Pubdate: Wed, 31 Jul 2013
Source: Cambridge Times (CN ON)
Copyright: 2013 Fairway Newspaper Group
Author: Henry Brechun


Federal Liberals are desperate to come out of the political 
wilderness and, under the leadership of Justin Trudeau, they appear 
ready to take the bold step to legalize marijuana.

You'd think by now that politicians of all stripes would focus their 
energies on the $600 billion open pit of public debt that has 
hollowed out our economy, instead of embarking on vote-grabbing sideshows.

Liberal logic would have us believe that once marijuana is legalized, 
we'll beat policing swords into ploughshares. The problem with this 
theory is that once society "progresses" further down this liberal 
road, too many will be stoned and too few bothered to use 
"ploughshares" - or do anything else resembling hard work.

Trudeau is counting on the wrong people to build a new and improved Canada.

First, there are the suppliers. They have been on the wrong side of 
the law from the day they flunked out of high school and started to 
work the front lines of the drug trade.

Those who peddle drugs as their contribution to society won't freely 
give up their fabulous incomes and perks; they won't take huge pay 
cuts to take on comparable, legitimate jobs like security guards, 
bookkeepers or Amway distributors. They'll branch out to other 
lucrative black market activities and before you can say Mary Jane, 
Liberals will be calling on voters to legalize the next street drug.

Consumers who sustain the black market in drugs can't be counted on 
to do anything but pursue their own self-interest. While their 
conscience might pain them when buying inexpensive clothing made in 
Bangladeshi sweatshops, they have long ago learned to 
compartmentalize moral outrage.

They have developed unshakeable faith in the supply chain for their 
personal supply of narcotics and give no thought to the scores who 
suffer and die each year getting this product to market.

Rather than counting on a well of good-will and a windfall for public 
coffers from a partial retreat in the war on drugs, Liberals would be 
wise to consider the real consequences of pandering to the marijuana lobby.

The well has run dry for the vice dollar; casinos, lotteries, 
cigarette and alcohol taxes haven't led to prosperity and another 
vice tax won't change that.

Liberals won't get their "just society" by cornering the market on 
soft drugs, but they will manage to push Canada out of step with the 
rest of the world and at loggerheads with our major trading partner 
south of the border.

Smoking tobacco is already a public health nightmare and our health 
care system can't afford the fallout from more self-destructive habits.

Marijuana usage will certainly rise with legalization, which will 
correctly be seen as a governmental seal of approval and so will the 
problematic side effects.

A number of studies have linked marijuana use to a decrease in 
cognitive functioning - especially in young people. A decline in 
cognitive ability will, however, not be an altogether bad outcome for 
Liberal Party strategists.

Voters with diminished ability to reason through years of drug abuse 
will still certainly reward the Liberals with loyal support.

Once the multi-lobed, green leaf joins the stylized maple leaf on 
party signs, we'll know that Liberals have reached a new low in their 
drive to turn vices into votes.

Henry Brechun, Cambridge
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom