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What do to with the WEED?

Police Chief Rick Barnum, Deputy Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police recently told MP’s studying the marijuana question that the police will not be ready to enforce new laws if they are in place by the current deadline of July 2018.

“Take it slow,” he said. And the advice was echoed by Kevin Sabet, representative from a country with a drug policy so terrible it’s resulted in the highest incarceration rate in the world, with prisoners coming from mostly minority communities. Guess which country.

Having participated in a legislative review back in 2012 when we were arguing over the issue of pardons, I can assure you these discussions are largely nonsense, more akin to theatre than serious debate. But I still hope Police Chief Barnum’s words caused a few eyebrows to rise and a few heads to shake.

Saying the police DON’T have the resources TO NOT police marijuana is like telling the person dumping you that you can’t break up because there isn’t any spare time not to spend together.

Take it from someone who been familiar with marijuana for at least 25 years. It’s less harmful than alcohol, and not by a small margin. And for society in general I firmly believe more harm is caused by the policy than the drug itself. But don’t take my word for it. Do the research because the evidence will back me up. For that reason and many others Prime Minister Trudeau was right to finally say enough is enough.

The whole point of this new legal paradigm is to acknowledge we made a mistake with the weed. The real reefer madness wasn’t a bunch stoned kids listening to music their parents didn’t understand. It was the generations before them demonizing a harmless plant they had little to no experience with.

The new policy won’t be perfect. That much is clear. But whatever it is can’t possibly be worse than the nonsense we’ve been stuck with for over a hundred years.

Slow down indeed.

About Michael Ashby

Michael Ashby is Co-Founder and Communications Director for the National Pardon Centre. Get in touch with Michael by sending an email to or calling extension 227.Michael Ashby est le co-fondateur et le directeur des communications au Centre du Pardon national. Contactez Michael par email au ou par téléphone au poste 227.

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