Mike Schreiner: “The #Green Party does not support the Monopolization of #Marijuana”

The 1936 Propaganda film “Reefer Madness” helped usher in new Prohibition against Cannabis

American Prohibition did not work.

Wikipedia points out:

Prohibition focused on the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages; however, exceptions were made for medicinal and religious uses. Alcohol consumption was never illegal under federal law. Nationwide Prohibition did not begin in the United States until January 1920, when the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect. The 18th amendment was ratified in 1919, and was repealed in December, 1933, with the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment.[28]

Not only did it not stop otherwise law abiding people from consuming alcohol, the costs — to the economy, the justice system and society — were staggering.

Although alcohol prohibition was repealed in 1933, one might wonder what gave rise to the new Prohibition against cannabis. Although films like “Reefer Madness” helped justify the early war on drugs, Wikipedia tells us Cannabis became illegal in Canada much earlier with “the Opium Act of 1908,[13] which was introduced based on a report by then-Deputy Minister of Labour, Mackenzie King.

Although the American Prohibition against alcohol never made drinking it illegal, the same was not true of cannabis prohibition in Canada, where users could be fined and imprisoned. As the 20th century wore on, the punishments became more severe, especially as Canada (again) followed the American lead.

A few decades ago this classic ad was part of “The War on Drugs”

Recently the same actress, Rachael Leigh Cook, reprised her role in this 2017 “Your Brain on Drug Policy” video.

The war on drugs is rooted in racist policies, and it’s failure has been as obvious as Prohibition.

During the 2015 election, the NDP talked about decriminalizing cannabis, but the Liberals said that wasn’t good enough; they would take a step further and legalize it.

Sadly voters again gave too much First Past The Post power to one of the same old parties promising “real change”. For real change, you have to vote smart– and different.

Although the Justin Trudeau Government says it will legalize cannabis, its about half way through its term and they keep arresting people.

The Green Party has better policy:

4.9 Ending the war on drugs

Elizabeth May, Green Party of Canada Leader
Elizabeth May

Between 2008 and 2011, according to the Department of Justice, Canada spent $311 million targeting illicit drugs, with a majority of that money going to law enforcement. Most of that was for the ‘war’ against cannabis (marijuana). Marijuana prohibition is also prohibitively costly in other ways, including criminalizing youth and fostering organized crime. Cannabis prohibition, which has gone on for decades, has utterly failed and has not led to reduced drug use in Canada.After analyzing the recommendation of the Canadian Senate’s 2002 Special Committee on Drugs and the examples of strategies used by some European countries, the Green Party of Canada has come to the conclusion that it is time to legalize the adult use of marijuana. Furthermore, the Greens believe that drug addictions should be treated as a health problem, not as criminal offences.

Green Party MPs will:

Legalize marijuana by removing marijuana from the drug schedule;

Create a regulatory framework for the safe production of marijuana by small, independent growers;

Develop a taxation rate for marijuana similar to that of tobacco;

Establish the sale of marijuana to adults for medicinal or personal use through licensed distribution outlets;

Educate the public about the health threats of marijuana, tobacco, and other drug use;

Launch a public consultation on the decriminalization of illicit drugs, considering the current high costs of the law enforcement effort;

Provide increased funding to safe injection sites, treatment facilities, and addict rehabilitation.

Unfortunately the way the Liberal majority government is doing this is not the way a Green government would have.

On September 8 of this year, Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario, made the following comment regarding the proposed regulations for marijuana sales:

“This looks like another Liberal plan to say a lot and do very little, supporting big corporations and political insiders over local small businesses.

Mike Schreiner, Green party of Ontario Leader
Mike Schreiner

Having limited retail outlets across Ontario for legal marijuana will do virtually nothing to combat the huge illegal market.

The Green Party does not support the monopolization of marijuana. The marijuana industry should be like the craft brewery industry – helping build local businesses, creating local jobs and contributing tax dollars to local communities across the province.

The GPO supports strict regulations and controls for marijuana sales. The government can license retails outlets with strict rules focused on safety and health for small businesses.

This announcement at this time is a cynical ploy by the Liberals to divert attention from their ongoing legal scandals.”

[reblogged & expanded from Kitchener Conestoga Greens]

Congratulations #BCgreens ~ largest Green Caucus in Canadian History!

photo © by Laura Colpitts https://twitter.com/SprntgStilettos

Congratulations to the BC Greens!  Not only has party leader Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Andrew Weaver been re-elected, he will now be joined by new MLAs, Sonia Furstenau in Cowichan Valley and and Adam Olsen in Saanich North and the Islands.  Although Green candidates have broken through in legislatures here and there, this historic election is the first to have elected a Provincial Green Caucus.  Just as in the USA and UK, Canada’s unfair First Past The Post electoral system makes it exceptionally difficult for small party and independent candidates to get elected.   And even when they are, Canadian legislatures have added another artificial barrier: a political party can be duly registered, and run candidates and even manage to win seats in the legislature, but the legislature has imposed a threshold before an elected party is entitled to receive additional perks.  In BC the threshold is 4 seats, so our new Green caucus is one seat shy of official party status.

Although the dust hasn’t quite settled yet, neither the BC Liberals or BC NDP won a majority in the election.  If this is still the case after recounts and absentee ballots have been incorporated into the tally, the BC Greens will hold the balance of power.  Leader Andrew Weaver has expressed a willingness to work with whoever necessary to make government work, but his two non-negotiable points are legislation to get big money out of politics, and Proportional Representation.  Lets keep our fingers crossed for that excellent BC outcome!

Since much of the rest of the world’s democracies use Proportional Representation, this is not the case elsewhere.  Just now Australia has 9 Green Senators in their STV Proportional Representation Senate, but only recently elected their very first MP to their winner-take-all  House of Representatives.  New Zealand has fourteen MPs ~ and they only adopted MMP after a 1993 Referendum.  There are currently 50 sitting Green Members of the European Parliament.   Although the discriminatory barriers against small parties and independent candidates in winner-take-all systems like ours stack the deck against Greens in Canada and the UK (and the USA), we are way behind the wave of Green Candidates being elected at all levels of government in the 90+ countries that already use Proportional Representation.

It took some doing, but our current Party Leader Elizabeth May broke through to become Canada’s first elected Green MP.   She was followed at the provincial level by Andrew Weaver in BC, Peter Bevan-Baker in PEI, and David Coon in New Brunswick. Now it’s time to meet the BC Greens:

Adam Olsen, Saanich North and the Islands

Sonia Furstenau, Cowichan Valley

Andrew Weaver, Oak Bay-Gordon Head

Check out our Green World to find out more about Greens elected in Canada and abroad.


Image Credit:
the excellent photo of BC’s new Green Caucus is  © by Laura Colpitts is used with permission

 

The #ERRE #Q Committee will Consult in Toronto

Excerpt from HOUSE OF COMMONS SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ELECTORAL REFORM TO HOLD HEARINGS IN REGINA, ST-PIERRE-JOLYS, WINNIPEG, TORONTO, QUÉBEC AND JOLIETTE


September 21st, 2016

ERRE Committee in Toronto



Chelsea Hotel
Churchill Ballroom
33 Gerrard St W,
Toronto, ON
→ map ← 



1:30—4:15 pm
Witness Panel(s)

13 h 30—16 h 15
Panel(s) de témoins



4:15—5:00 pm
Open mic

16 h 15—17 h 00*
séance micro ouvert



6:30—9:30 pm
Open mic

18 h 30—21 h 30*
séance micro ouvert



*Please note that the end time for the open mic sessions are approximate



This month is just flying by!  Before this event, don’t forget The Honourable Maryam Monself will be consulting with Waterloo Region at the Liberal Town Hall on Wednesday Sept. 14th, and and our own Community Dialogue will be the following Saturday.  It would be tremendous if you could print a poster or two to hang on local bulletin boards or hydro poles.

And remember, you can keep up with Waterloo Greens events in our Calendar, or by subscribing to this blog!