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Rona Ambrose's backwards pot politics

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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.

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