If you had the opportunity to sit down with Justin Trudeau …
before cannabis legalization is implemented as currently proposed, what would you like to say? Put aside politics and every other issue that may concern you with our country and it’s governance, and focus solely on cannabis. Forget any personal dislikes and talk adult to adult. What if you had the chance to have an hour long, uncensored one-on-one with the Prime Minister to address 10 specific points – what would you say or ask in order to help shape or improve cannabis legalization?
Although I will meet Mr. Trudeau this summer during a visit to my worksite, it will likely be after cannabis is legalized and I obviously am not going to get to speak to him about cannabis…or at all. It got me to thinking and wondering about what I would say or ask though. I thought it would be kind of fun to make my list anyway – and maybe stick it in his pocket when he’s not looking.
Let’s set the scene for this historic, nation building conversation. We are seated at a corner table at Mad Rona’s Cafe. Justin sips a mocha latte with rainbow sprinkles, while I have a Coke. Justin glances nervously at his body guards, and I begin.
- “ Given the enormous amount of tragic evidence underlining the dangers of alcohol and tobacco, how can you honestly justify the ridiculously uber cautious approach to cannabis? Can you provide any statistical evidence that would support governments’ overbearing and over reaching control of the cannabis plant? Canadians are proud of being one of the largest consumers of cannabis for many decades, so if there are deadly consequences to that, you would have the numbers. I’m sure if you were to prove to the public that cannabis is in fact a risk to society and our youth, people would be behind you. I don’t hear anyone whining about the regulations for cigarettes. Do you have anything that would justify treating cannabis as a greater danger than either tobacco or alcohol?” If not, how are these laws justifiable in a free and democratic society as stipulated in the constitution?
- Why have the licensed producers been given unusual access to and preferential treatment from government? The list of former lawmakers and top cops currently profiting from cannabis is staggering and is much more than a coincidence. Will you, Mr. Trudeau, demand an independent investigation into the dealings of these companies with elected officials and government employees to determine if they were given an unfair advantage? The cloud of distrust around this issue is blanketing Canada from coast to coast to coast and threatens to choke the life out of your plans for a ‘world class cannabis system’. You can do it now, or it will come out during the election next year, but it will come out.
- Another issue that pisses me off, Justin, is the fact that the government licensed medical marijuana producers are being given an unfair and unethical advantage in the recreational market. These companies were given special privileges in order to facilitate obtaining their place to supply medical patients, and it was even argued in court that patients rights to grow be eliminated to assist the LP’s in establishing their markets. Why are medical growers being given first crack at recreational legalization? I guess that’s where insider connections helped, eh? There are thousands of qualified, experienced and equipped growers across this country who would not only supply a superior product, but would create local jobs. How about this, Justin…Why not offer interest free loans and tax incentives for current black market growers to become legal growers? Not only do you create thousands of taxpaying jobs, you take growers away from the black market and the consumer continues to get the quality product that he or she is accustomed to. Win-win-win.
- “What do you intend to do about provinces who do not follow federal guidelines?” Several provinces have announced they will not allow their citizens to grow a legal plant. You clearly told them we could, and they’re giving you the finger, Justin. Will you order them to comply or maybe stop transfer payments until they read and understand the constitution? This is destined to end up in the courts and costing Canadian taxpayers millions of dollars. Or you can end it before it happens. Hint: We get pissed when you waste our money.
- What will you do to attempt to regain consumer trust of the licensed producers? Several of them have been caught using banned pesticides and have suffered no consequences as a result. What is to stop them from repeating this crime if there are no repercussions as a result? How will a consumer ever know if the product they are using is safe when the impression is these companies operate with impunity? What protections do consumers have when they learn they have unknowingly inhaled cyanide gas as a result of grower criminal poisoning?
We pause for a few minutes while Justin gets one of his man-servants to fetch another mocha latte – extra sprinkles. I take a couple of deep hauls on my vape and and a swig of my Coke and I continue.
- How will you protect your government from the inevitable embarrassment you will suffer when the courts strike down most penalties you have created for cannabis offenses? Mandatory minimums have been deemed to violate constitutional rights and freedoms across the country. Introducing penalties 14x greater than the same offense using alcohol is not only insane, it’s guaranteed to be laughed out of court. Why not find your way back to reality and fix it now. Remember how I said taxpayers don’t like you wasting their hard-earned money?
- What are we gonna do about this silly impaired driving dilemma, Justin? The way our legal system works is we are innocent until proven guilty. What tool do police have that would prove impairment beyond a reasonable doubt for a suspected cannabis user? Why has this not been an issue until now? Is someone under the bizarre impression that nobody who currently smokes cannabis has ever had a driver’s license? Where are the reports of carnage on our roads from cannabis-impaired drivers, Justin? If you could find something like that, it would sure make you look like less of a bullshitter, don’t you think? This is yet another issue that is going to cost me money and make the lawyers richer. And make the taxpayer pissier.
- How drunk were you when you named Bill Blair to head up the cannabis-legalization task force? You can’t convince me that was a sober thought. Out of all the people you could have chosen, you put a widely disliked cop in charge. Why did you nominate him to run for the Liberals to begin with? Jodie would have been a much wiser choice. How does his experience enforcing prohibition give him expertise in cannabis production,use or sales? I knew the plan was doomed the minute I heard his name. There’s nothing we can do about it now, but I thought I’d point out your first mistake,so you can understand where things started to go wrong.
- Are you going to destroy the records and offer a public apology to all those convicted under unjust prohibition laws? I noticed you did that recently for those convicted under antiquated and unjust ‘same-sex’ laws. While cannabis and choice of sexual partner are very different, the conditions under which people were unfairly charged and convicted are eerily similar. No Canadian should carry a criminal record for something the government is now accepting of, especially when they are involved in it for profit. Got time to fit that into your July 1st speech Justin?
- And last in my list, but top of mind for millions of Canadians, is the actual date of legalization. You’ve decided to give in to the whiners who had a problem with July 1st, so what day to you have in mind instead? May I offer a few suggestions? My first choice would be for Friday, April 20. This date would be welcomed by citizens and producers, but the anti-legalization crowd would complain it’s too early. The next date I would suggest is Monday, July 2nd. Pick any day in between there and you’ll be okay. Delaying it longer will be detrimental to your continued employment.
As I begin to stand, two of Justin’s man-servants approach to wipe away his white foam ‘mustache’ and several women fight to get selfies with him. I push my way out the door of the cafe, light a fat doob, and think about the crazy event that just occurred. This was a one-in-a-lifetime experience … Not one of those women wanted a selfie with me.