By G.D. Maxwell
Itll be like trying to sell bibles to atheists. Big Macs to vegetarians. Abstinence to swingers.
I dont know whether Little Marty Cauchon ever sold shoes or door-to-door magazine subscriptions for a living, but if there isnt some traumatic sales job in his background hes going to get eaten alive trying to sell decriminalized marijuana to this American Congress.
Marty Minister of All Things Just and bag-holder for Sgt. Rocks billion dollar baby, Canadas gun registration went south this week to splain to the Americans why limp-wristed Canada was going to make simple possession of pot more or less equivalent to a traffic fine when the prevailing mood south of the border is to lock up potheads and throw away the key. And were not even talking a traffic fine like for drunk driving or vehicular homicide. The Liberals want to make possession kinda like speeding or failing to yield or maybe forgetting to renew your drivers license because you were too stoned to remember it was your birthday even though you remember eating leftover cake when you got the munchies the other night during Star Trek.
If there is any justice in the world, he got stripsearched crossing the border.
Decriminalizing pot is a cruel joke. Its like loosening, but not removing, the screws in somebodys crutches. Its popping a childs balloon, pocketing a dogs ball, putting itching powder in your brothers Jockeys when he has to give a big speech at school. Dont ask about that last one.
On the plus side, it will keep some people out of jail who were stoned enough to get caught with their stash in their pockets and let them live their lives without the stigma of a criminal bust.
On the minus side, itll most likely result in more arrests for possession. There are at least three reasons busts will go up. Stoners will be less discrete knowing theyre only going to get fined. Of course, in an almost Darwinian move, theyll probably have to sell a little pot to come up with the couple of hundred bucks for the fine and get charged with trafficking.
Cops will be less prone to turn a blind eye to simple possession. Its just a traffic fine theyre laying on someone, not a life-ruining criminal rap.
And lets not dismiss the cynical belief this is just another of the governments favourite ploys a tax on the dumb. Replace jailing someone with fining them, boost the number of busts and presto, a much better bottom line.
Decriminalization will also not move Canadian society away from the pointless, expensive and long-lost war on drugs. It will take neither the profit motive out of pot nor the quasi-organized thugs who attempt to control distribution. It will not bring the production and distribution of pot within the realm of legal and taxed commerce. It will offer no new opportunities or modalities for dealing with people who want to stop using drugs.