rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Rona Ambrose's backwards pot politics

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Well we finally found out what it takes to get the Harper government outraged. It wasn't our allies carrying out a global assassination campaign that presumes guilt without trial, or Canadian mining companies acting like the Latin American mafia, or even Zayn leaving One Direction. It was pot brownies. Health minister Rona Ambrose says she was "outraged" by the Supreme Court's unanimous decision that medical marijuana users should be free to purchase pot edibles like cookies, brownies, oils, or even a nice artichoke dip with some minced red onion...bit of lemon juice...little bit of pot. It's lovely. 

Ambrose said that in spite of this onslaught of rationality, the Harper government "will continue our anti-drug strategy" and "target youth with the message that marijuana pot is bad for them." That's fine as long as you also tell them tobacco cigarettes, alcohol beer and even sugar Skittles are drugs that are bad for them too.

Ambrose claimed there's no clear evidence that marijuana is "quote unquote, a medicine." Not sure who she was quote-unquoting but it probably wasn't the Mayo Clinic, who concluded there is clear scientific evidence. But medicinal benefits aside, prohibition of pot is hypocritical and dumb. According to Ambrose's ministry, Health Canada, annual alcohol-related health costs are 165 dollars per user, 800 dollars per user for tobacco and only 20 dollars for marijuana. That's great value.

But this likely has more to do with politics than health. A Department of Justice poll, that the government kept secret for months, found that seven out of 10 Canadians want pot legalized or decriminalized. So that leaves about 30 per cent. Not coincidentally, if you look at the results of a recent Ekos poll that shows voters first and second choices, it shows that the Conservatives are communicating solely with a hard, hardcore core of supporters that number about 30 per cent. So between now and October's election, those of us who aren't in that 30 per cent are going to hear a lot of outrageous stuff.  


This video originally appeared in The Toronto Star.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.