Pubdate: Sat, 07 Sep 2002
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 The Toronto Star
Author: Arisa Cox
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Re Make pot legal: Senate panel, Sept. 5.

When I take a whiff of stalled marijuana law reforms, it smells to me like 
the cowardice, hypocrisy and public manipulation that have caused Canadian 
parliamentarians to spontaneously drop trembling to the ground at the 
thought of changing the status quo.

It is painfully obvious that change is the right thing; at least it is 
obvious to anyone but the thickest, the dullest and the most unimaginative 
among us.

Change would bravely, if mischievously, assert our Canadian identity, 
vision and progressive self-determination to the bullies in our schoolyard 
- -- the United States. Perhaps it would distract them from starting a war to 
benefit only their oil interests and the great American ego.

Anne McLellan is "uncomfortable" with strengthening the government's stance 
on medicinal marijuana. I know a few people dying of cancer who are a 
little more "uncomfortable" than she is.

I dare Canada to pull its mind out of the illusion that all drugs are 
created equal, including tobacco and alcohol -- proven time and again to be 
physically and socially worse than pot.

But to end the anti-marijuana, propaganda-filled dream world would be to 
invite that scary c-word -- change.

We would do better to engage our society in building real change, relief, 
amnesty and hope for Canadians. We are already critically disillusioned by 
our government's failure to sensibly match reality with policy.

The latest Senate report on drugs puts us one step closer to common sense, 
and one step further from the colossal drain on resources characterizing 
current marijuana criminalization.

Wake up and smell the coffee. But the Senators can tell you about something 
that smells even better.

To the lawmakers, it smells like justice and political courage. To the 
cowards, it smells like knee-jerk fear, unsupported by fact.

To the rest of us, it smells like a sweetly pungent cloud of smoke. To Jean 
Chretien, it should smell like the most astounding, yet unlikely of 
possible spectacular legacies. It's right under his nose. And nobody would 
see it coming.

Arisa Cox

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