Presenting a belief does indeed not carry the same burden as presenting an argument, but if you present a belief as part of an argument, you had best be prepared to back it up.

2. You specifically said that Marc Emery deserved a spot in the top three or four, if not the number-one spot. That would suggest that of 100 freedom- and liberty-related issues in Canada, only three or four are more important than the freedom to get stoned. If he had restricted himself to advocacy and protest, you might have a case. But he became a drug smuggler and broke Canadian, American, and international laws. A white-collar criminal is still a criminal.

3. The device of the hypothetical situation is not an effective rebuttal, especially when the example cited is so far removed from reality that the reader cannot make any comparisons with it and actual, historical rights abuses. To say nothing of how a lack of red pictures would constitute a “human tragedy.” You stray farther than ever from the credible. Some advice, PM—don’t write when you’re stoned.

4. “More art than science” is a figure of speech, indicating that a given discipline requires skills and abilities that are not so easily quantified or described, but nonetheless real. Experience, wisdom, maturity, so-called “muscle memory,” common sense, and good instincts are examples of hard-to-define, yet enormously important attributes. Even intelligence is notoriously difficult to measure objectively, but few dispute its importance.

5. A sense of balance is a sense of proportionality, the ability to keep things in their proper context. This is important both to objectivity and justice, which are in fact synonymous terms. Logic serves balance, not balance logic. And you’re in no position to be criticizing another person’s logic if your idea of enlightenment is to get stoned or make a case that the right to get stoned constitutes one of the most poignant examples of the eternal struggle for liberty to define our times.

6. Again—it doesn’t matter what you believe. It only matters what you can prove. Your position is important only to you. I don’t want to understand your position. I want to know what you can demonstrate. And so far you’ve demonstrated only a rather egocentric mode of backwards rationalizing to justify a position you’ve already taken. You are skewing facts to suit theories, rather than theories to suit facts, and calling it liberty.

7. I’m sure Marc Emery has his reasons for doing what he does. However, the fact remains is that his behaviour falls into the same mould of several of recent history’s most notorious white-collar villains (listed above), and that this provides a more convincing and likely more accurate picture of his true self—and the ultimate ugliness of his vision should it ever come to fruition—then the fact that you know him better than I. (It’s not about you. Repeat.) Each of the abovenamed gentlemen had a very vocal cheering section in his heyday, but history will remember all as despicable and self-serving vultures who ascended the pedestal over the bodies of destroyed victims. If you wish to treat with such people, be my guest. Only your reputation can suffer for it.

8. No, the fact that there are more pressing issues is PRECISELY the point. Marc Emery is fighting a loser’s (if not necessarily losing) cause, with remarkably little success to show for it, and now that prison looms he’s popping up on every kind of blog conceivable spouting all kinds of nonsense that may prove of use to his prison psychiatrist but will not further his stated objective. He can show neither a noble cause nor good results, and has apparently resigned himself to enjoying the limelight while he still can. A candidate for the top three freedom fighters? Hardly.

9. And cheating your customers by selling at usurious prices (a safe label to apply to an 83,200% markup) is highly questionable morally. The fact that the market will bear it does not make it justifiable, as the existence of contract murder proves. Price gouging is also illegal in many jurisdictions, but then, so is drug smuggling.

In summation, P.M., you shouldn’t try to emulate my methods and try to pick apart arguments based on technicalities. Unlike you, I know what I’m doing, and it shows. Instead of trying to learn the tricks of the trade, I suggest you learn the trade. Debate consists of the coherent presentation of relevant facts and arguing for what conclusion ought to be derived from those facts and why. If you fail to do that, I’ll call you on it, and when I get something debate-worthy, I’ll debate that. Your attempt to drown me in buzzwords like “red herrings” and “category errors,” as well as suggesting that your acquaintanceship with Emery gives you some special insight that plebes like 419 and I just don’t have, comes off as positively amateurish in comparison.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-01-09 10:25:11 AM


Shane wrote: PM wrote: “1. There’s too much nonsense…”

1. This is not a rebuttal. It’s an attempt to seize the moral and intellectual high ground by doing nothing more than looking down your nose."

You're right, Shane, and part of the reason why I did it is because I am beginning to think that you either intentionally misunderstand my position so that you never have to say "oops, I made a mistake," or you really don't have a "good head for logic" and fail to see basic distinctions. Either one of the two make for a poor interlocutor.

"Presenting a belief does indeed not carry the same burden as presenting an argument, but if you present a belief as part of an argument, you had best be prepared to back it up."

I agree. But if the belief is a moral judgment, it may require much more than a paragraph or two, and I have other duties and work to do.

"2. You specifically said that Marc Emery deserved a spot in the top three or four, if not the number-one spot. That would suggest that of 100 freedom- and liberty-related issues in Canada, only three or four are more important than the freedom to get stoned."

That is obviously false. If you sincerely believe it, then you just don't understand. And if you are avoiding saying that you misunderstood something, then that, too, is poor form. The ranking is a ranking of individuals fighting for freedom, it is not a ranking of the freedoms. The end. Read again my analogy to medical staff working on something as minor as chin splints. No one would suggest that they think chin splints are a more important medical condition to work on than, say, cancer or Parkinson's.

"If he had restricted himself to advocacy and protest, you might have a case. But he became a drug smuggler and broke Canadian, American, and international laws. A white-collar criminal is still a criminal."

And that is why Emery deserves a higher place in the list. Being a "criminal" does not mean you've done something morally wrong.

"3. The device of the hypothetical situation is not an effective rebuttal, especially when the example cited is so far removed from reality that the reader cannot make any comparisons with it and actual, historical rights abuses. To say nothing of how a lack of red pictures would constitute a “human tragedy.” You stray farther than ever from the credible. Some advice, PM—don’t write when you’re stoned."

I don't smoke pot, Shane. I don't consume cannabis in any form whatsoever. Some advice, Shane, don't impute beliefs or activities to people you don't know anything about.

"5. A sense of balance is a sense of proportionality, the ability to keep things in their proper context. This is important both to objectivity and justice, which are in fact synonymous terms."

Objectivity and justice are not synonymous terms. Look them up.

"Logic serves balance, not balance logic."

No, logic is a formal method for drawing correct inferences. It has nothing to do with "balance" or "proportionality" or any other similar term.

"And you’re in no position to be criticizing another person’s logic if your idea of enlightenment is to get stoned or make a case that the right to get stoned constitutes one of the most poignant examples of the eternal struggle for liberty to define our times."

Oops, another category error. Logic *has nothing to do with the content of a belief, but with the formal method of drawing correct inference*. A "logical criticism" is a criticism of the formal features of an argument (that the premises do not lead to the conclusion), it has nothing to do with the substantive positions expressed in the premises. So even if I believed all that bugaboo about enlightenment being about getting stoned, or whatever other new belief you decide to impute to me, nothing at all would follow about whether or not I could lodge logical criticism.

But, separately, and only because you brought it up, I do not believe that the "freedom to get stoned" is a vital freedom. I believe that the freedom for an adult to determine what goes into their own body is a fundamental freedom. That includes drugs; but it is the *formal* freedom, rather than the particular things people can do with that freedom, that I defend.

Your intellectual dishonesty is showing. For example, I defend freedom of speech, while disavowing certain things that people can do with that freedom, including expressing racist or anti-semitic thoughts or beliefs. But, of course, the battle for freedom of speech is not a battle for racists to be able to say racist things. Just as the battle for your freedom to control your own body is not a battle for drug addicts to make use of drugs.

"6. Again—it doesn’t matter what you believe. It only matters what you can prove. Your position is important only to you. I don’t want to understand your position. I want to know what you can demonstrate. And so far you’ve demonstrated only a rather egocentric mode of backwards rationalizing to justify a position you’ve already taken. You are skewing facts to suit theories, rather than theories to suit facts, and calling it liberty."

I did none of those things. Please re-read my main post, plus my response to you.

"7. I’m sure Marc Emery has his reasons for doing what he does. However, the fact remains is that his behaviour falls into the same mould of several of recent history’s most notorious white-collar villains (listed above), and that this provides a more convincing and likely more accurate picture of his true self—and the ultimate ugliness of his vision should it ever come to fruition—then the fact that you know him better than I. (It’s not about you. Repeat.) Each of the abovenamed gentlemen had a very vocal cheering section in his heyday, but history will remember all as despicable and self-serving vultures who ascended the pedestal over the bodies of destroyed victims. If you wish to treat with such people, be my guest. Only your reputation can suffer for it."

Uhm, you're making it about me by imputing beliefs to me that I do not believe, and by claiming that I consume marijuana or some other illicit drug when, in fact, I do none of those things. If it isn't about me, then stop making it about me. Stop telling me that I believe things that I do not, and stop telling me that I do things that I do not.

"8. No, the fact that there are more pressing issues is PRECISELY the point. Marc Emery is fighting a loser’s (if not necessarily losing) cause, with remarkably little success to show for it, and now that prison looms he’s popping up on every kind of blog conceivable spouting all kinds of nonsense that may prove of use to his prison psychiatrist but will not further his stated objective. He can show neither a noble cause nor good results, and has apparently resigned himself to enjoying the limelight while he still can. A candidate for the top three freedom fighters? Hardly."

That's your opinion. With which I disagree. I don't know why you think that it's all right for you to spout your opinion without proving it, while denying me the right to do the same. If you think reporting beliefs and opinions is outside the bounds of argument, then I invite you to stop being a hypocrite.

"9. And cheating your customers by selling at usurious prices (a safe label to apply to an 83,200% markup) is highly questionable morally. The fact that the market will bear it does not make it justifiable, as the existence of contract murder proves. Price gouging is also illegal in many jurisdictions, but then, so is drug smuggling."

No, it is not. Charge whatever the market can bear for non-essential goods, like marijuana seeds. It's not water, Shane, that he's selling. There is nothing immoral about Prada or Gucci charging a 100,000% markup. "Price gouging" is leftist nonsense.

And contract murder is disanalagous. "What the market can bear" is a statement about the *price* of a good or service, not about the *status* of a good or service. It wasn't about the demand for a particular good or service (like marijuana or contract murder), but about the price of a good or service. The market is not a mechanism for determining the content of our moral judgments, it is a mechanism for determining the price of goods or services, whatever they happen to be.

There are two questions that you are running together here. For one, we might wonder what goods ought to be offered on the market and then, for two, we might wonder what the right or just price is for those goods. "What the market can bear" (or, put differently, what people are willing to spend on those goods), is a claim about the just price of goods or services, not about whether or not the good or service ought to be offered on the market. Clear?

"In summation, P.M., you shouldn’t try to emulate my methods and try to pick apart arguments based on technicalities. Unlike you, I know what I’m doing, and it shows."

So I should report my beliefs and opinions without proving them? Please, Shane, you don't have any formal training in logic or argument. You can't stick to your own rules. And the fact that you don't know what "logic" means is damning proof that you really don't know what you're doing.

"Instead of trying to learn the tricks of the trade, I suggest you learn the trade. Debate consists of the coherent presentation of relevant facts and arguing for what conclusion ought to be derived from those facts and why. If you fail to do that, I’ll call you on it, and when I get something debate-worthy, I’ll debate that. Your attempt to drown me in buzzwords like “red herrings” and “category errors,” as well as suggesting that your acquaintanceship with Emery gives you some special insight that plebes like 419 and I just don’t have, comes off as positively amateurish in comparison."

Ridiculous, all of the above. Just look up the words if you don't know them. It's not difficult. And stick to context: My familiarity with Emery gives me special insight into his intentions, beliefs, and purposes, nothing more. That's why I mentioned it.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2009-01-09 2:04:57 PM


PM wrote: “1. You're right, Shane, and part of the reason why I did it…”

1. Again, with what YOU think. You just can’t wrap your head around the fact that what one thinks does not matter, can you? You also haven’t mentioned the third possibility, that you simply expressed yourself poorly. As for your “not having time” to explain your beliefs, I suggest this: If you’re not prepared to defend it, don’t include it.

2. Never use the word “obviously” in an argument; it weakens your position terribly and makes you sound like an emoting milksop. And again with the “you don’t understand, you just don’t understand.” One usually associates such non-arguments with crappy artists, frustrated inventors, and overwrought teenagers. As for ranking the freedom fighter and not the freedom, can you really find no better example of such than a pathologically narcissistic drug smuggler? Are you seriously suggesting that his breaking the law entitles him to more respect than he would merit had he remained within it? I’m beginning to wonder at the company you keep.

3. If you read the sentence carefully, PM, you’ll notice I never actually said you smoked pot. You write like it, though.

4. I did. And one can’t exist without the other. It’s a bit of a literary stretch, granted, but you know exactly what is being said and would rather pick nits than deal with the underlying implication, and perhaps your own lack of objectivity. For the second time.

5. What logic is and what it serves are two different things. Logic can be made to serve many ends. Balance is the objective, logic is the tool.

6. And drawing a correct inference should be the cornerstone of any belief.

7., 8. The freedom of carte blanche over what goes into your body includes the right to get stoned. By definition you cannot separate the two, any more than the right of a woman to control her body makes abortion any the less murder by all standards save the political one. All that’s showing is your fondness for splitting hairs and sidestepping questions and responsibility.

9. No, I’m remarking on your admission that your decision to associate with a known criminal is unlikely to enhance your reputation, save in the eyes of other criminals and their sympathizers.

10. Usurious prices may make good business sense and may be legal, even ethical. That doesn’t make them morally defensible. Narcissists are not noted for their morality in any case. Nor criminals. The burden of proof lies with you, not I, and your argument seems to rest on little more than the fact that you know the man. As for contract murder being “disanalagous” (the correct spelling of which is “disanalogous” in those sources willing to call it a word at all), and “what the market will bear” dictating only price, not status, that’s your opinion. Illegal products and services are offered because there’s a market for them. Almost all criminal activity, by the way, is blatantly immoral, and you haven’t made much of a case for why drug laws ought to be an exception.

11. You do report your beliefs without proving them, PM, and above, you put this down to a lack of time. Moreover, you feel no obligation to prove them, seeming to think that it’s enough for you to simply say it. My point is that your zeal for nitpicking has a tendency to produce the most absurd suppositions and postulations, and if this is the product of “formal training” in argument, I’m glad I passed. Academic snottiness, either real or feigned, has not won a single argument in history. So save your chant of “Ridiculous! Ridiculous! An F, Mr. Matthews!” for the college kids.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-01-09 3:37:54 PM


P.S. Paragraph 9 should read, "No, I’m remarking on the fact that your association with a known criminal (by your own admission), is unlikely to enhance your reputation save in the eyes of other criminals and their sympathizers."

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-01-09 3:40:32 PM


Peter, I don't know why you bother here.

In the past, there may have been productive discussions with Shane on topics like Emery, but those days, if they ever existed, are gone. I (and a lot of other folks, from the looks of things - you seem to be the only one engaging him these days) figured out a while ago that there's no point in trying to reason with Shane - at least not via comments on this blog.

Here is the typical formula for any interaction with Shane on this blog:

-No matter how many relevant points you make on any subject he disagrees with, Shane will produce various fabricated flaws in your argument or some irrelevant tidbit that's supposed to change your mind.
-If you take the bait and address the fact that he's fabricated the flaws in the argument or that he's inadvertently committed a non sequitur, he'll dance around celebrating the fact that you're finding flaws in his argument and conclude that *your* argument must be baseless.
-You say something relevant,
-Shane repeats himself.
-You address what he said,
-he repeats himself again.
-Occasionally, someone like 419 will come along with some sort of comment on Shane's side,
-Shane will cheer for him,
-you'll respond,
-and Shane will repeat himself.

Sure, he might mix it up by throwing in insults, mistaken beliefs about the person he's debating or some indication of his grossly inflated opinion of himself, but there is no recognition of hypocrisy or personal fallibility on his part. Pointing either out doesn't help.

Any third party coming to this blog to read the comments with an open mind and without having previously formed opinions on marijuana prohibition or whatever else Shane has decided he's an expert on ought to see through his nonsense - you don't have to kill yourself making sure they do.

Posted by: Janet | 2009-01-09 3:41:15 PM


Dr. Greenthumb,
The equipment used in marijuana grow-ops is highly specialized and quite a lot is needed. Most gardeners who grow florists indoors don’t have to rip off other people’s electricity to stave off bankruptcy, nor do their houses turn into mouldering fungus huts. As for growing weed outdoors, don’t make me laugh. Weed requires at least eight hours of light a day and sixteen is best. You also can’t grow outdoors during the winter, and have less control over the conditions, meaning both quantity and quality of yield will be variable. Besides which, most city dwellers—who make up the majority of smokers—don’t have the land on which to grow anything.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-01-08 12:16:48 AM

Do you honestly think a guy calling himself DrGreenthumb has anything to learn about Cannabis growing necessities from a Cannabis ignorant doofus like yourself?

The equipment needed to grow good cannabis indoors is as follows. 1 high output light,I recomend 1000W Metal Halide with a sunmaster warm deluxe bulb. Some containers to hold a soil medium like pro-mix, some miracle gro, and some good water. Oh don't forget the seeds. Too bad we can't just order them from Marc Emery anymore, we have lost THAT freedom already.

The ideal lighting for cannabis is as follows. Cannabis needs no dark or rest period when in vegetative state so the longer the light period the faster it will grow. To flower cannabis and create buds(marajuana) light must be 12 hours or less per day.

Indoors this is achieved easily with a cheap timer like you use to plug in your block heater.

Outdoors you can control light cycle in a greenhouse by using tarps to block out sunlight when desired. It is also easy to find strains of cannabis that will finish naturally outdoors almost anywhere in the world. Outdoor plants have a MUCH higher yield than indoor plants so for one's personal annual use probably 15 plants in the garden with the corn and tomatoes would be plenty. It is only for stealth reasons that most cannabis is currently grown indoors.

Most city dwellers could grow themselves a years supply over the summer in planters on their balcony or in their flowerbeds. Cannabis is a flower.

A very small percentage of growers steal power, and they do it not to stave off bankrupcy they do it to avoid being ratted out by the power company for high consumption.

In the future you might think twice about spouting ignorance about pot growing methods in a thread about Marc Emery, and especially directed at a longtime pot grower who calls himself DrGreenthumb and obviously has a lot more knowledge about how things grow than you do.

Posted by: DrGreenthumb | 2009-01-09 3:52:47 PM


Good ventilation is all you need to prevent mould. Cannabis growing is no more likely to cause mould than growing anything else. Not really that hard to put a dehumidifier in the room, and the dryer the conditions in the grow room the more potent your cannabis flowers will be. The crystals that form on the leaves that contain the vast majority of THC are a defence mechanism of the plant to prevent the leaves from drying out in dry weather.

stop trying to use the harms caused by prohibition to justify MORE prohibition

No special equipment is needed to grow cannabis, it is a weed and only the federal government is too incompetant to even be able to grow a weed effectively.

Posted by: DrGreenthumb | 2009-01-09 4:00:16 PM


Greenthumb wrote: “1. Do you honestly think a guy calling himself DrGreenthumb has anything to learn about Cannabis growing necessities from a Cannabis ignorant doofus like yourself?”

1. And if you had called yourself “Horse Fucker,” should I then believe you actually do it with mares? Think about what you’re asking. Attitudes posing as screen names are as common on the Web as bits and bytes. Especially on sites concerning pot.

2. You haven’t mentioned the price of this shoestring grow-op, or the typical electrical bill, assuming you pay for your own juice. Oh, and that “freedom” has not existed since before you were likely even born, so cheese the liberty talk. You can’t lose what you never had.

3. Sixteen on an eight off per 24-hour period is advised until the plants take root and grow a few leaves. After this, during the “vegetative” phase, 18-24 is recommended. Light output must be cut to 12 or less for flowering, but the plants have to mature first. The more light you use, the more you pay—again, assuming you’re using your own juice. 24 kilowatt-hours a day adds up mighty fast, me bucko. And that’s just using one light.

4. But unless you’re willing to supplement that greenhouse with artificial lighting, you’re stuck with whatever the clouds (and the seasons) allow. Many strata councils do not allow flowerboxes or planters, and if your suite faces north you’re good and screwed. And “flower” is not a plant type. Virtually all plants bear flowers.

Honesty, why are most marijuana smokers and their sympathizers such petulant, anti-establishment trolls? Seriously, though, this is quite fascinating. If you'd care to forward your address so we can inspect your operation to make sure you're breaking the law properly? Oh, wait, I think I just answered my own question.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-01-09 4:14:10 PM



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