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Retro Rant – Unbalanced Priorities in Canadian Politics

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So everybody has weapons of mass destruction, or deception, or delinquency, the world is heating up from confrontation, constipation, and carbon-dioxidification, and we’re stuck in the dark, gloomy, slushy, freezing, dreary season that is awards season, Canada knows which issues to go forward with and solve. Yes, our military couldn’t fend off an attack from Luxembourg, let alone a country with a decent military. Of course, we have a serious homeless problem (or if any IOC members are reading this, Canada has absolutely no homeless problem). And obviously, because of fiscal and social inequalities we have Inuit killing themselves and Newfounlanders making the Quebec separatist movement looking like a whiny child telling their parents they’re going to run away from home, but can’t do much because they’re not allowed to cross the street without their parents permission.

Canada is not a super-fantastic nation. We are no longer the top-ranked country as deemed by the United Nations. We, as Canadians, must do something. We must stand strong and show why the land of the beaver, locked-out hockey players, and the double-double is something that should be admired, nay, we should be something that other nations should be in awe in. So we, as a country, have tabulated what are the three biggest concerns and (some would say greatest threats to the dominion) that the country has ever seen. And they are as followed:

3) Marijuana
2) Smoking
1) Gay Marriage

That’s right, forget the homeless, screw the destitute, let’s leave our borders unguarded because we have to fight these three atrocities right now. Not later, now is the time to act. For if we don’t act right now, we might have MAJOR CONSEQUENCES RESULTING IN THE END OF THE WORLD OR AT LEAST ANOTHER FOUR CRAPPY BEN STILLER COMEDIES!!!

While the dust, or shall I say smoke, has settled quite a bit on this subject, legislators are still pushing for the decriminalization of marijuana…and why shouldn’t they? Marijuana, from the fine people who brought you ‘Pink Floyd’, is an incredible substance that gives you the incapacity of alcohol and the health risks such as cancer and heart disease as cigarettes. There is no real good reason why marijuana should be kept illegal. It’s all evil propaganda made up by the US government, man. I know this because I read it in High Times who, most recently, finally cracked the conspiracy on who killed Martin Luther King, Jr. (or so says David Cross).

You would think that with all the stuff being forced down everybody’s throats concerning the dangers of smoking that people would have a clue about marijuana. Smoking anything is BAD for you, period. Even if you smoke paper, you will eventually do damage to your body. People’s lungs and blood do not like smoke. While it is hard to argue if marijuana does any long-term damage to the nervous system or brain function (just because every week there’s a new study coming up with a new counter-claim for each position), there is no argument that marijuana is just as harmful for you as cigarettes. For the government to currently angle themselves in a position of wanting to ban cigarettes without actually banning them, it’s silly for them to go with the proposal. Is Canada trying to conjure up an image as the hip country in the Western Hizzle? Besides, Inuit children will tell you that sniffing glue is where it’s at. But of course, we don’t care about that. It’s all cold up there in the arctic…and they wear fur. Those bastards!!!

So marijuana is coming in and smoking is on the way out. Two items of interest have popped up. First, Saskatchewan has won an judgment from the Supreme Court of Canada barring depanneurs (convenience stores) from displaying cigarette along the back wall behind the clerk. The “Power Wall” has been deemed too influential in regards that the wall makes kids want to buy cigarettes. You know, it seems to me, if we’re subliminal influence was causing sales to skyrocket, you would think that due to the way everybody in this country is acting, douche would be sold out of pharmacies nationwide.

So you can’t see any cigarettes in Saskatchewan before you buy them, causing people not to want them “out of sight, out of mind” (which is the slogan of anti-tabaccy folks in Saskatchewan). Quebec, not wanting to be out of the spotlight for too long is pushing threw with plans to eliminate smoking in bars (those of the normal and strip variety) and every other public place that smoking wasn’t banned years ago. Before, you could walk into a video store in most places in Montreal and there would be ashtrays in between the rows of shelves. Now, if you’re caught smoking in a public place, you’re treated as you’ve just been on a three-province wide killing spree.

I don’t smoke and I prefer not to hang around smokers, but this is getting ridiculous. While I have no problem that any place where minors are allowed to go into, whether it be a fast-food restaurant, department store, or a sporting facility, should not allow smoking; I believe that any place that restricts access to minors should be allowed to do whatever they want in regards to cigarettes. It should be up to the proprietor if they want to allow people to smoke. People who are smoking will not be doing any damage to anyone who is not old enough to fully comprehend the consequences of hanging around second-hand smoke. If you’re over eighteen and you have a problem with a club that allows smoking, go somewhere else. Or, if you’re really ambitious, get smoking banned from all places. What’s next, people are going to have to start breathing from their mouths because sometimes through their nose can be quite loud and cause either ear damage or brain damage due to annoying noises emitting from the person sitting in back of you on the bus. What I’m trying to say is blow your nose…and, so help you God if you decide to sneeze on the back of me.

But forget about marijuana and cigarettes. Those issues are up in smoke compared to the biggest, largest problem that Canada has ever had to face: two people getting married…as compared to two people having a public ceremony in which they declare their love to one another (which is completely different). This situation is so volatile that we may go to a quick election over it. A couple of days ago our PM Paul Martin (which, with each passing day, I’m beginning to think that it stand for Principle Moron) said that he would was considering taking the issue of gay marriage to election. Licking his chops, opposition leader Stephen Harper couldn’t have been reached for comment quick enough when he essentially told Martin something along the lines of…BRING IT ON!!!!!! ARAAAGGGGGHHHH!!! (I may be exaggerating a bit).

This is because Harper isn’t stupid. While virtually all of Canada have no real problem with two people of the same sex doing the hippity-dippity and most don’t have a problem with gay civil unions, a good size more than half are against two gay people getting married, most of which cite religious conflictions. And while the Liberals along with the New Democrats and the Bloc Quebecois in favour of gay marriage, the Conservatives are the only party that is staunchly against gay marriage. So, if you do the math, if we were to go election and this was the key issue, the Conservatives would prolly win.

So when the statisticians finally told Martin the obvious facts, he recinded his bold and confident statement, and said that a free vote within the House of Commons is not a confidence vote, and if he and his government were to lose the vote, the government would not fall. Damn, because I really hate Paul Martin. I mean, I really hate Stephen Harper too…and I think NDP leader Jack Layton should be doing something more than preaching the virtues of a healthy diet, which he seems to be doing a lot of recently. If an election were to be held today, I’d vote Bloc…but since the Bloc Quebecois only runs in Quebec, there’s no chance than Gilles “Where the cheese at, tete-carre?” Duceppe has no chance at all of winning.

So, in summary, with all these really non-important problems taking over the headlines in Canadian press and the lack of a Canadian military to stop anyone, I’m begging Luxembourg: please invade us. We’re good people and I’d be willing to learn Luxembourgese. Please, pretty please? Dear God, just put us out of our misery, or put hockey back on TV or an episode of CSI; that’ll keep us distracted from those crack-heads in Ottawa.

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About James Gore

  • Mark Edward Manning

    Most Canadians do not approve of gay marriage, it’s true. This issue was forced down everyone’s socially conscious throat by militants who won’t accept a perfectly reasonable middle ground. The anti-smoking brigade is nuts too. But I do believe that keeping marijuana illegal is unjustified. Yes, you shouldn’t smoke it, you shouldn’t smoke anything. But, smoking aside, what are the ill effects or marijuana? Considerably less than they are for alcohol … and cannabis intoxication is not like alcohol intoxication … the former makes you peaceful, the latter makes most people aggressive.

    I agree that Canada should focus on far more important things and that wacky liberals have forced these relatively unimportant things on the nation … but, I did want to speak up about the marijuana point. If alcohol and tobacco are legal, as they always should be, then cannabis should at least be decriminalized. Canada actually has its political head screwed on straight with regard to pot.

  • James Gore

    Just to argue a bit, I’d disagree that cigarettes are in the same league as marijuana. With controversial reports aside that say marijuana cigarettes are more harmful than those made with tobacco aside, I would not want to be driving on the same roads with someone who has been smoking marijuana. It impedes reflexes and may (not necessarily, but it does happen) cause distracting affects in someone.

    That being said, I don’t think marijuana nor tobacco should be legal; unless for medical applications, they are have absolutely benefits for society.

  • sydney

    Why the hell would we want to legalize marijuana? To send out a message that its not bad for you? Because we know it can kill you and that it destroys motivation, and that it very probably increases your risk of schizophrenia.

    Don’t get me wrong, I smoke pot on occasion. But I choose my times carefully, and I know that I can’t smoke it publicly and all the rest. I smoke it at a risk to my health and because I realize this I smoke it in moderation. Why legalize it? Those who want to smoke it can, and do. Legalizing simply means that the gov’t is condoning a hazardous substance. Decriminalize it perhaps, but there definitely needs to be considerable fines to send out a message to the public that this is an unacceptable practice.

    Secondly, I’d like to say that the gay issue is getting far too much publicity. An election on that issue would be a travesty and a huge insult to the people of our country. I am for gay marriages but for Christ sakes, we shouldn’t allow the Christians to make this a top issue.

    Thirdly, I’d like to say that cigarettes are one of the biggest killers in North America. What’s the big deal with banning them? Quit crying… not smoking in bars is hardly an issue. It’s not the government that’s making this a bigger deal than it is, it’s the smokers who are. I only quit smoking 2 weeks ago so I smoked for a couple years under the no-smoking bans in restaurants and it wasn’t an inconvenience at all. Ask most bar patrons and they’ll tell you that they enjoy the bars more as a smoke free environment. They used to be disgusting, talking through clouds of smoke. I can’t believe we ever did it.

    I do appreciate that you highlight the need to take care of the homeless issue and the Inuit problems first. Health Care and education still need consideration, but those are always up there on the priority list anyway.

  • James Gore

    I’ve always thought it funny that far right-wing philosphers and Christian fundamentalists have attacked gay marriage with so much energy. I would think that they would argue more against co-habitation without marriage and divorce since those instance reflect a greater part of society.

    Cigarettes have always been an iffy subject. While it would ultimately be better for society if they would be outright made illegal, tobacco has rooted itself so deeply in our society that trying to ban it would be near impossible.

  • Quack Corleone

    Draft the homeless into the army. Everyone wins!

  • HW Saxton

    Sydney, You’re saying you smoke weed and
    you are also against legalization? WOW!
    If this is so then you are saying this:

    You are also saying that people who do
    smoke it then deserve to run the risk of
    being taken to jail,losing their jobs &
    homes,being treated like criminals and
    so on.

    What the saying by legalizing it
    is that: We realize that you are adults
    and as adults,you deserve to make your
    own decisions regarding your OWN health
    and welfare.That we have no business w/
    interfering in your private lives and we
    will not subject you to being imprisoned
    with killers,rapists,thieves,molesters &
    the like because you may want to sit
    around the house and watch TV while you
    are getting buzzed with friends and
    family.They are saying that we are not
    going to overload an already overloaded
    criminal justice system with harmless
    weed heads and spend more money from an
    already overstretched budget on their
    prosecution when we could find much much
    more logical ways to help to insure that
    real crime is dealt with expediently and
    not bogged down in trying to win a very
    un-winnable war on drugs.

    Yes,Weed should be subject to laws that
    follow common sense. No smoking around
    children or in public places,don’t drive
    and smoke,be responsible about your own
    usage etc. In general the same laws that
    apply to alcohol.As someone who’s a self
    proclaimed user of the herb you’re not
    putting forth a very logical argument at

  • James Gore

    I disagree with saying that marijuana should be legal because adults should have the right to make a choice. Becaue with that theory, all drugs should be legal. Should cocaine, LSD, and others be legal?

  • Dean

    Actually I think we could take Luxembourg…but only if someone could give a lift over the Pond.

  • Mark Edward Manning

    James Gore: “[T]obacco has rooted itself so deeply in our society that trying to ban it would be near impossible.”

    So has alcohol, don’t forget.

    “I don’t think marijuana nor tobacco should be legal; unless for medical applications, they are have absolutely benefits for society.”

    I agree about tobacco, no medical or societal use at all. But, again, I make the point about marijuana. Because society seems perversely to prefer aggression over sanguinity, marijuana was never given a chance to root itself in Western society. I understand the impulse in saying, “Alcohol and tobacco are bad enough, let’s not add a third drug.” BUT, I stand by the Dutch experiment – turn a blind eye, let people indulge if they want to as long as they don’t get more than 3 oz., and focus on harder drugs. Accept that cannabis is part of society now, like it or not, and move on. We only waste time on the marijuana issue because we deceive ourselves into thinking it will go away. It won’t.

  • sydney

    Mark Edward Manning…

    Pot legalization in Holland hasn’t worked and they are making moves to re-criminalize it, or at least to make it a minor offence that warrants a fine (like a traffic ticket). Holland has done more to suggest that pot needs legislation governing its use, than any other country, yet you use it as an example of the contrary. I’m not sayin that link between pot and Hollands social issues is clear and unarguable, but I am saying that Holland has a number of social problems and drug users. This doesn’t reflect well on their marijuana legalization policy.

    HW SAxton,

    Yes I smoke pot and I don’t mind running the risk of getting caught with a joint or two on me. Cops don’t prosecute for amounts that small anyway (at least not in Canada). They just throw it out and send you on your way.

    Secondly, you say:

    “You are also saying that people who do
    smoke it then deserve to run the risk of being taken to jail, losing their jobs & homes, being treated like criminals and so on.”

    You have falsely attributed these words to me. You obviously didn’t read my post clearly. I am against legalization because pot, like alcohol, is a killer. It’s bad enough that we have alcoholics, let alone weed-aholics who get stoned while taking care of their children or driving their car etc. Why send out a message that suggest weed is fine for you when we know in fact that it will kill you if consumed regularly.

    I suggest decriminalizing it (as Canada has been trying to do). This simply means that it is an offence that carries a fine like a traffic ticket. It doesn’t mean going to jail, going to court, or loosing your job. Give me a fuckin brake.

    Anyway, what I really wish is that all you fuckin losers out there would quit making this the central political concern of your life. There are people homeless and starving out there and yet your contribution to the politics of your country is; “Marijuana should be legal , man!”.

    It’s nearly as bad as the people harping on the gay marriage shit as if its going to make a difference any which way. All the while, people are starving to death, a war is going on and North America is caught up in a childish debate over marijuana laws and the meaning of the word Marriage.

    This was the point of the original post, I believe, and I think it’s an important one.

  • James Gore

    Marijuana is not really part of society right now. It’s still on the fringe. I’d hazard to guess that more adults have sugar addictions than smoke marijuana even on an infrequent basis.

  • HW Saxton

    Sydney,I’m not saying that you said that
    “Directly”. But by keeping it a crime it
    can still cause a lot of problems that
    are needless if legalization were made
    law. Maybe some police won’t cause any
    grief for those caught with some small
    amount but others might. People just do
    not need to be treated like criminals
    because they smoke it.And I don’t think
    it’s right for Govt. to make choices for
    us regarding our own individual health.
    This is the main gist of my statement.

  • sydney

    well taht last statement is different from your last.

    However, I’ll say that we disagree fundamentaly. I think the state should make choices for us concering our individal health. You disagree.

  • SphinxMontreal

    Marijuana, smoking and gay marriage are Canadians’ three biggest concerns? Sez who?

    Here in Montreal we’re more interested in more important social issues such as restaurants, niteclubs, fashion and hair salons.

  • RJ

    “Why the hell would we want to legalize marijuana?”

    “Don’t get me wrong, I smoke pot on occasion.”

    Sooo…you’d be cool with being arrested and imprisoned?

  • RJ

    “There are people […] starving out there”

    In Canada? Name one…

  • RJ

    “I think the state should make choices for us concering our individal health.”

    Then may I suggest doing sit-ups, instead of posting inane comments here?

  • HW Saxton

    Sydnet,It’s not diffrent just ambiguous
    or you are reading into what you want to
    believe,that’s all. I was simply saying
    that by condoning keeping it illegal you
    are also indirectly condonong all of the
    subsuquent consequences of illegality in
    this regard. This is irrefutable.To wit:
    If it’s illegal then you are a criminal.
    This seems to make perfect sense to me.
    I may not have worded it as clear as I
    could’ve but I thought that you would’ve
    understood. Sorry if this caused you any
    dismay or vexation.Honestly.I’m not here
    to agree trivialities.There are really a
    lot nicer ways to spend a suuny spring afternoon.

    Cordially & un-snarkily,