Canada is beating the US

January 17, 2012

There is a political shift of sorts happening in Canada right now that everyone interested in convincing the US government to abandon its war on American citizens should follow.  The Liberal Party of Canada has voted to change their policy in the war on drugs.  That party has historically been opposed to the legalization of marijuana.  While the policy change has not been officially adopted, the vote to force the leadership to begin the transition process in favor of supporting legalized marijuana is a monumental shift that has serious implications for all of North America.

The US government has applied pressure for years on countries all over the world to keep marijuana and drugs illegal.  This pressure has resulted in millions of people being locked up for even misdemeanor marijuana possession.  A single joint will likely land you in jail for at least a short while.  One of the supporters of the new policy in Canada - who reports say is a police officer - is quoted as saying, "This country does not need more prisons, it needs less criminals."  That quote is, to me, the point of this whole debate.

The United States stance on marijuana possession is, I think, unsustainable as the population continues to learn about the ramifications of the "throw them in jail and let God sort them out" mentality.  The policy of our federal, state, and local governments has been to demonize and criminalize anyone that can possibly be connected to marijuana.  State and local governments continue to receive money from the Feds for marijuana eradication and interdiction.  This money supply would dry up - theoretically - if marijuana is legalized.  So would the money from people convicted for marijuana charges.  Currently a marijuana user faces severe financial obligations in terms of court costs and fines, court ordered education and monitoring programs, and probation, parole and incarceration fees.

The Canadian government has not changed their laws yet, and most likely it will take some time to see such change occur, but getting a major political party to officially change their policy agenda is a monumental step towards the overthrow of decades old laws that have ruined lives and drained community and governmental resources. 

Whether you want to smoke marijuana is not the issue in marijuana reformation.  The issue is what is best for our society?  Is it better to make criminals out of a group of people whose only crime - by and large - seems to be possession and use of a plant that grows naturally all over the United States, than it is to legalize, tax, and regulate that same plant that can also be used in the manufacture of countless consumer products.