Prime Minister Stephen Harper hit a new low last Saturday on a campaign stop in Montreal when he called cannabis “infinitely worse” than tobacco.

Harper compared his party’s policy on cannabis to that of tobacco where, “We’ve spent a couple of generations trying to reduce the usage of tobacco in Canada with a lot of success.”

Not realizing, of course, that that success comes from tobacco’s legality, not to mention that tobacco doesn’t get you high and definitely kills you.

Cannabis, on the other hand, is not a toxin and is actually medicinal, even if you think you’re using it for recreational purposes.

But I get it.

I understand where Stephen Harper is coming from so here are five reasons the Prime Minister would say such a thing:

1) There is a stereotype that the average cannabis user is lazy and unproductive.

Since Harper’s paycheck comes from the taxpayer, he has every incentive to make sure taxpayers keep on producing wealth for the government. Therefore, acting under the stereotype that pot makes you lazy, he’d rather have Canadians addicted to nicotine and alcohol because – despite the shorter life – it will be a life of producing more wealth for the government to confiscate.

It’s much easier to have a complacent class of taxpayers addicted to legal drugs, dying before they can collect their tax-funded pensions. In his mind, that’s far more preferable than a “lazy, unproductive” class of potheads living to be 101.

2) By now it’s quite obvious that our politicians have been bought off by special interests.

Democracy, like communism, is proving to be incompatible with human nature. So, when Harper and his cronies see cannabis, they see an unpatentable medicine that has far more medicinal properties than most, if not all, pharmaceuticals. Harper is simply protecting the Big Pharma interests that help keep him in power.

3) Along with the health-care lobby, there is the beer and tobacco lobby that want their profits secured.

If cannabis were legal – meaning, legal to grow without government licenses – it’s quite possible a lot of people would give up alcohol, tobacco and other drugs for the harmless herb that they can grow in their garden.

In Colorado, charges for drug crimes dropped 80 per cent.

What about the police? If we legalize, all those cops will have to investigate more serious crimes, and how could they justify buying military equipment to police the domestic population without the drug war as a pretext?

There are simply too many financial incentives involved to end prohibition.

4) Speaking of which, organized crime will lose out on their market share if cannabis ever becomes legal, and Harper can’t have that.

Typically, especially during an election, governments promise to spend all kinds of money (your money) on infrastructure projects. That means hiring mob-connected construction companies and unions to rip up roads and create congestion.

Harper has promised the least amount of spending compared to his counterparts, but those mob bosses need some kind of guarantee, so it’ll come from the continued illicit drug trade.

If the mob threatens you over legalization, then by intents and purposes, cannabis is “infinitely worse” than tobacco.

5) The fifth, and most important, reason Harper said what he did was because tobacco doesn’t open your mind the way cannabis does.

The last thing Harper wants is a bunch of people getting high and thinking critically about their government.

For example, in the past, western civilization was comprised of many overlapping competing legal jurisdictions. Tax-supported courts of monopolistic jurisdiction are an entirely new phenomenon. There used to be hundreds of courts: shire, manorial, urban, ecclesiastical, mercantile, etc. These courts had fluid jurisdictional boundaries and collected their fees from the litigants and so they competed with each other for business. Even the royal courts consisted of competing courts: the king’s bench, common pleas, exchequer, and chancery. It was only with the Judicature Act of 1873 and the Appellate Jurisdiction Act of 1876 that the British government monopolized the courts into a single hierarchical structure, with American courts following suit soon after.

If you ask me, that was a huge mistake and is one of the major reasons this system is as dysfunctional as it is.

This is especially true with Allard, or R v. Smith. Patients are forced to fight for their right to reasonable access through the monopolistic court hierarchy that taxpayers are forced to finance. In other words: patients represented by Allard are also funding the government’s appeals. And it’s not just with cannabis but in every conflict with government authority, citizens are forced to finance both sides of the issue because too many people are drinking and smoking tobacco instead of doing a dab and thinking beyond, “Who should I vote for?”

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