The politics of pot in Canada get stickier by the day

The politics of pot in Canada get stickier by the day

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ROGER CURRIE, MyToba.ca

Canada’s doctors say “please leave us out of it” when it comes to the debate over eliminating some of the restrictions on smoking marijuana. They met in Ottawa this week, at the annual convention of the Canadian Medical Association. Two thirds of the delegates approved a resolution that basically said smoking burning leaves of any kind, whether it’s tobacco or cannabis, is not a good idea and should not be encouraged in any way.

The politics of pot are getting more fascinating and more dangerous every day. Opinion polls suggest that Justin Trudeau has an excellent chance of becoming prime minister when we vote in a general election a year from now. He is the strongest supporter of eliminating criminal penalties for recreational marijuana use.

When his dad got the top job 46 years ago, he joked that he was in favour of “putting some pot in every chicken.” As prime minister, Pierre appointed the LeDain Commission which resolved almost nothing. The Harper Conservatives have drawn a line in the sand, and they attack Justin as irresponsible and a dangerously bad example for Canada’s children. They tried without success to recruit doctors to lend their expertise to an ad campaign, warning of the dangers. The doctors wisely said “no thanks, we’ll pass”.

We’ve had medicinal marijuana in Canada for years, and there are still a ton of unanswered questions about that. What’s an appropriate dose? Is it as dangerous as smoking tobacco? The doctors point out that none of these issues have been subjected to reliable scientific study.

Meanwhile, nothing will stop the politicians from getting involved it seems. The words of Tom Mulcair of the NDP are particularly interesting when it comes to the smoking of burning leaves. This week he confessed to smoking oregano as a teenager, but he says he didn’t inhale. Remember when they called them reefers?

Roger Currie
Authored by: Roger Currie

Roger Currie has been a writer, broadcaster and storyteller in Canada for more than 40 years. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Roger occasionally studied at the University of Manitoba. He began his broadcasting career at CJOB in 1970, spending a total of 20 years there, including nine years as host of one of Canada’s first all-information morning shows. He also spent a total of 11 very rewarding years in Regina where his family roots run deep. He is once again active on radio, doing commentaries and a daily newscast on CJNU. He also serves on the board of the Nostalgia Broadcasting Cooperative. Roger has served on the boards of the major food banks in both Winnipeg and Regina. He also serves on the board of the Manitoba Lung Association. As a writer, Roger has done articles and columns for a variety of publications, both locally and nationally. In 2007, he wrote his first book. MTC 50 tells the story of the first half century of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. Movies are Roger’s greatest passion. He has served on film classification boards in both Manitoba and Ontario. Roger is a father and grandfather. He lives in Winnipeg with his wife Janice.