This is another watershed moment in the long journey toward a bright future.
It will be fascinating to watch this roll out.
An article on the subject: http://420intel.com/articles/2016/11/09/california-legalizes-recreational-sales-use-marijuana-state
Patronage & prohibition is being disguised as "legalization" in Canada. Government spin-control is the order of the day. The recent Discussion Paper tabled by the Liberal Party shows a very clear pattern of deception. Disingenuous, as my lawyer friends call it.
Hard core prohibitionists head up the Task Force. Bill Blair, ex-Chief of Police and Anne McLellan, ex-Minister of Justice. These are people who've been at the forefront of criminal sanctions, worse, preventing, delaying and denying court ordered changes to the law for well over a decade. The discussion paper is full of references to discredited studies, false assumptions and suspect ideas long since dismissed as drug war rhetoric. More propaganda based upon "experts" who are paid to protect their jobs.
No information on the numerous court rulings, Charter Rights violations and rampant corruption is found. There is no input from the cannabis sub-culture. Absent are peer-reviewd published studies which would provide a balanced perspective. Missing is the CONCLUSION from the Senate Report of 2002: Repeal Prohibition. http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/sen/committee/371/ille/rep/summary-e.pdf Instead, the entire "discussion paper" is an exercise in convincing the population that the government has considered the publics input. Unlike the Senate Report, there are no consultations with those governed: the entire cannabis community. This latest charade from the Liberal government is actually prohibition all dressed up as "legalization". It barely qualifies as decriminalization with the threat of criminal law to enforce the deception. Liberal insiders have already reaped millions playing the Marihuana Licenced Production Regulation game the Conservative government dreamed up. It does qualify as government fraud.
To make a short list:
1. A recent study at the University of British Columbia reveals that a mere 5% of cannabis gardens (grow-ops) are connected to organized crime.
2. Studies showing the effects of cannabis on teenagers have been widely discredited. The most widely published "study" was shown to be fraudulent with a vanishlingly small study group.
3. Peer-reviewed studies that demonstrate an increase in neurons are not referenced. Research on Alzheimers disease is not referenced. There are over 24,000 studies published.
4. Cannabis has the same toxicity index as water. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs and alcohol, an overdose is impossible. The harms are greatly exaggerated without supporting proof.
5. The Senate Report makes several recommendations: an age limit of 16+, restrictions on advertising, excluding big tobacco and alcohol corporations, keeping medical information relevant to patients and a small-business orientation with local outlets across the country.
"Prohibition is a failure of good governance." -Senate Report ©2002 "Prohibition creates corruption at all levels of government." U.N. Report ©1993
Violations of section 2, 7, 8 and 15 of the Charter of Rights & Freedoms continue unabated ~ in violation of the Constitution under the law. Police are arresting and charging citizens in record numbers with a 'crime' that has been struck down by the Courts as being "without force nor effect". The government is "of two minds" regarding the law, the Charter and the Constitution.
This not acceptable. It certainly isn't rational nor legal.
The entire cannabis community has been subjected to decades of arrests, prosecutions, prison sentences, robbery, coercion, beatings and murder.... by the government and their agents. Those afflicted by this failed social policy have no voice. The burden of criminal records and the discrimination that results are considered acceptable by these prohibitionists. They now wish to tax, regulate and control the entire (corrupt) process. This qualifies as taxation without representation. This entire charade will fail. Under prohibition, enforced by the heavy hand of the law, the "regulations" have failed. We, the People, have ignored these sanctions for years. We voted for Trudeau & the Liberal Party under the platform promise to legalize cannabis. This is not legalization - it is deception. We won't make the same mistake again.
Our sub-culture (approximately 15% of the population) will not comply with draconian rules, patronage, regulations and criminal sanctions designed to maintain prohibiton in disguise. This process is designed to crush the cannabis community under government domination. Cannabis is a natural herb, the Tree of Life, and deserves intelligent, enlightened political discourse... not more of the same failed policy.
The roots of prohibition can be traced to the colonial empires of the past. British Empire politics and policies encouraged prohibition for nearly 500 years. On the other hand, the British Navy sailed on cannabis ("hemp") for rope, clothing and sails.
It was a requirement that citizens grow the plant everywhere, in every port. This did help to spread "Indian Hemp" around the world. Hail Britannia. Cannabis prohibition appears to be just more of the same with a modern twist: profiling of the citizens. Racist roots aside, the net effect of prohibition results in wholesale records, criminal and otherwise, that are created and stored in "law" enforcement databases worldwide. A clear violation of Human Rights & Freedoms. Section 8 of our Charter states: Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure. The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that the purpose of Section 15 is to protect those groups who suffer social, political and legal disadvantage in society. Discrimination occurs where, for example, a person, because of a personal characteristic, suffers disadvantages or is denied opportunities available to other members of society. Searching the internet and phone records, for example, to detailing connections between those in the cannabis community, is illegal. Yet it happens every day. Guilt by association. Members of the cannabis culture are routinely discriminated against on a daily basis.
The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that a limit on Charter rights is acceptable if:
• the limit deals with a pressing and substantial social problem, and
• the government's response to the problem is reasonable and demonstrably justified.
Criminal court cases where deeply held spiritual beliefs are examined (on trial in relation to cannabis), the judges rulings have used the "not withstanding" clause to violate Charter Rights on a consistent basis. Jail time has been ordered to "punish" the defendants ~ as if that would change their beliefs! The governments response is neither reasonable nor justified - except under the terms of prohibition. A sincere belief in the Tree of Life can land you in prison. In no uncertain terms, this is persecution of a religious minority under Section 2 of the Charter. Very clear violations of section 2 of the Charter of Rights & Freedoms and the Constitution.
The larger social & economic impact is even greater. We've all seen the numbers and the statistics. They seriously suck. The entire justice system is broken. Indeed the pressing and substantial social problem IS prohibition itself. A failed social policy that undermines our civilization in corrupt ways. In the words of the Senate in 2002, "prohibition is a failure of good governance". What is the way out? One approach is to jam the machine. Stand on your rights as a citizen. Simply refuse to plead guilty, drag the whole thing out for months. This serves to occupy valuable time & resources in the 'justice system'. It's just not worth spending all that effort into prosecuting minor cannabis consumers. Putting them in jail only costs the taxpayers more & more year after year. Worse, the issue is never resolved. Law enforcement can't even keep cannabis out of the prisons. Prohibition contributes nothing but social & financial damage to all citizens. Taxpayers suffer under the burden whether they agree or not. Billions of tax dollars wasted. Decade after decade. Worse, our children get arrested in record numbers. Qualifies as taxation without consent nor representation. We do not consent.
Another tactic is by democratic vote. In States where a ballot initiative is (even) allowed, the citizens have overturned cannabis prohibition. Oddly enough, the sky didn't fall. Here in Canada they don't really let us vote. The last referendum was years and years ago. A national referendum was held on alcohol prohibition in 1898.... yes, 116 years ago. Guess what? Prohibition fell as a result of the citizens being sick & tired of being subject to a social policy created by politicians and vested interests. The sky didn't fall. Sound familiar? History has a tendency to repeat itself.
Editorials on this subject note that Washington and Colorado have already legalized cannabis. "I think it can be safely said that Washington’s law is viewed as problematic. Colorado's is better. I think we can do better yet. Something simple and not overly restrictive." For example:
• A preamble, with a list of Whereas':, listing the evils and failures of prohibition.
• Cannabis, in any form, formulation, product or extract, shall be legal for adults to possess, grow and to give away for free.
• Commercial sales and cultivation of cannabis shall subject to the same regulation as other retail, industrial or agricultural businesses and be subject to standard taxes only.
• Age limit (18 - 21) ie: If you can vote, cannabis is legal.
• People having past convictions for cultivation, possession or sale, shall have their criminal records expunged.
• Nothing here shall change the law on impaired driving.
• Nothing here shall be construed as superseding current medicinal "marijuana" laws.
• Add protection for parents from government agencies as to use, possession, or growing in homes with children, and for medicinal use by children.
When writing such a bill, avoid restrictive:
• Local options
• Tax earmarks
• Public consumption
• Outside vs inside grow
• Cannabis vs Hemp
• Grow quantities
• Lab testing*
Here in Canada, the recommendations of the Senate* report ©2002, the Liberal's majority vote on Resolution 117 ©2012 and the draft policy paper* tabled by the Young Liberals ©2013 will be the guiding documents for the repeal of prohibition after the next election. It is a serious political and social issue. This problem began in Parliament, it must end there. Nothing less will do.
Our descendants may be stuck for 50 or 100 years with what we come up with… so it is vital that we get it right. Convoluted rules, regulations and restrictions will impact the free market innovations and products for years to come. We'll get to those in a bit.
The revolution will not be televised. During the past few years many new innovations have been developed in the cannabis industry. I'm not talking about new strains or concentrates or bongs here. I'm talking about some industrial applications that have far reaching implications. A couple of these cross the gaps between standard industrial applications of technology and old fashioned agriculture. These innovations show a bridge between organic plant agriculture and chemical / industrial technology in several fields. As presented in Cannabis Phytoremediation, carbon based technologies have the potential to not only mitigate climate change but transform and revolutionize various industrial sectors. Capturing carbon from the atmosphere is one thing. Using it for cool stuff is another. Gives brand new meaning to high technology.
Once upon a time, way back in 1938 Popular Science published an article: New Billion Dollar Crop. Sound familiar to anyone? The earlier year, 1937, the "marijuana" stamp act had been passed… effectively taxing the billion crop out of sight and out of mind. This is a chart from that era: Industrial Uses of Hemp (Cannabis Sativa, L.) Since then, a few more facts have come to light.
The modern chart is a bit more complex with the advances in chemical & materials sciences during the past seventy eight years. You can see what I mean. Consider for a moment all the inter-locking interests chemical and petrochemical represented here. Cannabis has the potential to impact of all of these industries and every player in the game.
Beyond all of this, are fields of science & technology that are game changers.
First is the new materials science being developed called "graphene". Comes from the mineral graphite as one source. You know, pencil lead. Rather new field of study: it is a single layer of carbon atoms bonded together in the classic carbon ring. Produced in sheets of material, it is flexible, semi-transparent yet 200 times stronger than steel. It conducts electricity better than gold. Industrial applications that are being developed are staggering in their implications. Research is proceeding VERY rapidly. The EU and China, for example, are investing BILLIONS into this technology. Now the really cool thing is that the materials for carbon based tech can be grown. Follow along here.
Second of these to cross my radar was a project from JapanPowerPlus & AltCaps. They have developed a carbon-based battery technologies. They are using organic cotton or cannabis as base materials. This is a game changer. The power characteristics are fascinating (to geeks like me) and are being applied from capacitors to AA's up to Electric Vehicles (EV's) on a large scale. Using carbon for the anodes & cathodes in their unique design uses no heavy metals nor precious earths. Graphene shells would produce a 100% carbon battery - which recycles back to carbon in a closed loop. Taken to another level, induction charging systems could use carbon tech EV batteries as a distributed grid level storage mechanism. (idea compliments of Dr. David Suzuki)
Dr. Mitlin, conducted his research while at the University of Alberta. Mitlin’s group decided to see if they could make graphene-like carbons from hemp bast fibers. The race toward the ideal supercapacitor has largely focused on graphene — a strong, light material made of atom-thick layers of carbon, which when stacked, can be made into electrodes. Scientists are investigating how they can take advantage of graphene’s unique properties to build better solar cells, water filtration systems, touch-screen technology, as well as batteries and supercapacitors. The problem is it’s expensive. Dr.Mitlin, who’s now with Clarkson University in New York, states: "Our lithium-ion capacitors are made using bio-derived graphene-like carbon nanosheets. These electrode provide an industry leading energy density of 12 Wh kg–1and specific capacitance of 120 F g–1 ". AltCaps, a new company to develop this technology is taking this to market. Fascinating part of this is that growing the carbon material is cheaper than other methods of manufacturing graphene. Like I said, making things out of carbon. http://altasupercaps.com/
Third brilliant idea are companies that are developing new grapheme materials and 3D graphene printers. This has the potential to impact other industries such as electronics, medical devices and sensor technologies. One Vancouver based company, which is a spinout from Graphene Laboratories, Inc, focuses their efforts on the development and manufacturing of materials for 3D printing which have been enhanced with graphene. Elena Polyakova Founder Graphene Laboratories Inc., Reading
Fourth projects are from from Ireland, Australia, Canada and the US. Today a number of companies are mass producing cannabis based industrial products. One example is "hempcrete" as housing material in both poured and block form. Using the inner core material, hempcrete is used to form walls - capturing tons of CO2 per dwelling. Construction panels, particle board, insulation and roof shingles are being manufactured right now. Regarding the pulp & paper industry, cannabis will produce up to 4x the fiber than pulp wood crops acre for acre. The economics start to become obvious.
Final consideration for the day: Bio-diesel is 11 percent oxygen by weight and contains no sulphur, so instead of creating sulphur-based smog and acid rain as by-products, it produces 11 percent oxygen instead. Bio-diesel can be made from domestically produced, renewable oilseed cannabis crops. Exhaust smells like french fries. Cannabis oilseed also works well as a "feed stock" for plastics, cellophane and other oil based products. As interesting as these ideas are, one vital thing is missing: infrastructure. The entire cannabis industry suffers under the stigma of the drug war and 77 years of prohibition. Investment certainly hasn't flowed into this sector. The harvesting, processing and manufacturing technology remains rather under developed. A mere 100,000 acres were cultivated in Canada in 2014. Most of it went to the health food market as hulled hemp seed. Some work has been done in this area, but all the media attention and investor interest hype is focused on a tiny fraction of the potential. In our modern chart, the THC component is a small part of overall whole. If it was a Billion Dollar Crop in 1938… what is it worth today?
IMAGINE: for a moment if a significant portion of our food, clothing and shelter - fuels, plastics, paper and graphene carbon were all grown in a sustainable agricultural loop. Chances are global CO2 levels would start dropping in a decade or two.
Next considerations: Cannabis Civilization 101