NDP leadership #130

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wage zombie

After half a century of research involving billions of dollars spent by an ideological US Government obsessively trying to find any potential harm that could possibly be pinned on marijuana, the results are in!

And they are...inconclusive.  Looks like we need more research folks.

Winston

Notwithstanding the fact that a lot can change between now and ~2023, my crystal ball says that Megan Leslie will be the frontrunner in the next race when PMTM steps down.

Erik Redburn wrote:

Brachina wrote:
Michelle wrote:

I saw Megan Leslie speak recently, and she is a really great speaker.  I knew who she was before but had never heard her speak, really.  Very warm, down-to-earth, funny, and conversational.  She would have made an excellent candidate.

Agreed, she has the charm and humour of Cullen, the youthful vitality of Niki Ashton without being seen as too young, and the toughness of a Peggy Nash or Mulcair, the cunning of Brian Topp. She would have been first on my ballot had she run. Instead that honour went to Mulcair.

I've heard good things about her too.  If she works on her French somemore maybe she could run for leadership the next time around.

Panna

That's okay.  I understand your stance.  But I reiterate mine that I think it was responsible of him to say the latest research needs to be addressed before a decision can be made on whether or not to legalize it.

...also...I could be wrong but I think at this point it's very rare for people to be thrown in prison for smoking pot.  I haven't heard of that in years...if ever!

Erik Redburn

Panna wrote:

I listened to the link in which it was asked about the legalization of marijauna.  Mulcair said no, because based on the information that is out there right now, the potency of pot on the market today is much more stronger and there is research showing it's linkages to schizophrenia.  Recreating a commission using medical, legal and law experts to evaluate the situation now.

He also talked about the need to look at all the so called recreational drugs out there nowadays that young people use, some of which are extremely harmful.  Again saying, the situation needs more study....

Personally, I am quite happy with this response.  It shows responsibility and not rushing headlong into saying yes in spite of some research thats coming out showing some ill effects of pot and other recreational drugs on people nowadays. 

I would rather hear a politician saying this than a politician saying legalize!  I have a daughter that I have nursed through a drug dependency that started with pot and moved up into crystal meth and crack.  I also have a brother who smokes pot and has done so for years because of his MS.  Even he says he wished he didn't start smoking it.

There are different approaches to pot but I would like to err on the side of caution on this....Not everyone is able to exercise healthy control of their consumption.

 

 

 And why shoud every user have to risk hard time bcause some others might have more trouble handling it personally?  And every taxpayer have to pay for the prisons?

'Erring on the side of caution' unfortunately also means erring on the side of detaining everyone caught using, including casual users of non-addictive drugs, for years along with hardened criminals.   I"m sorry for your unhappy experiences, but pot doesn't necessarily lead to harder drugs either, another old claim used to support these regressive policies.  As I wrote previously, the vast majority of young pot smokers never go beyond it and most eventually quit on theor own without any 'help' by the state.   And as Jack Layton said, decriminalize and regulate pot not legalize everything from heroin to meth.  Harm reduction maybe more politically wise for those, along with better employment policies for youth, etc.   Regulation worked for alcohol, or rather it worked better than prohibition did.

wage zombie

Panna wrote:

I would rather hear a politician saying this than a politician saying legalize!  I have a daughter that I have nursed through a drug dependency that started with pot and moved up into crystal meth and crack.  I also have a brother who smokes pot and has done so for years because of his MS.  Even he says he wished he didn't start smoking it.

There are different approaches to pot but I would like to err on the side of caution on this....Not everyone is able to exercise healthy control of their consumption.

I'm sorry to hear about your daughter.

There are inherent risks with the use of any recreational substances.  When making laws to manage these risks, it's important to look at whether a law solves more problems than it causes.  What happened to your daughter happened under prohibition.  If cannabis were legally available for adults then perhaps it may have been less available to your daughters' social group, and perhaps its use woul dhave been less associated with that of other drugs.

I certainly don't want to change our laws without the proper amount of thought.  But I have been following this issue closely for a long time and I know that people have already put a lot of thought into this.  If Mulcair personally hasn't put enough thought into it then he should be doing his homework.

I expect that by 2015 things will have already changed in several states in the US.  Some states have already decriminalized, now, with successful results, and I would expect by 2015 we'll see legalization in one of them.

Erik Redburn

It happens all the time still, especially in the States, we just don't hear so much about it.  Possession of an ounce or so could automatically lead to trafficking charges, even in more liberal jurisdictions. 

Anyhow, I'm sorry to hear so many fellow members still have a hard time accepting the evidence thats already come out, but others can take this up now; I want to move onto others. 

wage zombie

Panna wrote:

That's okay.  I understand your stance.  But I reiterate mine that I think it was responsible of him to say the latest research needs to be addressed before a decision can be made on whether or not to legalize it.

Well then let's address the research now.  Why would we wait until we can get a commission set up in 2016 to do it?  Why wait 4 years to start figuring out what we think our position is?

Panna

I agree.  Address the research.  And who has the power to do that, right now? 

wage zombie

Well the NDP would certainly have the resources to address the research over the next couple years, by bringing those experts together to craft policy.

That's how policy works.  Mulcair's not pushing a Royal Commission on climate change to determine if a cap and trade system would be a good idea...nor is he pushing that for any policy.

Yet for some reason with cannabis we need a commission to figure out what our stance should be...what's the difference?  Why can't we start defining policy?  Or why can't Mulcair?

This idea of a commission is a step backwards from current NDP policy.  Does Mulcair think decriminalization is a good idea or not?

Additionally these commissions never seem to get us anywhere.  In the last decade even the Senate did a study and recommended outright legalization.  It never went anywhere.

The majority of the population favours outright legalization in polls.

Colorado and several other states have already decriminalized possession of personal amounts.

Anyone want to talk about booze and schizophrenia?

THe policy that I'd favour is Niki Ashton's interpretation of decriminalization.  Cannabis prohibition would be removed from the federal law, and regulation would go to the provinces.  Canada could help provinces transition to similar provincial laws as needed, and provinces would be free to regulate it as they saw fit, similar to how provinces have always had jurisidiction to regulate (and prohibit) alcohol.

This means that no province gets it forced upon them, and further loosening of any laws will be slowed by how long it would take for a province to make that decision.

Really the studies are all there, studies of decrim in US states, studies of Holland, studies of other countries (European and otherwise) that have decriminalized, medical studies, etc.  For me, we have the knowldge we need.

Now I realize I'm not providing all of these links in a nice little package to conclusively show anything.  I am simply stating why Mulcair's position is not adequate for me.  I think he's using weasal language, and if he's really just uninformed then he really ought to educate himself.

I'd love to provide you with the complete case for decrim here and now but I'm really just commenting ont he leadership race.  And I should get outside.

Panna

Hi.  Thanks for this...

:)

I've read it quickly and would like to respond and will!  But I have to head out.  Will comment later.

 

...and go and get outside!

Pan

R.E.Wood

And new fundraising data is out - Cullen has pulled into third place financially, ahead of Nash and Dewar. Mulcair and Cullen are the ones with the momentum, as judged by number and volume of donations heading toward the convention...

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1147821--ndp-leaders...

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

This issue (what to do about pot) was studied to death by the LeDain Commission forty years ago.  But successive governments have been too chickenshit to act on the commission's recommendations.   Looks like Mulcair is in that camp too... i..e. let's have another study and hope the issue goes away.

I think you'd find a pretty broad consensus amongst the general population that Canada should move towards decriminalization of the possession of small amounts of pot.  I think you'd also probably find strong support for legalization with regulation as well.

While the politicians figure out ways to not deal with this issue, our already clogged up justice system is clogged up further with prosecutions for something that should have been either decriminalized or legalized decades ago.

 

Erik Redburn

Michelle wrote:

Erik Redburn wrote:

"Thomas Mulcair is Mr. Angry"

http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/03/16/thomas-mulcair-is-mr-angry/#.T2NqYN7j...

and if you read this puff abit closer you might see how our pals in the rightwing media will be framing him if elected leader.

Actually, if anything, that article outlines some very good reasons for voting for Mulcair.  They're framing him quite well in this article - a scrappy guy who isn't afraid to take on the opposition.  I've always wished that the left would stop bringing knives to gunfights, and Mulcair will definitely be packing once he becomes leader.  That will be a good thing.  And if I thought he could be trusted to only turn those guns on the opposition, that would be great. 

Unfortunately, past experience, despite his current "I'm just a gruff, loveable teddy bear" campaign, suggests otherwise.  I know he's been running a positive, upbeat campaign.  But I'm more interested in what people act like and the positions they take normally, than what they do while they're in campaign mode.

 

I am too Michelle.  I'd like to see more scrappy leadership too, especially with a cold blooded mechanic like Harper in charge.   Unfortunaely I have to keep questioning whether his careful 'positioning' will do more to alienate the party's still sizeable left-of base than mollify the average Post reader.  More to the point I'm worried that his tough side will mostly be applied to fellow New Democrats who disagree with his so-far centrist tract than political opponents on the right.    He won't be getting much help in the media if he's elected leader, as Carole James quickly found out.

Erik Redburn

regruve wrote:

Erik Redburn wrote:

I'd like to see the sources for your statements abput a medical link being evidenced. 

Sure. This is a pretty good starting point, as is this piece. It's a complex issue, to be sure, but I don't think the potential risks to young brains, that aren't fully developed, can be ignored. At least that's what the research is suggesting.

"Teenagers who start smoking marijuana before the age of sixteen are four times more likely to become schizophrenic. That's the startling conclusion of some of the world's top schizophrenia experts" 

 

Ok, I've glanced at it and skimmed through and already see some problems.   First of all theres no such thing as an 'expert on schozophrenia'. Its a young science still relying on flawed and often contraictory data.  There are no known cures and medcation that works for some dosn't for others, and all medication tends to have limited shelf life.   Earlier pyschiatric theories have all been pretty much ruled out, except that sufferes can still use therapy and help.

Second, the percentages may seem impressive but actually aren't.  Those with pre-existing tendencies towards schizophrenia, (most probably an inherited biochemical imbalance) may only be more likley to use more as teenagers, which is when most coincidently tend to manifest.  Scientists could often use more training in proper statistical surveying to lay out the most likley hypothesis. 

And the 'forty percent higher risk' may seem impressive than it is.   Forty percent of a low percentage may only mean a couple statistical blips.  I would say oughly half the population in my generation used pot more than occasionally, at least at some point.  Many continue to do so.  That there hasn't been a huge incrase in mental illness among us indicates the first alternative factor I listed is more likely.  (if in fact the numbers quoted are indeed genuine, they often haven't been)

Which leads to my third initial objection, the overly broad definition of 'mental illness' used.  I find lifelong tea-sippers and puritans often have the hardest time dealing with changing realties -look at all the loony beiefs held among 'clean living' religious fundies for example.  I would hardly argue that drug free living makes you crazy however.  Which comes to my final point, this newspaper may even be more inclined to misrepreset scientific 'findings' than most.    Modern newsies are often among the most ignorant about societal trends and consequences, if only because so few get out and share others experienes anymore.   But that could also be because most are employed by self serving conservative loons.   One mustnt ever neglect all plausible factors, when trying to make valid statistical corrolations....  (to investigate further for physical causes etc)

At any rate, the present policies of throwing drug users behind bars for years isn't very theropeutic, especially among those with genuine mental health issues.

Cardy

wage zombie wrote:

That's ridiculous.  If the Royal Commission approach is such an effective way to go about changing drug laws, how come that approach has been so ineffective when it comes to changing drug laws?

Why would you hold up a process that never got us anywhere?

Because we didn't have an NDP government to implement its recommendations.

Royal Commissions can be good ways to tackle controversial policies. I think you are as convinced as I am that all the evidence will lead to a recommendation to embrace harm reduction. If so then this is the best way to go forward that I have heard. I would rather see a solid comprehensive policy based on mountains of peer-reviewed and closely examined evidence than a quick and dirty cannabis decriminalisation bill that could be overturned the next time the Conservatives come to power.

janfromthebruce

radiorahim wrote:

This issue (what to do about pot) was studied to death by the LeDain Commission forty years ago.  But successive governments have been too chickenshit to act on the commission's recommendations.   Looks like Mulcair is in that camp too... i..e. let's have another study and hope the issue goes away.

I think you'd find a pretty broad consensus amongst the general population that Canada should move towards decriminalization of the possession of small amounts of pot.  I think you'd also probably find strong support for legalization with regulation as well.

While the politicians figure out ways to not deal with this issue, our already clogged up justice system is clogged up further with prosecutions for something that should have been either decriminalized or legalized decades ago.

 

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

 

plus plus 100

Hunky_Monkey

Cardy wrote:

Because we didn't have an NDP government to implement its recommendations.

Royal Commissions can be good ways to tackle controversial policies. I think you are as convinced as I am that all the evidence will lead to a recommendation to embrace harm reduction. If so then this is the best way to go forward that I have heard. I would rather see a solid comprehensive policy based on mountains of peer-reviewed and closely examined evidence than a quick and dirty cannabis decriminalisation bill that could be overturned the next time the Conservatives come to power.

plus plus 1000

*winks at jan*

Wilf Day

NorthReport wrote:

They just mentioned Lewis's interview with Mansbridge on CTV QP, suggesting that he was not impressed with Broadbent's comments.

Sloppy research by the CBC. When Stephen Lewis said he was staying out of it, Mansbridge should have said "your sister is supporting Topp. The Lewis family is quite a remarkable force. Is she the only family member supporting Topp?" I'd love to have seen Stephen's answer.

janfromthebruce

Wilf Day wrote:

NorthReport wrote:

They just mentioned Lewis's interview with Mansbridge on CTV QP, suggesting that he was not impressed with Broadbent's comments.

 

Sloppy research by the CBC. When Stephen Lewis said he was staying out of it, Mansbridge should have said "your sister is supporting Topp. The Lewis family is quite a remarkable force. Is she the only family member supporting Topp?" I'd love to have seen Stephen's answer.

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

 

Wilf you are such a little crap stirrer! Smile

Brachina

I think the scientific study is in addition to the decriminalization and the study is more directed at hard drugs and constrated forms of THC, especially the newer stuff that we don't know much about. Depending on the recommendations of this study he speaks of the drug policy could be molded in a whole host of ways depending on the effects and nature of various drugs. The study would also be about how best to do education, prevention when needed, treatment, and warn people of the side effects. I think the study wouldn't interfer with decriminalizing pot, seperate goals and issues.

Brachina

I think the scientific study is in addition to the decriminalization and the study is more directed at hard drugs and constrated forms of THC, especially the newer stuff that we don't know much about. Depending on the recommendations of this study he speaks of the drug policy could be molded in a whole host of ways depending on the effects and nature of various drugs. The study would also be about how best to do education, prevention when needed, treatment, and warn people of the side effects. I think the study wouldn't interfer with decriminalizing pot, seperate goals and issues.

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