Well, Boys n girls, it seems that Justin Trudeau has admitted to having smoked some weed about 5 or 6 times in his life, the most recent being a few years ago as a sitting MP at a dinner party with friends as they passed a spliff around the table. The comments I’ve seen and heard on the radio, from pundits and from opinion writers seem to vary from, how refreshing to see an honest politician to he’s actually a human being to oh the horror! he broke the law! But, but what about the children?? Many diving for their fainting couches, clutching their pearls. What I love especially about the latter is the hypocrisy of many.
Lessee, we’ll start with ol’ Petey MacKay, newly minted Justice minister out of the starting gate:
On Thursday, MacKay issued a statement that said Trudeau’s admission he smoked weed while a Member of Parliament “demonstrates a profound lack of judgment,” and called the Liberal leader a “poor example for all Canadians, particularly young ones.”
It’s currently against the law to smoke dope. I think most Canadians expect that their Member of Parliament will obey the law,” MacKay said, acknowledging that the private lives of public figures are “increasingly under scrutiny.”
“But this admission of smoking marijuana, breaking the law, doing so knowingly while he was a Member of Parliament, the politics of this are such that there’s an element of hypocrisy of having voted on the record to increase penalties around the same time that he was lighting up. So his credibility is a little up in smoke.”
Oh dear! Whatever will we do? Let’s discuss Petey’s statement for a bit, shall we?
Smoking pot may well be against the law, but so is taking government aircraft, on the tax payers’ dime for your joy riding vacation, isn’t it Petey? My gawd, after all, you’re the justice minister, shouldn’t you lead by example? Refusing to take a breathalyzer is also against the law, now ain’t it, Petey Goldring? Or how about Bevie Oda’s doctoring a document way back when? Electoral fraud, Stevie? Senate Gate? Here in La Belle Province, some former mayors have been arrested by UPAC for a variety of corruption charges. Stevie has been caught breaking the laws hisself some time ago, along with some farmers. I could go on and on, but I actually have a life. My point is that while Justin Trudeau may have broken the law as a sitting MP, but he isn’t first and certainly won’t be the last. Let’s move on.
Speaking of hypocrisy, well, Petey MacKay, I wasn’t just talking about your search and rescue aircraft escapades. Let’s take a walk down Petey’s memory lane, shall we?
My, ain’t Petey adorable?
Three words, Petey, Pot! Kettle! Black! Not that I really care what ol’ Petey did in University. Many a youth have experimented at parties. Many others do too. That’s just my point. It also points out Petey is not well placed to be casting stones at Trudeau here.
Stevie Spiteful’s response, was of course, predictable. He practically admitted that new Trudeau attack ads are being written as I post this — that Trudeau’s supposed priority is to legalize pot and that he’s a pothead hisself. Can hardly wait.
I have another question for those commenters on the Bash Justin Trudeau over the head with a bong brigade from the Stevie Spiteful cheerleading squad. How come you so vehemently support Rob Ford who was allegedly caught smoking crack in a video and certainly photographed with drug dealers under police investigation? Yep, those comments saying either leave him alone as “he never did it” or ”so what, at least he’s not a socialist!” Another example of how anything goes if you’re a conservative? Or how about ol’ Fordzilla being nailed for driving infractions like talking on a cell or reading while driving? He broke the law there too. Why he’ll be a bad example for all! I might add that while driving infractions such as those of Fordzilla’s can have far more serious consequences to the public at large than Justin Trudeau passing a spliff amongst friends at the dinner table.
As for Petey MacKay’s statement about Trudeau having voted for more criminalization of marijuana posession with the Harpercons way back when, well, ok, perhaps there is something there. However, there are a few plausible explanations. For openers, Michael Ignatieff was leader of the Liberal Party back then. We all know that Iggy’s stance on marijuana was much like that of the Harpercons. Iggy had whipped his party to vote along party lines on much legislation and motions. It is likely that Iggy whipped them all into falling into line with his own marijuana views. When votes are whipped, I think we all know by now that how these politicians often vote on any given bill or motion may not necessarily represent their views.
Another possibility is that Trudeau back in those days really did believe that pot posession should be criminalized but changed his mind as years passed. Oh, wow! A politician who changes their stance on a given issue, like that has never ever happened before. A good example of this is how the NDP has also changed their stance on the pot issue time and again, they supported decriminalization under Jack Layton, with Libby Davies, then NDP house leader, going so far as to wanting to grant amnesty to over 600,000 people who were convicted of simple posession. In fact, the NDP was the first political party to promote decriminalization. Then, not that long ago, Thomas Mulcair came out against decriminalization shortly before he won the leadership of the NDP.
“No,” Mr. Mulcair said then. “I think that would be a mistake because the information that we have right now is that the marijuana that’s on the market is extremely potent and can actually cause mental illness.”
I never agreed with that statement, but that’s neither here nor there at this time.
Shortly after Mulcair won the leadership, he walked it back a tad.
“But be very clear that Thomas Mulcair does not believe that anyone should be going to jail for possession of just a small amount of pot. Criminalization is not the answer for any area of social policy.”
Now we have NDP justice critic, Francoise Boivin, coming out swinging.
“I’m sure there will be kids saying, ‘Hey if he does it, we can do it.’”
To be fair, Mme Boivin doesn’t have a problem with decriminalization, but she has a problem with sitting MPs breaking the law. Again, it’s not the first time and it won’t be the last time. Didn’t an NDP MP once get nailed for shoplifting? For that matter, does she seriously believe that no MP in her party has smoked pot during their tenure? Or committed any other infractions for that matter? Ok, Svend Robinson ended up taking a “medical leave” from his duties, but still, how many sitting politicians or their senior staffers at any level have broken the law and are still sitting?
Then there’s Stevie Spiteful, hisself, who hired Bruce Carson, a disgraced and disbarred attorney who served time for fraud.
Thomas Mulcair hisself broke the speed limit and didn’t stop for the RCMP when followed through the gates of Parliament Hill. Not that I thought that was a big deal–I agree with Elizabeth May back when she said on Power Play, it was pretty much as serious as “having a bad hair day”. That’s my point exactly –both Trudeau’s passing the spliff 3 years ago and Mulcair’s little speeding incident are no big deal, but neither should chastize the other.
Back to Mme Boivin’s statement about the children. She’s not the only one. I’ve seen other commenters diving for their fainting couches, “But…but…the children!” or asking whether Trudeau is ok with his own children smoking pot when they get older. I’d like to explore that a bit, boys n girls.
Well, as Trudeau has already pointed out, under the current restrictive marijuana laws, children can access pot far more easily than cigarettes and alcohol, which are legal. Hell, it’s even being sold in school yards, more often than not, by their own peers. As for Trudeau’s own children potentially experimenting with pot when they get older, well, even if pot remains a criminal act under the criminal code, like many other children, they’re going to at least try it anyway as they do with cigarettes and alcohol, and yes, sometimes even more serious drugs such as ecstasy, crystal meth, cocaine and yes, prescription drugs that are not their own. Children require education so they can make more informed choices for themselves, not paranoid grown ups who dive head first into their fainting couches.
Next, I think most of us agree that the prohibition of alcohol should not be brought back, but do not want their own children drinking. The same is likely for pot– most Canadians do support, at the very least, decriminalization, but won’t likely change their minds about whether or not they will allow their children to use it.
Will Justin Trudeau’s revelation hurt him in 2015? Many seem to be split on that. I will say no, for now, simply because I refuse to believe that most Canadian voters are that puritanical. If the polls are correct, most actually support decriminalization as mentioned above. If we want to nitpick about Justin Trudeau breaking the law and leading a bad example, well, we have seen politicians get elected and reelected once revealed they, themselves broke a law of some sort. After all, Tony Clement misappropriated 50 million dollars in funds ear marked for border security toward his own riding instead and not only won reelection, but Stevie promoted him to president of the treasury board, now what kind of example does that set, Stevie? Or how about Bevie Oda winning re-election after it was revealed she doctored documents. Those are just a few examples. We often hear people complain about politicians being liars. There are many commenters I’ve seen and heard that they find Trudeau’s admission refreshing.
Stephen Maher points out that Trudeau and the Liberal Party’s stance on marijuana is probably on the “right side of history”, as he points out that 2 states, Washington and Colorado have already legalized marijuana and Uruguay is about to do so. Also, I should add that marijuana has been legal in the Netherlands for some time–they even have establishments for that purpose. Portugal decriminalized all drugs with positive results.
Health experts in Portugal said Friday that Portugal’s decision 10 years ago to decriminalise drug use and treat addicts rather than punishing them is an experiment that has worked.
“There is no doubt that the phenomenon of addiction is in decline in Portugal,” said Joao Goulao, President of the Institute of Drugs and Drugs Addiction, a press conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the law.
The number of addicts considered “problematic” — those who repeatedly use “hard” drugs and intravenous users — had fallen by half since the early 1990s, when the figure was estimated at around 100,000 people, Goulao said.
Other factors had also played their part however, Goulao, a medical doctor added.
“This development can not only be attributed to decriminalisation but to a confluence of treatment and risk reduction policies.”
In fact, it is said that many treatment options used today in Portugal would not have been possible if drugs were criminalized.
Many of these innovative treatment procedures would not have emerged if addicts had continued to be arrested and locked up rather than treated by medical experts and psychologists. Currently 40,000 people in Portugal are being treated for drug abuse.
Have look at a comparison between the US’s lock ‘em up drug policies and the Netherlands’ legalization stance.
Another thing I should point out is that marijuana legalization – decriminalization is not a Justin Trudeau idea. This was decided in the last Liberal Party’s convention in 2012, long before Justin Trudeau even became leader of the Liberal party.
So, boys n girls, decriminalization / legalization of marijuana won’t create more users. The continuing useless war on marijuana does not inhibit usage. Whether or not marijuana is is decriminalized or legalized, I’m not going to start blazing up. Neither are many people I know. Like cigarettes and alcohol, it comes down to choice. As for our children, when it comes down to alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes and sex, it would be far better to educate and inform children about those items, rather than simply telling them it’s bad and punishing them.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s resident medical expert, has also changed his mind regarding marijuana and now supports at the very least, decriminalization. Boys n girls, please read Dr. Gupta’s article, it is a good read, pointing out how alcohol and cigarettes cause more harm than pot, and how pot is sometimes used for medical purposes where the usual pharmaceuticals have failed.
As for me and my views, well, as I’ve pointed out earlier, if marijuana does become decriminalized or legalized, I’m not going to start blazing up as I don’t like the after taste.
However, I have had 2 friends who were using marijuana for medicinal purposes. One, who had dystonia, actually had a permit to use it for her condition. She told me that before she started using occasionally, she was confined to a wheelchair 24/7. After she started on a few puffs a day, she was able to sometimes walk with the help of a cane. She also told me that she was in a lot less pain since she was allowed to use it. Another friend had breast cancer. She found that marijuana helped with pain and helped her gain an apetite so she can gain strength. While it does nothing for me, there is plenty of evidence to support marijuana’s medicinal values.
I support legalization as well as taxation and regulation of the product because as it is now, money is going into the hands of criminals, much the same way as alcohol money did in the days of prohibition early in the last century. Instead, taxing it would provide for social programs or perhaps helping with much needed infrastructure. Prohibition of alcohol proved to be a costly disaster as the so-called war on drugs does today. Another way of looking at it is that things couldn’t be worse as with the status quo.
As for Trudeau’s admission and views on the subject, let’s remember that it was considered taboo when papa Trudeau, as justice minister, first tabled an omnibus bill legalizing abortion, albeit with restrictions and legalized homosexuality. He went on to be prime minister for several terms.
Many thought the sky would fall when former Liberal justice minister, Martin Cauchon first tabled C-38, the legalization of same sex marriage. Well, it would encourage more homosexuality, many panicked socons foolishly claimed, or the even more ridiculous, it will encourage pedophilia. Well, guess what, Boys n girls? The sky is still there.
I’ve cited examples earlier in this post of politicians who have been caught breaking the law, some to a more severe degree than others. In many of those cases, it did not hurt them politically. Hell, Rob Ford has broken enough laws, like driving infractions and public drunk and disorderly behaviour that would put average citizens behaving in a similar manner in the drunk tank at their local cop shop. The more rogue he goes, the more support he seems to have.
All that said, legalization or whether or not to decriminalize is not a deal breaker for me come 2015. Mine is who can best get Stevie Harper outta office, be it Trudeau or Mulcair, stoned or sober.