Tag Archives: Colorado

Opportunity or Catastrophe? Weighing in on the Upcoming Legalization of Pot in Canada

Legalizing recreational marijuana was part of Justin Trudeau’s election campaign platform, but it wasn’t something many people took seriously. What with the common mistrust of politicians and the opposition of the very powerful Hell’s Angels gang, who stand to lose a lot of revenue if pot becomes legal, it was hard to take Trudeau’s proposition seriously.

That’s why I was surprised to hear that the Federal Health Minister had announced plans to legalize marijuana by 2017. CBC’s recent episode of Cross Country Checkup gave Canadians an opportunity to respond with a few of their thoughts on the new legislation. Many of the callers brought some great points to my attention, some of which I’ve touched on below. However, it was apparent that some callers were still buying into weed propaganda, from exaggerated health benefits to exaggerated threats. For this post I decided to pull together a few of the best arguments I’ve heard from both camps and try to find at least a little research to support their claims.

Pros of Legalization

1. Legalization could reduce an unnecessary drain on police resources

Cannabis related offences are the most common type of drug offence in Canada, especially here in British Columbia.

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Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Aggregate Uniform Crime Reporting Survey.

According to Stats Canada, “in 2012, 43% of Canadians reported that they had used marijuana at some time in their lives, and 12% reported using it in the past year”. That means half of all Canadians could have been charged with possession at one time or another. Although in some places police will turn a blind eye to mere pot possession, there are still a significant number of cases reported by police. CBC explains that 

there were 57,314 marijuana possession-related “incidents” reported by police nationwide, according to Statistics Canada. More than 24,540 people were charged as a result. The year before that, 25,819 Canadians faced charges.

What’s disconcerting about this grey area of crime is that police can often use their discretion when it comes to actually prosecuting an offence. According to a recent CBC News analysis, where you live can affect if you will be charged. They report that “you’re almost 23 times more likely to face a possession charge in Kelowna, B.C., than in St. John’s.”

Marijuana use is so widespread that it is taking a massive amount of police resources to even pursue pot users. According to a report last year, “police report a pot possession incident every 9 minutes in Canada”. Inevitably, chasing down the almost endless amount of pot users and dealers takes police away from pursuing other criminal activity. Continue reading

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Fame Day: New Belgium Brewing Co.

asdfasdfaThere’s a common misconception that Communism is about an all-powerful government controlling the economy. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Despite our railing against Ayn Rand and laissez-faire economics, the end-boss that Marx actually described was the inevitable merger of big business and big government into one inbred monster. The whole point of the glorious people’s revolution was to get rid of both the plutocrat and the politician, though obviously between Stalin, Pol Pot, and Joe McCarthy, things all went terribly wrong. “Marxism” became a buzz-word for the very things it was opposed to, and the whole movement got set back a century. It’s not easy being red.

Even so, every once in a while, we manage to chalk up a point for the good guys.

This particular victory comes to us from Fort Collins, Colorado, where it was announced yesterday that the New Belgium Brewing Company has become 100% worker owned!

ARISE YE WORKERS FROM YOUR SLUMBER! ARISE YE PRISONERS OF WANT!

That’s right- owned and democratically run by the people who actually do the work. Behold the nefarious Communist agenda for America!

Now in case you’re wondering exactly who these guys are, there’s a chance you might be more familiar with some of their products- such as Blue Paddle, Snow Day (seasonal), and their most famous, Fat Tire.

This is a really, really good beer…

 

Now in addition to being a much needed triumph for the proletariat, New Belgium has plenty more commendable points worth mentioning.
For example:

  • These guys are as green as they are red, using a combination wind-power, methane, and ingenious energy-efficiency techniques to reduce power consumption.
  • All workers receive a free bike after one year of service.
  • Workers get 10 paid holidays (the average American worker gets about 8; if you don’t appreciate the difference, then you’re not working)
  • Workers enjoy sporting events, art shows, and freaking beer parties.

All of which I imagine go just like this…

We live in a world full of vile contemptible companies who do vile contemptible things and never get the derision and disgust that they so richly deserve (cough, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Monsanto, Nike, Caterpillar, Unilever, Marks & Spencer, cough). If those evil dirtbags can’t be publicly condemned, then perhaps we can at least swing to the other side, and offer some well-earned praise to people doing it right.

New Belgium Brewing Co., here’s to you, comrades!