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Smoke signals from the coast

By Hempology | May 15, 2002


Wednesday, May 15th, 2002

by Brian Dryden (Victoria News staff)

Leave it to cantankerous former Brian Mulroney-era cabinet minister Pat Carney to let a well-kept B.C. secret out of the bag every now and then.

Senator Carney’s sporadic forays back onto the national political stage almost always revolve around her giving the grand Pooh-Bahs back East a geography lesson.

The lesson passed on ad nauseam is to point out the standard-bearers of what passes for a government of all Canada these days, that there is a West Coast connected by land bridge to the center of the universe.

Snug in the belly of the beast, where the corridors of power zig and zag like a snake alert to danger, through the board rooms and alleyways of southern Ontario, it would appear that far too often those making federal government decisions know next to nothing about the various parts which comprise the whole.

So, news last week that the first crop of pot for the federal government’s supposed medical marijuana experiment turned out to be “bad weed”, for the purpose it was grown, does not come as much of a surprise, considering the feds ignored the obvious and instead and instead set up a legal grow-op in Manitoba.

That “obvious” thing which the feds missed did not go unnoticed by the esteemed Senator from B.C. Carney, who quite rightly pointed out that if you want some good weed in Canada, British Columbia is where it’s at.

Perhaps it’s a bit presumptuous to expect the federal government of Canada to know that B.C.’s underground marijuana-growing operations are world famous and, if truth be known, are a huge boost to the province’s official, above-ground economy.

Perhaps the federal government is just too busy getting its MPs in line, executing such clever moves as killing private members’ bills of honourable MPs, such as the Canadian Alliance’s Esquimalt-based representative Keith Martin. It must be so much more fun sticking it to out-of-order MPs rather than addressing the issues, such as marijuana decriminalization, head on.

Or perhaps the federal government just doesn’t know what it’s doing. It is too much,at this point, to expect those with the power to foster change to stand up and acknowledge that existing laws on the legality of substances for personal consumption have no logical basis, and the ongoing war on drugs should really be renamed the war on personal freedom.

Yet, if the federal government is really serious in at least easing the restrictions on marijuana so that those who claim a medicinal use – such as many supplied through illegal compassion clubs which operate in many major North American cities, including Victoria – then get on with the job of supplying the stuff.

If there’s a need to consult experts, then consult the real experts out here in B.C. If need be, consult a map.

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