June 12, 2005

Politics: Half-Baked Half Measures

Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell (no relation to Criminal Gord) has mentioned his approval for the legalisation of marijuana in a press conference that got itself quite a bit of attention - "Hey, it's those whacked out hippies from BC!" - and brickbats. It's not like he hasn't had experience with drug enforcement: he was a member of the RCMP Drug Enforcement Unit and BC Coroner. Vancouver has always had problems with drugs, and some very dramatic drug policies have been developed there, so whoever the mayor is at the time, you know they've got something to say about drugs.

He makes primarily two points:

1) If it's legal, it can not only be controlled better, it can also be discussed more openly than before;
2) The half measure of "decriminalization" isn't helping.

I'm not too sure about improving the ability to discuss pot - it's pretty much in the open, don't you think? This biggest risk is disinformation, of course, but any parent or teacher who tells their kids that smoking a joint will turn you into a crack whore trainee (rated the #1 worst job by Norm MacDonald!) deserves the kids they end up with. But the control... Ah, the control!

You want BCs economy to really boom? Legalise pot, then sit back and just watch the money flow into the province! I know one person who already has his brand name picked out - and no, I'm not allowed to tell - and investment would be a snap. Me? I'd invest in snack vending machines.

But what's wrong with the decriminalisation of small amounts of weed? Sure, you can get a ticket if you smoke in public (anyone who thinks second-hand smoke doesn't affect you should walk into a room full of this), and it's still illegal if you try to drive while impaired; but carrying personal amounts no longer gets you thrown in jail, so it's not a bad comprimise...

Except you have to buy it from somewhere, unless you grow a few plants yourself. And even those few plants will have enough leaf on them to put you over the "okay, we won't arrest you" line.

Which means that SOMEone has to have a large amount on their person or home to distribute, which will still get you canned, which means there is going to be a black market to provide a supply for the demand. So... you can smoke it, you just can't grow or buy it?


Granted, anywhere there's a farm for it, there's going to be greater security concerns unless you grow in a mine shaft. But at least those folks who would be growing it legitimately can get help from the police. If we could get prostitution legalised too, there would be no lack of volunteers to the vice squads, I guarantee.


posted by Thursday at 10:49 pm


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