Monday, May 10, 2010

The Prince of Pot - Just What Did He Expect?

Marijuana activist Marc Emery will be extradited to the US sometime this week to serve up to five years in Uncle Sam's Greybar Hotel. Emery pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana in the US.

The debate isn't whether Emery sold marijuana seeds to Americans nor whether that is a criminal offence in the oh so United States of America. The issue is whether a five year tariff is remotely fair? Even the BC Court of Appeal thought a couple of months slammed up followed by a year of probation would be appropriate but that wasn't the issue before them.

I don't have a lot of sympathy for Emery. He did appear to enjoy his passing notoriety and made a bit of a martyr out of himself and, quite possibly, a good bit of money in the process (but I confess I don't know).

What is beyond question is this - Emery's martyrdom would be neutralized if only the government (both in fact) would decriminalize pot and market it in a manner similar to the way they reap the rewards of booze sales.

Now I'm a beer guy myself although I do enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. That said, in my immediate region, pot growing may be what passes for agriculture. It's pretty much just rocks and Christmas trees here, rocks and Christmas trees and pot. That said, I think it's harmless enough that it deserves to be treated like our other pet intoxicants.

My best buddy of some 40-years now is a freshly retired Detroit cop and Vietnam marine. For the sake of this item I'll only refer to Bob as "Bob." Many years ago Bob, as I'll call him, told me that he was all for the decriminalization of pot. He explained that he'd been to too many domestic violence scenes where the evidence comprised a corpse, a still warm gun, and a nearly empty bottle of bourbon on the kitchen table. Yet he'd never attended a murder that featured a corpse, a still warm gun and a stoner sprawled on the sofa. There was pot violence, make no mistake about that, plenty of it. But the pot violence came from the criminal element that enjoyed the exclusive market to traffic in the highly lucrative, illegal product. Kill two birds with one stone, Bob argued, stop banging up kids for a relatively harmless intoxicant while simultaneously cutting out the powerful criminal element that was profiting from it.

If people like the Lord of Flies could truly stop the pot trade by retaining the criminal sanction I'd say okay. But he can't, and he knows it. Does he, or anyone remotely sentient, believe that mandatory sentencing is going to reverse that, is going to put a meaningful dent in the pot trade? That has to be the sine qua non. You have to have some weird shit going on in your cortex to buy that and, if you do, your problem is far worse than pot.

Unfortunately, Marc Emery's martyrdom is a diversion to the debate we need to be having on this issue. I guess that's why this guy gets under my skin.


Okie said...

Someone should turn Monsanto on to this issue, and tell them about all the potential revenue they are losing.

I watched Harpers Youtube debut and when he got to his position on legalizing pot, it was rather fascinating. I thought I had stepped back in time to the Prohibition era and was listening to speech from the Temperance movement.

There must be an archive of that stuff somewhere.

double nickel said...

I'm sure you're just kidding about Monsanto. If anyone should be jailed for selling seeds, it would be the fuckwads running that corporation.

Okie said...

You are partly correct double nickel. It was more than that though. Tongue in cheek attempt to draw some attention to a number of fronts that are interconnected.

Major political entities are not serving the public interest on the issues surrounding GMO, nor are they being realistic in regards to legalizing pot. Without going into another lengthy opinion piece, I was trying to convey that if Monsanto exercised it's extraordinary influence in order to capture a monopoly on marijuana seed production and sales, as they are doing elsewhere, it would gain far more favor with our political leaders than the advice and wishes of the citizens.

As example; The Canada-E.U. Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement negotiations. Some of the concerns are;

The trade deal would almost entirely eliminate the rights of farmers to save, reuse and sell seed.

The draft of the trade deal also says that biotech corporations could seize the crops, equipment, and farms, and freeze the bank accounts of farmers who are deemed patent infringers, like farmers who find unwanted contamination in their fields. >>> THAT is power, but it is not the endgame. They are interested in bigger stakes, and this is one step toward that goal. They are not interested in empowering an economically devastated independent agricultural community, in fact the goal is the exact opposite.

This is more where they want to go;

The deal would commit Canada to reducing or eliminating agricultural subsidies and other government supports to farmers over time. Supply management systems that have allowed farmers in the dairy, poultry, and egg sectors to earn a decent living are under attack. The Canadian Wheat Board (a farmer controlled grain marketer) is also very likely under threat.

This is not a tin foil hat issue, the evidence is everywhere. This all fits with the Nafta ideology, and using the warm climate areas for ag production and Canada as a source of raw material. The feudal lords are merely expanding their plan of refined feudalism.Once they have established sufficient control, legalized pot growing under their terms may become a reality.

There are so many examples if one cares to look, but I could use the potato industry on the East coast and particularly PEI. The only markets left for independents are niche markets and overseas. The proposed deal above will take care of one of those. Two giants control the industry now, and recieved a great deal of government assistance in achieving those goals. They don't just want a piece anymore, they want it all. The last of the Independents will soon fall, victims of the venom of the corporate and government Cobras. Some might surmise, lie with snakes, be bitten by snakes.