Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A puff of pot...Harmless?

The liberal leader of Canada, Justin Trudeau, admitted to the media he smoked pot, even after becoming a member of parliament. Being the mothering type that I am and being passionately anti-drug and anti-gang I felt compelled to slap his hands on his facebook page

I wrote:
"In my eyes it is not acceptable to engage in criminal behaviour and even more unacceptable for public officials to do so. If Canada's Criminal Code needs reforming, reform it, don't break the law. 

It is totally irresponsible to commit criminal acts while in public office and beyond me why someone would choose to do so for the tiny pleasure a puff of pot might deliver. Smoking marijuana lends financial and PR support to a vast, wealthy and violent network of organized crime."

I realized it was not only Trudeau who needed a bit of education about the true nature of the drug business when someone replied, "Your last sentence is outlandish!"

To which I posted the link to the RCMP report on the illicit drug trade in Canada with a sentence from the opening paragraph: "Cannabis continued to be the most commonly used illicit substance in Canada, with domestically-produced marihuana providing a source of considerable profit for Canadian-based organized crime."

This quickly shifted the conversation from the morality of Trudeau smoking pot (and thus engaging in criminal behaviour) to the whether or not pot should be legalized. Decriminalizing pot, they said, would lessen the power of the gangs and reduce their profits.

I refused to engage in that discussion, noting "Trudeau wasn't decriminalizing pot, he was smoking it--which does nothing to lessen the strength of organized crime, but rather enhances it and further lines the pockets of the drug lords." and "I stand by my assertion that Trudeau smoking marijuana lends financial and PR support to a vast, wealthy and violent network of organized crime. To me, the benefits of him smoking pot do not outweigh that negative."

"I apologize if I'm wrong, but it is my understanding Trudeau was not smoking pot as a political statement or for medical reasons or to incite a change in our laws but rather for his personal enjoyment of the effects of this illicit drug--a poor reason to engage in criminal activities-- IMHO."

So you can decide how I did in that argument while I proceed to flip over to the legalize pot" argument.

Who among you thinks gangs (like the Hells Angels in particular) would willingly and easily give up their "considerable profits"?  You probably answered that correctly, so take your thinking to the next step, what will they do, in the face of legalization, to keep their market share?

Will they mix their 'legal' product with illegal, addictive substances? Well, don't dismiss that so easily--the tobacco companies mixed all sorts of chemicals into their products to make it more addictive. 

Will you and your neighbours and friends and family be willing to put forth tax dollars to monitor the quality and purity of this legalized pot? 

Will profitable pot fields replace food crops on the nation's farmland? (Like cocaine vs coffee beans down south.)

Will our drug lords find a way to profitably export our legal pot to places where it is not legal? 

Just how badly do we need marijuana as a recreational drug? What are we willing to pay, financially and socially to get it? As the criminal element struggles to retain their profits, how much violence, fraud, danger are we willing to deal with? Or will we just let the criminal element control the legal pot market, retain their profits, retain their power--produce, manufacture, distribute, export whatever quantity of whatever quality they want?

Well? How badly you want it, people? 

Will I forgive Trudeau for smoking pot? On a moral level, yes. I doubt he was aware of the ramifications of his behaviour. His mother, in her autobiography, tells of smoking pot so he was likely raised with a more positive view of the drug than I was.

But at a political level, I'm more hard-nosed. Being in position of power and trust requires a certain level of behaviour. Teachers understand--they won't swear in the classroom, wear revealing clothes, or engage in criminal behaviour. I volunteer for law enforcement and I understand--I'm not going to be caught speeding, jay-walking, or smoking pot.

People in power who ignore that protocol show disregard for both themselves and those who look up to them for guidance and leadership. They can find themselves victims of blackmail, which can have dire effects on the performance of their duties. Blackmailers don't always want money: they may want favours, data, insider info, special considerations.

Someone who wants to lead my country, ought to have been aware of all that, ought to have made better decisions, ought to have acted more maturely. Why would one risk one's dreams for a puff of pot?

No comments: