From your article of March 31 (Canadian warship seizes $100M of heroin in ‘massive’ high seas bust), it’s difficult to appreciate how much is involved in making such success stories possible. Consider all the Canadians sailors who have volunteered to serve on HMCS Toronto, and all the taxpayers working and sacrificing to fund the massive expense of such an endeavor. Add in the activists, bureaucrats, and politicians who have laboured long and hard to prosecute the War on Drugs. This sacrifice of manpower and wealth should not go unappreciated, and I thank all participants on behalf of those who will benefit the most, yet cannot speak for themselves – other drug dealers.
Having no recourse to all the legal mechanisms available to vendors and consumers of candy, tobacco, alcohol, and other such goods, drug dealers must rely on violence to police each other and to take market share. Surely, no one is happier than they that one of their competitors has been dealt a crippling blow at no expense to themselves. Because Canadians have done the dirty work, remaining dealers are saved the trouble, and, even better for them, can now increase the price of their products in response to the reduction in supply relative to demand. More money for less effort. Let us all bask in the warm glow of our accomplishment.
One of the local radio stations has been broadcasting advertisements for a group called Canada’s Temperance Foundation (CTF). Although the tone of the ads was very moderate, they set my libertarian alarm bells ringing. Surely, this was a group of religiously motivated neo-Prohibitionists and Drug War advocates. Imagine my surprise when I visited their website to find this -
“CTF is a contemporary temperance organization. We do not advocate or support the prohibition of alcohol. We are a secular organization in that we do not promote any specific religion.”… “Canada’s Temperance Foundation is unique in that it will be privately funded and will operate independently of government.”
Intrigued, I emailed some questions to CTF, and soon received a reply from Vice-President and Community Outreach Co-Ordinator Gray Garten. Enjoy -
1. Why has your group elected to pursue private funding and to operate independently of government?
It is our feeling that government is under the falsehood that they are creating revenue through the taxation of beverage alcohol. The fact of the matter is that if you factor in medical costs, legal enforcement costs, lost productivity costs the revenue raised by alcohol taxation is dwarfed exponentially. It appears they are unable to remove the blinders to the aforementioned facts. It lacks integrity to accept money from any entity whose policies are directly opposed to ours.
2. Why does your group decline to advocate or support prohibition? Will you go so far as to declare your opposition to current prohibition regulations?
A. History has taught us that prohibition does not work. There are roughly 950 organized criminal groups active in Canada and 80% of those derive their revenue from illegal drug sales. Prohibition will only create another product for the black market.
B. At this time CTF is not going to lobby for or against any regulations. It is our mission to educate and that is where our focus is and will remain at this time.
3. Why does your group note that yours is a secular organization?
We are a secular organization because we welcome everyone and exclude no one.
4. Are you familiar with any of the research in which participants indicate benefits from, or feel otherwise positively towards, intoxication from alcohol or drugs? If so, how do you reconcile that research with your group’s position that intoxication is irresponsible and unhealthy? If not, can you imagine any circumstances under which such intoxication could be healthy and responsible, or in which an adult may reasonably conclude that the trade-off between the costs and benefits justifies intoxication?
We are not opposed to the medicinal benefits of a very small amount of alcohol for cardiac benefit. (although new research is being conducted that may refute original findings) We are also not opposed to Marijuana use to counteract the nausea of chemotherapy. If you are a non drinker it is unlikely that any doctor would suggest you to begin drinking as it has be linked to a multitude of very serious medical conditions.
Although my views on the potential mental, spiritual, and physical benefits of intoxication differ from those of CTF, I must say that I admire their rejection of state support and intervention in favour of peaceful persuasion. They might be worth a cash donation, and they are certainly worth promoting.
To strike a blow against political correctness, coercive state regulation, and the nanny state, I considered passing out some very specific treats this Halloween: candy cigarettes and chocolate cigars -
Imagine my surprise when I went to Amazon.com, only to have Amazon say they are unable to ship either item to my default shipping address. My default address is in Canada, so I immediately became suspicious. Wikipedia, to the rescue -
“….many critics believe the candy desensitizes children, leading them to become smokers later in life. Because of this, the selling of candy cigarettes has been banned in several countries”….”In Canada federal law prohibits candy cigarette branding that resembles real cigarette branding….”
Just to be certain, I looked around a little more, and I found some items that appear to be exceptions, and some that either disprove my suspicion or suggest such regulations are not being monitored. For example, Amazon would not ship one type of bubble-gum cigar, but appeared willing to ship another. Amazon.ca offers candy cigarettes that appear to violate the regulation cited in Wikipedia. And there exists liquorice cigars that are MADE in Canada. They look familiar, so I presume they are sold here as well. It all gets very confusing, and seems a lot of fuss for very little gain.
And, just to crystallize the lunacy of all this, let me point out that our local shopping centre has a store called Candy Cures -
I suppose the desensitization of children to the abuse of prescription drugs just hasn’t caught nanny’s attention yet.
If you use marijuana, here is one of seven tips offered at Salon for avoiding arrest -
“Step #5: Don’t Smoke in Your Car
Your car is the number-one place you will most likely have an encounter with law enforcement. Looking for people with marijuana in their cars keeps some police departments in business. So smoking in your car, whether it is moving or not, is never a good idea.
At some point, however, you do have to move yourself with some marijuana from point A to point B in a rapid fashion. So if you have to have marijuana in your car, you should keep it in the trunk or locked up in the back somehow. Your center console, your glove compartment, and for pete’s sake, the dashboard, are not storage places for your stash.”
Find the rest here, and avoid falling victim to the state.
Although I have reminded readers to celebrate December 5th (the anniversary of the ratification of the 21st Amendment to the US Constitution which repealed Prohibition), I was unaware that Canada has a Repeal Day all its own. Thankfully, my recent discovery of yet another Canadian libertarian blog has delivered me from my ignorance. From Freedom is My Nationality -
“85 years today prohibition of alcohol ended in Ontario. This was a great moment in Ontario’s history and a restoration of our freedoms. I encourage everyone to at some point tonight raise a glass to the freedom to consume alcohol.
At the same time you should keep in mind that the legacy of prohibition lives on in Ontario. The LCBO and the Beer Store were both created as a political compromise between prohibitionists and freedom lovers. These monopolistic powers restrict consumer choice and make it difficult for producers to sell their wares. Often Ontario law treats alcohol consumers like idiot children who need a stern lesson, instead of treating them like the responsible adults that they are.
Neo-prohibitionists want to not only keep these antiquated laws and institutions but to also expand them. There is a constant struggle to strip alcohol consumers of the freedom to do what they enjoy. The puritanical streak in people is very resilient.”
So, yes indeed,by all means, raise a glass for the sake of freedom.
“Portugal gets it; the president of Guatemala gets it; Now some Canadians are noticing that the whole be-like-the-U.S. and declare war on plants and people is not the best policy idea.
The chief medical officers of three Canadians provinces, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan have written a new paper for Open Medicine called ”Improving community health and safety in Canada through evidence-based policies on illegal drugs.” Its conclusions are a cautious version of the above; law and order harshness does nothing to sate appetites for drugs, marijuana in particular is not terribly bad for people, and U.S. policies are just awful so why emulate them?”
I think these physicians are correct in both their diagnosis and their prescription, however, I don’t look to physicians for policy advice anymore than I do movie stars. Of course, every individual is entitled to their opinion, but what am I to make of “International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War“, “Physicians for Social Responsibility“, or “Doctors for the Environment“? Is there something about obtaining an MD that bestows insight and ability concerning public policy? Well, the physicians themselves must think so, because there are an awful lot of ‘Doctors for This’ and ‘Doctors Against That’ in this world.
Mind you, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is a Ob-Gyn, so maybe there is something to all this. Either way, I welcome all allies.
“Vancouver health officials will distribute new crack pipes to drug users this fall as part of a pilot project aimed at reducing the transmission of diseases such as hepatitis C.
The program, part of Vancouver’s harm-reduction strategy, is expected to start in October and run for six months to a year, said Dr. Reka Gustafson, a medical health officer with the Vancouver Coastal Health authority.”
Well, at least the politicians won’t make a profit from this… in dollars, that is. Those politicians who support this initiative expect to rake in some votes, while those who oppose it while endorsing the War on Drugs also look forward to making a killing. But this is a democracy, and everyone had a chance to cast a vote, so rest assured that prosecuting drug use while enabling drug use represents the will of the majority.
Seriously, this is what happens when people try to use government to bring about their personal preferences. If you give politicians the power to spend your money prosecuting drug users, you give them the power to spend your money on free crack pipes.
I am, as I think you know, most certainly opposed to the welfare state. That said, the hypocrisy of this is sickening -
“Expect challenges to a bill signed by Governor Rick Scott which will require welfare applicants to undergo drug testing.
The bill also requires that those who apply for welfare must pay for the drug testing out of their own pockets. However, the cost would be reimbursed if the person passes the drug test.
Republicans said the measure was needed because if taxpayers are screened at their place of employment, so should welfare recipients.”
To my knowledge, the vast majority of those screened at their place of employment are government employees. If you are paid in taxes, then you are a taxfeeder, not a taxpayer. And since real, private sector taxpayers are seldom screened at their place of employment, we can just dismiss Republican justification for this disgusting bill.
If the Republicans are determined to do this, I wish they would at least be consistent about it, but I doubt very much we will soon see board members, executives, and other recipients of corporate welfare peeing into jars any time soon.
In response to your May 12th article “Seven men arrested after Chilliwack report of shots fired“, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the RCMP on behalf of those who are grateful for the work of the police, but who are prevented by circumstance from speaking themselves; other drug dealers.
Although the capture of these seven individuals reminds other drug dealers of the potential risks involved in supplying illegal substances, the absence of them and their product creates a market opportunity for both remaining suppliers and aspirants who had previously found the barriers to entry too high to overcome. As this bust has done nothing to decrease demand, the lower availability of distributors and drugs means higher profits. Typically, dealers wishing to increase market share must risk their own lives and resources in order to drive out competition, but in this case the costs are borne entirely by the cops and the taxpayers. It is harder to imagine a sweeter set up.
So to all you drug warriors out there, rest assured that no matter what anyone else thinks, drug dealers will always be grateful for your sacrifice. Without you, none of this would be possible.