Category Archives: Narcotics

Plight of the Dispensaries – January 23, 2018

nature02If cannabis legalization gets any more costly, we may need to revert back to the black market model. At least then, patients needn’t struggle to get their medication. The current victims of the legalization effort are the dispensaries, and with them the patients.

They filled a gap left when the government permitted medical marijuana in 2001, but left the patient without access to their medication. Fifteen years later, Neil Allard successfully sued the government for unduly restricting the access to medical cannabis. Continue reading Plight of the Dispensaries – January 23, 2018


The Story of Weed – March 29, 2016

WeedArt_v2We all know the story of Weed, AKA cannabis, marijuana, pot, the assassin of youth. In truth, that assassin is adulthood and definitely not to be confused as maturity. Her story is woven with lies, deception and conspiracy. Weed, unbeknownst to most, is the victim.

Weed was once everyone’s friend, less a threat than healer. She thrived in religions and cultures for centuries until the ‘New World’ rebranded it as a vice, used by undesirables to create antisocial psychopaths. This was the rhetoric of capitalists who saw Weed as a competitor to creating their own antisocial psychopaths.

Continue reading The Story of Weed – March 29, 2016

Unjust Capitalism, legalizing cannabis – February 24, 2017

One must ask the law makers and backers, “Whose side are you on?” Each time a cop busts a compassion club, they hand power back to the underground economy. I don’t believe this is the effect they were aiming for. What does kicking in the door of compassion say about our laws and their views on medical care?

Continue reading Unjust Capitalism, legalizing cannabis – February 24, 2017

The Story of Weed – March 29, 2016

WeedArt_v2We all know the story of Weed, AKA cannabis, marijuana, pot, the assassin of youth. In truth, that assassin is adulthood and definitely not to be confused as maturity. Her story is woven with lies, deception and conspiracy. Weed, unbeknownst to most, is the victim. Continue reading The Story of Weed – March 29, 2016

You Can’t Grow Petroleum – October 1, 2013

552333_10150608774590614_601675613_9303140_1422643087_nSo Premier Clark is on the oil-baron bandwagon, touting liquefied natural gas (LNG) as Western Canada’s great hope to fuel our economy. Let’s run it by China and see if they’re interested. If we’re lucky, they might even sell some back to us. The idea of selling and shipping our natural resources just reeks of ‘intelligence’.

What are we missing here? That we could be creating more jobs on this side of the ocean by retaining ownership of our natural resources? If we piped this processed product into our own gross domestic product, we’d see a booming profit margin compared to what we sell overseas. Under the defence of conservation, if we held on to these resources then, as demand increases and supplies dwindle, the value of what remains will have a much higher value if we keep it in the ground for just a wee bit longer.

In terms of utility, how we use these resources can no longer continue with business-as-usual. Our siphoning of nature’s hydrocarbons has peaked and what remains requires some pretty intensive (and polluting) extraction methods. Perhaps we should step away until some cleaner methods are developed. Anyway, we’ll need to retain some fuel to maintain our sense of Canadian well-being. We can sell it all now, but it’s foolish to think that we won’t need it later on. (This seems to be beyond the scope, and lifetime, of those currently in power.)

What happens when our petroleum runs out? No fuel, transportation, or trade. We can’t make the plastics necessary for our day-to-day products. Our paints, lubricants and coatings will no longer be a water-tight guarantee. For obvious reasons we must start to seriously conserve what is left. If Canada doesn’t kick-start its manufacturing capabilities, all we’ll have left for trade will be the virgin resources. These will drain away to other countries that have more factories than we do.

So, for Clark to peddle LNG as our great opportunity, her tunnel vision may simply be another nail in the coffin of our long-term well-being. Beyond the pipeline and gas possibilities, what other cards are there to put on the table? Where do agriculture and forestry fit in? I see a whole lot of eggs in one basket and very few barriers to prevent a province-wide (and country-wide, but that’s another story) crash.

Perhaps we should looking into petroleum’s greatest threat: Hemp. In the 1930s, Du Pont lobbied heavily to outlaw hemp and cannabis. At the time, the Ford Motor Company was devising ways to create every product made from petroleum, but from hemp instead. As it turns out, everything petroleum could do, hemp plant carbohydrates could do cheaper. This game-changer had to be kept off the playing field.

This plant is a miraculous gift, and it is currently villainized by lobbyist propaganda and disproven gateway theories. Cannabis’s medical abilities are beyond incredible, the plant’s fiber can be used for textiles, rope, paper, concrete and bio-hydrocarbons. The economic possibilities are immense. As well, two harvests of hemp will replenish a field overrun by thistles and weeds. We can recover more farming land. The information is out there, look it up. It’s the 21st Century, folks. It’s time grow up, do away with bad habits, and work towards a prosperous and greener future.

Published October 10, 2013, Kelowna Daily Courier


Recriminalizing the Underground – January 2, 2006

Attention Canadians! It’s time to face the puzzling issue of decriminalizing marijuana.  Our current laws are a burden on the justice system, jails and society, leaving us to pay yet another bill for the police, judges, lawyers, prisons and guards. In numerous ways, we’ve had smoke blown in our face.

Every grow-op bust reported is a mere snowflake on the tip of an iceberg when viewed on the national scale. The anti-drug force would go broke taking down all the grow-ops. From the other side of the legal fence, a busted grow op is like removing the competition and opening more ground for expansion. It provides more market power for the survivor.

Americans have fought the War on Drugs since Ronald Reagan laid down the law back in the Eighties. As a result, between 1980 and 2002, more prisons were built and the number of prisoners tripled, the majority for drug violations[1]. Canada has over 600,000 citizens with criminal records for marijuana possession[2]. Think of how many prison cells that would fill.

When we label cannabis a narcotic, we equate it with heroin, cocaine and crack; this is like listing both Dickens and Penthouse under the same category of literature. Cannabis is not physically addictive nor is it known to incite riots, let alone a squabble. When smoking a joint causes less damage than downing a bottle of beer, how did marijuana become so reviled?

Marijuana has never killed anyone. All illegal drugs kill around 800 people a year[3]. Meanwhile, terminal diseases from the legally sanctioned substances, such as tobacco (killing 45,000 people a year) and alcohol (12,000), are acceptable. The health system kills over 106,000 people each year through adverse drug reactions[4]. Even aspirin causes over 10,000 hospital admission in Canada each year. Still, pot is the devil.

Cannabis actually provides medical benefits amongst its many other uses. In Reefer Madness, Eric Schlosser writes how “Dr. Lester Grinspoon, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, provides evidence that smoking cannabis can relieve the nausea associated with chemotherapy, prevent blindness induced by glaucoma, serve as an appetite stimulant for AIDS patients, act as an anti-epileptic, ward off asthma attacks and migraine headaches, alleviate chronic pain, and reduce the muscle spasticity that accompanies multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and paraplegia[5].” Not bad for a villain.

Hemp has health benefits when eaten as a seed, it creates fabric stronger than denim, provides fiber for paper and can be distilled into fuel. It grows quick, plentiful and easily(it is a weed), making it a very economically feasible crop. How many forests could be saved, using a commercial crop that costs less and is more sustainable than the monoculture fibres we depend on?

The economic offshoots from hemp production could replace our use of pulp lumber without rebuilding factories. Hemp fiber allows local production of textiles and clothing. And grow ops could be utilized to build the economy rather than drain it.

Cannabis is correlated with narcotics and weapons, the more lethal corrupters, because it is traded for those greater evils in an underground barter system. It is a pawn in the drug war, cultivating it here and shipping it to the States. The Canada-US border surveillance unnecessarily focuses on marijuana rather than the more lethal dangers. If this ‘currency’ were legally available, bought and tendered over the counter like cigarettes, the criminal world would be less able to afford to transfer narcotics into the country. It would be like trading aspirin for cocaine.

Legalizing marijuana benefits society two-fold: First, it would incapacitate the underground economy that depends on its sale. Second, the collected taxes from the legal crop could fund the battle against narcotics; better yet, add funding to mental health services and take the real victims out of the drug trade. By turning our back on this cash crop, we are wasting tax dollars on a war that builds up the enemy rather than near any end.

Societies who have legalized marijuana do not fall into disrepair, like doomsayers say.  These citizens grow up respecting its use, in a similar way that alcohol has been accepted since the Prohibition ended; not everybody drinks alcohol, but it’s available.

If we are concerned about our safety, focus on the people affected by the problem rather than the ones that are selling on the corner. The self-medication prevalent in street life is not a nuisance, but an indication of a damaged community. We can fix a community problem easier than a global one.

It is time to blow away the smoke and demand a justice system that enhances society and reduces crime.  Legalize marijuana so that authorities can start cracking down on substances that really are killing us: narcotics.

[1] Mate, Gabor, MD,In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction (Toronto, Knopf Canada, 2008) 275

[2]Mulgrew, Ian, Bud Inc.: Inside Canada’s Marijuana Industry (Random House, Canada) 190

[3] Mulgrew, Ian, Bud Inc.: Inside Canada’s Marijuana Industry (Random House, Canada) 191

[5] Schlosser, Erik, Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market (New York, Mariner, 2004) 16