Pubdate: Sat, 25 Apr 2015
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2015 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Shelley Fralic
Page: A5


Marijuana: Pot Prophet Needs to Lay Off the Kids

Now that the smoke has cleared, it's safe to say that Marc Emery is 
officially the poster boy for reefer madness. No disrespect intended. 
Wait. The disrespect is intended.

Because as much as Vancouver pot proselytizer Marc Emery, crowned our 
very own messiah of marijuana after serving five years in a U.S. jail 
for selling mail-order cannabis seeds, has every right to preach the 
virtues of legalizing weed, he needs to get off his high horse when 
it comes to selling his bill of goods to teenagers.

We get it. Adults, in a free society, are allowed to pick their 
poison. And marijuana is but another diversionary vice - like alcohol 
and cigarettes and opium before it - and thus its acquisition and 
consumption is irresistible to those who like a side of blur with their life.

The movement to legalize marijuana, for medicinal and recreational 
pursuits, has been around since Donovan was mellow yellow, but over 
the past decade has gathered enough steam that even federal 
politicians are promising to make it legit.

Vancouver councillors, in the choppy wake of Monday's well-organized 
and utterly unregulated annual 4/20 "protestival" at the Vancouver 
Art Gallery, also promised Wednesday to look at regulating medical 
marijuana shops (and, one hopes, sending the bill to Emery's army for 
cleanup and policing of future 4/20 gatherings).

So, fear not stoners, because it looks like all those brownies and 
slushies and hash cookies and tightly rolled joints will soon be 
changing hands in a regulated, above board marketplace.

And that's a good thing. Let's tax it, regulate it and legislate it, 
and if Mr. Spliff wants to sell $80,000 worth of smoke from a booth 
outside the VAG, as one vendor estimated his Monday take, then let's 
legally pick his pocket.

Such details we'll leave for the big brains to sort out.

And we'll also leave the scientists and researchers to refute the 
universally touted pothead thesis that cannabis is harmless. Because 
how could smoking or ingesting an illegal drug impair one's judgment? 
How could that purple haze possibly affect our driving, much less our 
ambition? How could filling our lungs with marijuana smoke ever cause cancer?

But, Mr. Emery, all bets are off when it comes to the kids.

On Monday, it was reported that 64 people who attended the 4/20 rally 
ended up in hospital, suffering variously from nausea, vomiting, 
heart palpitations and decreased levels of consciousness.

A bunch of dopey adults, to be sure. But, also, according to health 
officials, teenagers.

If you made it through the media interviews Emery gave earlier this 
week without gagging on his gall, you were surely confounded, if not 
outraged, by his recommendation that teenagers should join the ranks 
of their "pot people" peers in high school, because laid-back dopers 
are far less dangerous than, you know, athletes.

Or, as Emery put it in a CKNW interview, in which he admitted to 
smoking pot with some under- age kids at the 4/ 20 event: "Nothing 
bad is going to happen to your son or daughter if they smoke 
marijuana, unlike if they hang out with people who are into 
athletics, or into alcohol, or into a number of things, fast cars. I 
say that pot makes your teenager a lot safer." Well, thanks, Dr. 
Spock. Would that we could introduce Emery to the world where reality 
lives, where many of us, though not always without our own vices, 
think it highly inappropriate to encourage adolescents to do any kind 
of drug experimentation.

Join us, Marc, in the real world, where many right-minded citizens 
think it's perfectly normal, preferable even, not to go through every 
day artificially anaesthetized.

And get this, Mr. Emery. The unaddled brain is sometimes the best 
place to find common sense, represented by three Surrey high school 
students who were recently chastised by their vice-principal for 
wearing T-shirts bearing an anti-pot message.

The boys belong to an organization called Smart Approaches to 
Marijuana Canada, which focuses on the science of pot use, and were 
wearing the tees to promote their opposition to the use and 
legalization of pot, which they don't think is a smart choice for 
anyone, let alone teenagers.

School officials asked them to remove the shirts ( they declined, 
noting that marijuana leaf iconography has pretty much replaced the 
maple leaf in schools today), expressing worry that the image of a 
pot leaf with a red slash mark through it would confuse younger students.

Well, thank heavens that the irrepressibly irresponsible Marc Emery 
and the nonsense spouted from his misguided soapbox are around to set 
all those kids not so straight.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom