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If Marijuana Legalization Is On The Way In Canada, Why Are People Still Being Arrested?


jail prison daniel chong deaIn 2015 Justin Trudeau was elected Prime Minister of Canada, which was considered by many to be the top marijuana reform moment of the year. Justin Trudeau campaigned on a pro-marijuana legalization platform, and stated during his campaign that if he were elected, he would get to work on legalization as soon as he took office. Mr. Trudeau has taken some preliminary steps to do that, but the process is proving to be more difficult than many had expected. Meanwhile, people are still being arrested for marijuana in Canada, even though legalization is on the way. That is resulting in activists in Canada calling for no more arrests, with one of those activists being prominent Canadian reform activist Jodie Emery. Per News Talk 1010:

Pot activist Jodie Emery says it’s a concern and disappointing.

She says Trudeau seems to be dragging his heels on this and in the meantime prohibition is costing taxpayers millions of dollars a year and too many Canadians are being arrested for pot possession.

“Our movement is asking the Liberals to stop all marijuana arrests. We need a moratorium on marijuana arrests because money is being wasted going after people for pot and the longer we wait to really move forward on this file, the more lives will be negatively impacted.”

When voters approved marijuana legalization in Oregon, and before legalization took effect, some counties suspended marijuana enforcement. That’s what should happen in Canada too. When legalization is inevitable, marijuana prohibition becomes even more absurd (as if it wasn’t absurd enough). The Canadian government needs to put pressure on law enforcement to quit arresting people for marijuana in Canada. Canada is getting on the right side of history, and it’s beyond time that Canadian law enforcement accepted that fact.


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  1. Us older guys that have never been busted had to be smart about it we didn’t have the luxury of flaunting it, back in them days you could do some serious time behind bars. I am asking people even after it’s legalized to be discreet and don’t be smoking it just anywhere and pissing people off. A small group off people acting like asses are going to ruin it for everyone. Laws that can be made can also be rescinded.

  2. He could simply withdraw from the treaties, claiming that they are antiquated and should be scrapped entirely and re-worked. And that would be accurate. He needs to stand up for his people and lead. I am hopeful that he will, but time will tell.

  3. Has Trudeau said he’s changed his mind on legalization, or are you just complaining because he hasn’t done it yet? I always figured it would take (best case) a year. Worst case is he doesn’t get it done before being voted out.

    Right now they’ve got to sort out the UN treaty issues (which shouldn’t have been a surprise). Law-abiding countries (of which Canada is a star member) need to follow the rules. Which means they and others need to change the UN rules. That’s going to take a while.

    Sure, Canada could say fuck you to the UN like Uruguay did, but Canada doesn’t play that way. Nor do most countries.

    That’s why I think the US will be limited to state (and not Federal) legalization for a very long time. The state laws don’t directly contravene the UN treaties, strangely enough.

  4. If you smoke in your car, then you are infinitely increasing your risk profile. Doesn’t matter if its legalized or not. In CO, WA, OR, if your car reeks of weed, you will be tested for DUI (blood test). The intoxication limit is ridiculously low. Also, a DUI conviction is worse for some people than an arrest for simple possession.

    Keep it in the woods or at home.

  5. It depends where you live and what race you are. Cops seriously want to bust some groups, but they don’t want to mess with other groups (who have expensive lawyers) unless they have no choice.

    The way I look at legalization: it gives everyone a right to be privileged when it comes to weed. That’s a terrific thing. But it doesn’t mean that you can smoke it in public any more than you can consume alcohol in public. But… also no less.

  6. I think Robert Wright makes a good point. I’ve been tokin’ since the 60’s, and I never got busted because I toke in remote areas of woods/mountains or in my house. I never had a problem dealing with cops.

    Now, living in Washington state after legalization — there is surprisingly little difference in how, when and where I light up. The only real difference for me is that I have many sources of good weed now — and I was pretty well hooked up before. Legal weed isn’t cheaper (the opposite) and quality is no better, but having a half dozen shops, each with with 30+ strains in stock, within a half hour drive is awesome. I love going through all my strains, deciding what one will be best tonight. In the bad old days, you either had weed or you didn’t. Most of us didn’t have a wide (if any) choice of strains.

    But if you just have to flaunt your weed and push the boundaries, then you get to be a pioneer. Good for you. Hope you like arrows. Just don’t turn the non-toking public against us by being assholes. You may see legalization as this wave that will wash away prohibition, but instead, I think you are skating on pretty thin ice, and you want to carefully make it to shore before you break through and fall in. Public sentiment could swing the other way, as it has in the past.

  7. And it would be most important if the US was the one to drive the effort to change the treaties. The main reason being, is that the US was the country who pushed the UN to make those treaties in the first place — to give cover for the US military’s use of force in Central and South America and elsewhere to attack drug producers.

  8. Kevin Seaholm Christy on

    True, I totally agree. I guess I was wrong about how these international treaties work, so I stand corrected. And yes, I believe you are right. No one should ever be treated badly because they choose to use cannabis over the deadly legal alternatives.

  9. …every one who grows or has ever grown their own needs to set aside one male & one female plant each cycle simply as seed providers. In the spring & early summer, take 10 seeds & add them to baseball-sized water balloons. Make 10 or 15 at a time. Give your friends 10 or 15 at a time. Let them sit & marinate 24 hours, (the seeds, not your friends…). Then, go on a hike, a dog walk, or a bike ride, and throw them in promising looking locations. The point isn’t to return & harvest these plants. The point is to make finding weed plants growing around your community so common that it isn’t news anymore. Remember, as in high school English class: Neatness & originality count for bonus points. Overgrow the government…

  10. Trudeau needs a kick in the balls. The man is endangering Canadians, by bringing in 50,000 Syrians. Just look at Germany. Now Germans are turning on their government at record numbers. Trudeau will end up doing the same thing before we see Legalized Cannabis in Canada.

    I can promise that Trudeau will mess up Canada, but don’t worry you will get Cannabis legalized soon. In the end I love Cannabis though I refuse to support people like Trudeau. Trudeau brings in deadly people from Syria in the name of politics, over the safety of Canadians wealth & health. How the hell can you trust a person like this?

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