Pam McColl is a well known advocate in the fight to resist the normalization of marijuana. She is the spokesperson for SAM CANADA, Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which proposes neither incarceration nor legalization, but a reasonable and healthy policy in between those two extremes.
The Liberal Party of Canada has decidedly inflamed the marijuana debate to excite young adult voters and an electorate who have bought hook, line and sinker into the propaganda that marijuana is safer than alcohol or tobacco.
Those that argue that tobacco is far worse should be asking why it is that the Liberal Party did not take on the tobacco industry, or the Conservative Government’s record on tobacco control.
If tobacco is the true public villain why is it that the Liberal Party has remained silent on he biggest drain on Canada's health care costs and a product that kills one in five Canadians.
Where is the Liberal Party of Canada on the pending action to take on tobacco for $100 billion in damages? Why talk of running a $10 billion deficit when $100 billion is sitting there waiting for this country to collect off tobacco, making a true difference in the lives of Canadians and saving our public health care system tremendously?
The NDP say they will not agree to the ratification of the TPP which includes long fought for measures to curtain the tobacco industry, a major victory for public health and could positively impact Canada's ability to collect the $100 billion, bringing the tobacco industry to its knees. The USA Government claimed and received $247 billion in the Master Settlement of 1998.
Liberal marijuana policy would see those who give marijuana to kids receive more severe penalties at an increase cost of law enforcement and hardship to families. It is a policy position that would increase the punitive nature of marijuana control. 23% of kids report receiving marijuana from a parent. What would the Liberal Party do with these parents found to be offering marijuana to their kids, surely not put them in prison ? How would they enforce their policies ? Between 30-53%, region dependent, grade 12 students in this country report regularly using marijuana. That makes for a great many parents facing harsh consequences considering they have been grossly misinformed. Many hold to the belief that marijuana is a safer choice, some even accepting the preposterous idea that it is an "exit drug".
The way to reduce the rate of use marijuana is to either embark on a massive education campaign to effect a reduction in the demand for this psychotropic drug, or the other option is we wait until the damage becomes abundantly apparent and the public elects representatives who will be charged with correcting the problem.
Entrenching use by adopting legalization with further normalization would be a gross mistake. It would serve only a small elite of adult users while allowing for predatory Big Pot to industrialize marijuana cigarettes. There will be no easy retreat. We continue to struggle to curtail the advance of tobacco or alcohol from reaching out to and securing the youth market to this day.
The current youth market for marijuana is 2.5 times that for adults. Legalization addresses supply for the adult market, a small elite of less than 10% of the Canadian population. It
fails completely to address a reduction in demand.
We are in a fight to defend our children’s brains. In this context it becomes a human rights battle and sadly both opposition parties blew the opportunity to offer up sound public health policies on this crucially important issue.