With 33.4 per cent of Canadians saying possession of small amounts of cannabis should be decriminalized (resulting in a fine rather than a criminal record), and 37.3 percent in favour of full-on legalization, you would think if the Conservatives had to play to their anti-pot base, they'd do it quietly. And with the Ministry of Justice coming out with numbers clearly supporting a change in the status quo (in addition to a 13-year old Senate report that concluded how ineffective and costly cannabis prohibition was), you'd think that the Conservatives would want to stay away from the legalization debate. But not Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Earlier this week, he proudly proclaimed: “Most Canadians, if you actually ask them, do not want the full legalization of marijuana.”
Harper does realize this is 2015, right? I mean, even in 2005 we could go online and check to see if these statements were backed up by anything but his hot air. Maybe that's his strategy. He knows that we know politicians lie, so now he's just blatantly lying left, right, and centre hoping that one or two of them will stick.
Here's another one:
With legalization, “Marijuana becomes more readily available to children, more people become addicted to it and the health outcomes become worse,” said Harper, despite no evidence.
Even from a logical standpoint, illegal drug dealers don't ask for IDs where legitimate business owners do. As well, the drinking age is 19 in most parts of the country, but underage drinking is still an issue. Even at the Prime Minister's house, where an underage girl was rushed to the hospital for alcohol poisoning.
There are no cannabis poisonings. The hospitalizations at the 4/20 farmers' market in Vancouver were because health professionals are still learning about cannabis after decades of suppressed information. So when someone “greens out,” the professionals err on the side of caution. Furthermore, the wait times and bureaucracy of Canada's healthcare system puts us dead last in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) annual comparison. I'm sure that had something to do with the amount of “pot overdoses” and ambulance trips to the hospital on 4/20. With no costs represented by free market pricing, Canada's health authorities can spend millions on “pot overdoses” and make it sound like cannabis is the problem, when clearly, the issue has been and will continue to be the “public ownership” of the healthcare industry; a failed socialist idea Canadians simply can’t let die.
Nevertheless, Stephen Harper, far from being a conservative who respects private property rights and free markets (do they even exist?), is implementing his idea of top-down state control. As John Robson of the National Post put it, "If taken seriously as political philosophy, it’s die-hard socialism. And as I’ve said before, if you’re going to get socialism, at least get it from honest socialists."
Stephen Harper, the dishonest socialist, would like to use your money to:
1. Increase funding for RCMP clandestine teams targeting cannabis farms and meth labs.
More attacks on honest farmers and the BC Bud supply-chain. Harper sounds like he's after meth labs, but it's clearly the “oil sands” of BC that he wants to nip in the bud.[i] Cannabis is British Columbia's “oil sands” because it can literally be refined and used as oil. Interestingly, Harper's actions are a lot like when Pierre Elliot Trudeau nationalized Alberta's oil sands. With the National Energy Program, the federal government stepped in with its tax and regulatory power to kick-out the original homesteaders of Alberta's oil and implement a crony-capitalist structure. It was this move, among others, that “alienated” the Western provinces, which eventually led to the rise of Stephen Harper and the downfall of the Liberal Party. The people of Alberta rejected Trudeau and his nationalized PetroCanada and some years later Stephen Harper has become the embodiment of that notion. So why is the so-called “Western Canadian” Prime Minister doing to BC Bud what Trudeau once did to Alberta's oil? Is this not the Prime Minister who said there are no good taxes and called Canada a “northern European welfare state”? What happened?
Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and we can thank previous governments for increasing the size and scope of the PMO. Harper's done his part maintaining and expanding that power, but it's ridiculous to think all of Canada's problems begin and end with Stephen Harper's leadership.
2. Harper will be asking the Mental Health Commission of Canada to prioritize research on the links between substance abuse and mental health.
This is the problem with government funding of science: Harper (and this could be any leader) said look for X and find me any evidence that supports X. Never mind if there is counter-evidence, the government may cut your funding if you present it. As philosopher and economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe put it, without government funding of science, “Instead of researching the syntax of Ebonics, the love life of mosquitoes, or the relationship between poverty and crime for $100 grand a year, they [scientists] would research the science of potato growing or the technology of gas pump operation for $20 grand.”
Government funding of science distorts its objective. This was common in communist countries where scientists feared venturing off the orthodox materialism of the Marxist regimes. To argue that private enterprise research and development may actually be preferable to the monopoly state is to go outside the traditional norms of decency. In the private sector, there are competitors to worry about, and bad science doesn't produce any value for anyone. Compare the necessity of using fossil fuels until another source becomes profitable to the billions wasted in “renewable” energy sources like wind and solar, which require massive subsidies. Clearly, the government will only spend money researching for the conclusions it wants. As taxpayers, we're forced to accept this. The Liberals and NDP may have different objectives but the principle is the same.
3. Introduce a national hotline for parents looking for advice and guidance in preventing substance abuse for their children.
The federal government is now in the business of competing with information from Google. (Minus the Internet connection, a phone number will do.) And by the way, this won't be funded through AdSense or something voluntary. Harper will be forcing you to pay for this via taxation. And what gives him the right to coerce against innocent persons and property in the name of law and order? Well, an outdated system from 1867 that never put limits on the federal government's power, which didn’t envision a peaceful polycentric legal order, an order that would actually work better given Canada's founding as an “inclusive” nation and our varying definitions of multiculturalism. Not to mention, it will help alleviate this silly process we go through every few years where half the country hates one side and votes against them. Because, really, who votes for someone?
And while I'm at it, you're not voting against Harper or Mulcair. You vote for a Member of Parliament. This isn't a presidential system, it's a parliamentary democracy, and it works just as well as Harper's anti-pot propaganda.
[i] If meth was the problem, then he'd be campaigning on legalizing cocaine and opium since meth is a consequence of prohibition on those substances and further prohibition on cocaine-substitutes like meth will only incentive dealers and chemists to come up with crazier drugs like bath salts. If your loved one has eaten the face of another because of bath salts, blame Harper's prohibitionist policies.