As we move toward the legalization of marijuana the government now has a place on its website, under Consultations in Health Services and Systems, allowing you to have your two cents worth until August 29th. It’s a five-part discussion paper and legalization questionnaire where you can add scientific documents, give your personal (expert) opinion, and answer a number of multiple choice questions.

Toward the legalization, regulation and restriction of access to marijuana

This first link will take you to this index and introduction, which is titled “Toward the legalization, regulation and restriction of access to marijuana”. Right away I was not to happy to see in the title “restriction to access” because if we’re just talking about adults why even bother to have that in there? So many of the court battles over medical marijuana have had to do with access of some sort or other.

Another odd thing is in who can participate. The page says that the government is seeking input from:

  • Canadians
  • provincial, territorial and municipal governments
  • experts in relevant fields
  • Indigenous governments and representative organizations
  • youth.

Why are they asking youth for input about something the Liberals are legalizing but aren’t decriminalizing now with the reason “we’re protecting youth”? I think it’s likely the Liberals don’t want to seem like they are ignoring teenagers, but still want teens to believe that the government is protecting them.

Clicking on “online consultation” under how to participate takes you to the “Task Force Discussion Paper” (fancy name). In order to take part in the Liberals’ legalization questionnaire you will need to click on each of the five separate topic links (as well as the links to the Introduction, Background, Discussion Issues, and Conclusion) and go from there. Each link covers a different area; you don’t need to comment on all of them — only the ones of interest to you if preferred — so each section will ask you some basic information (what province you live in, and such). Or you can click on this link to read the full discussion paper and provide feedback at the end.

Enforcing public safety and protection

A few sections raise some hairs on my neck, like the section titled “Enforcing public safety and protection.” What’s that supposed to mean? Well, look at some of the high … er, sorry …  low lights of this section in its “Possible Options” and you start to see a pattern:

  • Strengthened laws and appropriate enforcement response
  • Enforcement tools for marijuana-impaired driving
  • Restriction of consumption to the home or a limited number of well-regulated publicly-accessible sites.

What the actual fuck, restriction of consumption to the home?! Hello, Liberal Government of Canada … you’re drunk!

Minimizing the harms of use

In the section “Minimizing the harms of use” I find other troubling “Possible Options”; for instance, “Limit of allowable THC potency in marijuana.” Can’t they see this is a direct ad-line designed for the black market? I can hear the street dealers now: “Hey, it’s stronger than government bunk weed!”

Accessing Marijuana for Medical Purposes

Then there’s an odd section where they’re still asking for input on “Accessing Marijuana for Medical Purposes.” Have they not had enough of being made fools of in front of judges, lawyers, and media? All their reasons for prohibiting home growing of “plants” were shredded in the Allard decision. Not to mention that the revised medical system must be in place by August 24th, before the conclusion of this legalization questionnaire.

You’d think after fifteen years they could get it right.

I, of course, have no faith that the government will get anything right when it comes to marijuana; they are trying to reinvent the wheel on something that is older than the Church. All these fancy laws and restrictions on cannabis are just the new prohibition.

Prohibition Lite I call it: all the smell with half the buzz.

While I did write some 600-plus words in the medical section, I know better than to waste my time writing more long, expert ideas in the feedback sections ‘cause I know they are not going to listen to me. Everything they really need to know is in the 2002 Senate report into illegal drugs, or in countless other reports and studies. After all, what we have been saying about ganja hasn’t changed in the last 25 years, only now the government is trying to figure out how to benefit from prohibition rather than have it cost them — and that has nothing to do with freeing the weed.

I hope people will start looking at the proposed new ideas, and more importantly, start talking about them. Let’s get the absurdity of these regulations into the clear light of day.

Remember, you have until August 29th 2016 to get your comments in on the Liberals’ legalization questionnaire.

And remember, marijuana’s illegal now but that hasn’t stopped anyone from getting it, using it, growing it or selling it.

It’s your wake up call, Mr. Trudeau. Anyone home?