Pubdate: Tue, 27 Aug 2013
Source: Sault Star, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2013 The Sault Star
Author: Tom Mills


A pot in every parliament

Maybe you can't remember the last time you smoked marijuana.

That's quite possible. After all, short-term memory loss can be a
consequence of pot use.

Or maybe, like every single member of the Conservative Party caucus
and a dime bag's worth of Opposition members, you've never, ever, ever
tried it. Honest. MPs never lie.

Or at least they never inhaled, something MPs find difficult to do
when they're incessantly spouting their party's talking points, even
during those hours they might otherwise devote to recreational drug

But then there's that exception to the parliamentary rule, naughty
Justin Trudeau, who admitted to the media last week he smoked pot five
or six times in his life, even though "It has never really done
anything for me."

It seems Justin is not a first-trial learner, or wants to keep trying
until marijuana finally does do something for him.

But at least toking up explains his bizarre behaviour, such as taking
off his clothes at a charity function.

We can't help but worry Trudeau will graduate to harder drugs, as
marijuana fiends inevitably do, which would make him a high pick in
the electoral sweepstakes for Toronto mayor.

Peter MacKay worries, too. The justice minister and moral exemplar (
apparently Tony Clement and Vic Toews weren't available, and Prime
Minister Stephen Harper would only sniff narcishly and make a covert
call to the RCMP) said Trudeau's credibility is now "up in smoke."

MacKay lamented Justin's "profound lack of judgment" and expressed
concern he was setting a "poor example" for impressionable young Canadians.

He's right, because young Canadians now lead the western world in
underage pot smoking, according to a UNICEF survey this spring.
Apparently, those 15- and-unders intuited Trudeau was a toker and
started madly passing joints.

Young people are notorious for hanging on the every word of their
idols and role models in the House of Commons, even those young people
who think Parliament is a theatre of war in one of their violent video

But let's give Justin the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps those kids
were following the example of their parents. That's how most of my
generation came to smoke pot, as I recall. Provided our parents were
blues musicians from Memphis.

These days, odds are greater parents have coughed up marijuana smoke
at least once or twice.

In 2011, 40% of Canadians over age 14 told Health Canada they had
smoked pot in their lifetimes. Probably another 40% weren't dumb
enough or stoned enough to admit to a government agency they committed
an illegal act. And unless you're over 90, pot possession has been
illegal all your life.

Indeed, I understand this year, Canada will be celebrating its one-
millionth pot arrest. Pot possession busts have jumped 41% since the
Conservatives came to power in 2006.

So, as pot activist Dana Larsen put it, in Canada, "you can throw a
rock and find marijuana use." ( Rock. Stoned. Get it?) In British
Columbia, you can hit a pot user even if you have a rotator cuff injury.

But anyone wishing to throw a rock in the Commons, and who among us
hasn't been tempted, is unlikely to hit a single MP who has bong
blisters on his or her lips. At least, according to their
sanctimonious responses to recent media inquiries.

That's a shame, because Canada's parliament could sure use a lot of

Consider Question Period, notorious for devoting itself to vitriolic
character assassination instead of answering questions.

Would anything less be accomplished if our MPs, having passed a bong
around the morning caucus table, exploded into giggles instead of
insults, perhaps unable to contain their amusement at being referred
to by the speaker as honourable members?

The speaker might instantly hush any verbal outbreaks by drawing it to
the members' attention their favourite Eagles song is playing on the
House sound system.

Stoned parliament could be a kinder, gentler place.

As retired Seattle police chief Norm Stamper said while making a case
for decriminalization, "marijuana is rarely, if ever, the cause of
harmfully disruptive or violent behaviour."

Conflict is so uncool, we might see members from all parties embrace
each other on the floor of the house, vowing to move to the country
and form a coalition government.

Then, overcome with the munchies, they'd adjourn to the parliamentary

Clouds of pot smoke inspire blue-sky thinking, so it might give birth
to some creative and entertaining lawmaking from parliamentarians.

If MacKay traded the beer bong he used in a widely circulated photo
from his college days for a pot bong, we might see him introduce
legislation giving every Canadian a free ride on one of the defence
department's Cormorant SAR military helicopters.

Justin himself might try to duplicate his famed father's diving-board
antics, but bellyflop because his co-ordination was impaired.

And if parliamentarians, inflicted with pot-smokers' notorious short
attention spans, kept flitting from subject to subject, crisis to
crisis, depending which way the political winds were blowing, would
things be any different than what we have today?

And would at least 40% of us notice?
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MAP posted-by: Matt