The kind we’ve seen in the Allard case, where Justice Phelan described RCMP expert witness Shane Holmquist as “the most egregious example of the so-called expert” who “was shown, in cross-examination, to be so philosophically against marihuana in any form or use that his report lacked balance and objectivity. He possessed none of the qualifications of the usual expert witness. His assumptions and analysis were shown to be flawed. His methodologies were not shown to be accepted by those working in his field. The factual basis of his various opinions was uncovered as inaccurate. I can give this evidence little or no weight.”
Immediate decriminalization might work for a few reasons. Justice is served when there is no prison for pot, and that’s something police can do right now by lowering cannabis on their priority list.
All Justin Trudeau needs to do is say the current date and give a thumbs up, no act of parliament is needed.
Decriminalization is exactly what Thomas Mulcair of the NDP wants done but, as I’ve written before, this idea has the unintended consequence of more police busts.
This can be used against itself — if simple possession is legal, police have to crack down on street cannabis over a certain amount of grams.
This keeps the police employed, because let’s be honest, this is the biggest fear about legalization. What will happen to funding for the drug war? Cannabis was a revenue generator, what will replace it?
I have an idea.
What if instead of generating revenue through the taxpayer, police services earned the patronage of customers on a voluntary basis? A profit-and-loss enterprise should correct any misgivings about legalization.
In the meantime, decriminalization is ideal. Any public nuisance associated with simple possession takes the same priority, so the focus is on crimes with actual, alleged victims.
While everything is in limbo, the grey market still exists only if dispensaries aren’t raided. But then there’s the issue of growers and transportation.
Hence, the best answer is a small-l, classical liberal, legalization where cannabis is removed from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act at the federal level and instead regarded as a natural health product.
Therefore, the details on legalization would vary from province to province, perhaps even within each municipality.
In this way, the power of the central government is minimized and, for anyone who has taken 1984 and Brave New World seriously, that has looked upon the old Soviet Union and Maoist China as dire warnings and lessons that cannot be discarded by an appeal to “it can’t happen here,” this question must be asked: on what basis is cannabis risky?
What is Bill Blair reading on the subject? Why are senate panels headed by cops and health-care busy-bodies?
Are these people aware that Canadians can produce and consume cannabis safety and responsibly without the help of the federal government? That it’s been going on for years in spite of prohibition?
It’s not a question of how benign or not cannabis is, but how effective government bureaus are as an organization.
If the past century has taught us anything, it’s how arbitrary, dangerous and inefficient state planning can be.
Cannabis activists have witnessed it first-hand with prohibition, and now, with legalization.