The Canadian Conservatives have lied and used every trick they have to pass Bill S-10.  This law imposes mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes in Canada.  The United States induced mandatory minimum sentences in the 1980’s at the height of drug war hysteria.  These laws paved the way for the prison industrial complex, consisting of corporate for-profit prisons, that exists today in the US.  As a result the US has the highest prison population in the world and the highest disparity in sentencing between whites and blacks.  This is exactly what the Canadian Conservatives are creating in Canada.

Canada’s neighbors and many countries around the world are beginning to ease up on their marijuana and drug laws.  The Canadian Conservatives however are chasing a failed US policy from the 1980’s.  The Conservatives even have the audacity to announce that this legislation is much welcomed by Canadians.  Justice minister Rob Nicholson on Bill S-10,

“we are absolutely convinced in our consultation with Canadians that this is welcomed across the country.” link1

“It does cost money to incarcerate people and I believe that Canadians have been willing to pay those costs up to this point and they’ll continue to do so. If we don’t, then Canadians will be further victimized. That’s what victims groups tell me all the time.” link2

Right now US states are beginning to take steps to legalize marijuana.  Today marijuana is legal and semi legal in many US states:

  • 15 states with legal medical marijuana
  • 9 with medical marijuana dispensaries
  • 13 states have decriminalized recreational marijuana
  • 4 states have voted on full legalization for recreational use

Most notably Proposition 19 which would have legalized marijuana in California lost 44.1% to 55.9% on Nov 2.  There are a handful of states trying to legalize marijuana in 2011 and 2012 and many others fighting for medical marijuana and decriminalization.  In addition Mexico decriminalized all drugs in 2009 including hard drugs such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.  Canada attempted to decriminalize pot in 2004 but it was shot down by pressure from the US, who ironically had already decriminalized in 13 states.

In a recent visit to Ottawa US Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowski, had this to say,

Lawmakers in almost every single state in the U.S. are looking to reduce mandatory minimum penalties because prison populations have exploded with non-violent drug offenders.

The Conservatives argue that Bill S-10 will give police to tools to bring down organized crime.  They insist that this law targets “the ‘kingpins’ or major players in the drug trade”.  Since when do the Hells Angels or UN gang run a grow op with only 6 plants?  This law specifically targets small time growers for the purpose of filling prisons.  The Conservatives are not stupid and they do not really believe their own lies.  They are cold manipulative liars with a diabolical agenda.  Here is a breakdown of the penalties that Bill S-10 will impose on Canadians, check out cannabisfacts.ca for more info.

Bill S-10 passed on November 4 with final vote in the Senate of 7 to 4.  That’s all 7 of the Conservative senators on the committee vs the 4 Liberals.  All that is standing in the way of S-10 becoming law is the signature of the Governor General.

The Senate committee heard testimony from numerous witnesses and experts who overwhealmingly showed that S-10 is a bad law and will do the exact opposite of what the Conservatives said it will.

Howard Sapers, the independent ombudsman for federal offenders, told the Senate committee,

“There is a large body of research that points to both the lack of a deterrent effect for mandatory minimum sentences and the fact that they can lead to significant increases in the prison population, with little or no impact on public safety.”

Check out the video of the police officer’s testimony in the senate hearings, testimony.  Here is another link to videos of many other expert speakers on this law.

Bill S-10 is not the only law that Harper’s Conservatives are pushing.  They are on a mission.  In fact 40% of all bills tabled since the Conservatives came to power have to do with reforming the criminal justice system.  Here are some of their recent bills,

  • Bill C-25 (passed) – ends “two-for-one” sentencing credit for time that prisoners spend in pre-trial custody
  • Bill C-19 (passed) – increase maximum sentence for street racing (14 years to life)
  • Bill C-9 (passed) – remove alternative sentencing (house arrest) for serious crimes
  • Bill C-10 (passed) – mandatory minimum sentences for offences involving a firearm
  • Bill C-32 (in senate) – would create an offence of operating a motor vehicle while in possession of a controlled substance
  • Bill C-2 (passed) – group of laws called “Tackling Violent Crime Act”, new tougher sentences
  • Bill S-9 (in senate) mandatory minimums for auto theft
  • Bill S-6 (re-introduced) – repeal “faint hope” clause for life sentences
  • Bill C-36 (in senate) – safety of consumer products, very controversial check out the Facebook group

The crime rate fell three percent in Canada last year, and is down 17 percent in the past decade, while the Crime Severity Index is down 22 percent since 1999. Violent crime is also down and represents less than one-quarter of one percent of all crime, while the homicide rate is two-thirds of its peak in the 1970s.

Despite the fact that there is less crime Harper released this statement in 2006,

If we are to protect our Canadian way of life, we need to crack down on gun, gang and drug crime…. If you do a serious crime, you’re going to do serious time.

Harper’s Conservatives have taken major steps to the corporatization of Canada’s prisons.

  1. In April 2007, then-Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day created a panel to conduct a sweeping review of the federal prison system.
  2. Day’s panel released their final report titled “A Roadmap to Strengthening Public Safety.
  3. A task force was created to strategically implement the Roadmap titled ‘The Transformation Team.’

One recommendation of the Roadmap was to ‘modernize’ Corrections’physical infrastructure by building ‘regional complexes’ (super prisons) containing up to 2200 cells, combining minimum, medium, and maximum security, as well as a ‘special handling unit’ aimed at long-term incarceration in complete isolation and under heavy surveillance.

Canada’s first corporate super jail was the Central North Correctional Centre built at Penetaguishene, Ont.  This prison was run by an American corporation called “Management and Training Corporation“.

The Roadmap also called for a strengthening of so-called Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) in super prison construction. While it falls short of advocating for full private management, which was the case in Penetanguishene, it advocates for the privatization of every other part of the process: financing, construction, maintenance, and service delivery (e.g. foodproviders). This process is called backdoor privatization; when carried out to its logical endpoint, it results in a weak, token public agency charged with overseeing an operation entirely carried out by a far more robust profit-driven private sector.   The Roadmap also recommended to eliminate credit for time served before trial which as already come to pass in the form of Bill C-25.

Soon after its inception the Transformation Team began to scale-back maintenance investment in the existing prison infrastructure.  This led to the decay of present facilities and created the need for constructing new infrastructure.

In March 2010 Stockwell Day announced that the federal government needs to spend $9 billion on “much-needed” new prisons.  His reason was “unreported crimes

“We’re very concerned about the increase in the amount of unreported crimes that surveys clearly show are happening,” Stockwell Day

The irony is that unreported crimes are crimes for which nobody is charged or imprisoned.  Despite this obvious attempt to pull the wool over our eyes the spending was approved and the Conservatives are moving ahead with their corporate prison agenda.

Mandatory sentences along with corporate prisons and government policies have created the enormous prison population in the US.  The United States adult prison population now exceeds two million inmates, an average of 724 citizens per 100,000 members of the American population.  In Canada the current rate is 102 prisoners per 100,000 population (one seventh that of the United States).  We are on track to reach US numbers if the Conservative plan is allowed to continue.  Comparable rates in other countries are 98 in Germany, 92 in Italy, 80 in France, 64 in Sweden, 61 in Denmark and 69 in Iceland.

Despite overwhelming evidence that mandatory sentences and corporate prisons have zero effect on crime rates the Conservatives are going forward with their law and order agenda.  The current government under Harper will not change direction based on moral persuasion or sound logic.  This government is driven by a merger of hardened ideologues and religious fundamentalists.  Any strategy based on persuading the Conservatives to ‘do the right thing’ is doomed to fail.  Wake the fuck up Canada.  We need to get rid of Harper and his deranged political party before it is too late.

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2011:

Bill S-10 got sent back to house of commons.  That is not the typical process for a Canadian bill and it has already been through the house.  I don’t understand how or why it happened but thank god it did.  The NDP and Liberals are poised to vote against the bill which will kill the bastard where it lies, LINK.  Its not over yet but if there is a shred of democracy left in this country reason will prevail.

Here is some mainstream news articles about the same subject, LINK1, LINK2.

The prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, had a Youtube just like Obama did a few months ago. Questions were added and voted on by the public on youtube.com/talkcanada. With nearly 170,000 votes on over 6000 questions marijuana legalization took the top 4 spots. Cannabis prohibition also ranked high on the US version but the question was not included in the final Obama interview. Surprisingly the question of marijuana legalization was asked tonight, Harper’s response was not surprising.

The question was,

“A majority of Canadians when polled say they believe marijuana sould be legal for adults and taxed just like alcohol. Why don’t you end the war on drugs and focus on violent criminals.”

What we got was pretty much the kind of response you would expect from a guy like Harper.

He started out ranting about his kids.  Harper went on to say,

[Marijuana use] is the last thing I want to see for my kids or anyone else’s children.

First of all the question said marijuana should be legal for adults. What the fuck does that have to do with his or anyone else’s children. Second, prohibition does absolutely nothing to keep drugs out of the hands of children. High school students continually claim that marijuana is easier to get than alcohol.

“I’ve been very fortunate to live a drug free life and I don’t meet many people who’ve lived drug free life and regret it …”

OK that is your opinion, Harper.  So when you made a bet with Obama during the Olympics involving a case of beer you weren’t going to drink it, right?  What he meant to say is “I’ve been very fortunate to live an illicit drug free life”.  When asked in 2004 if he had ever smoked pot Harper has this to say (source),

No I have not. I was offered a joint once and I was too drunk.

Even though alcohol is a much more dangerous drug it is perfectly acceptable, but marijuana will murder babies in South America.

He basically said the same thing when asked about his proposed mandatory minimum sentences. “We think its bad and we’re going to punish people for it.” He’s going for the moral approach here just like his role model George W Bush.

When people are buying from the drug trade they are not buying from their neighbor they are buying from international cartels that are involved in unbelievable violence and intimidation, social disaster and catastrophe all across the world.

Wow! So my neighbor who grows weed and sells it to me is actually a terrorist in disguise? I guess we’ll just have to take your word for it, Harper. Wonder where he got that idea? It is true that drug cartels and many terrorist groups are funded by drug profits that does not mean drugs = terrorism.

Canada is a marijuana exporter, nearly 100% of the marijuana consumed in Canada is grown in Canada. So we really are buying weed from our neighbor. If it was not for the prohibition induced black market we would have a very successful domestic marijuana economy. Gangs reap massive profits and control the majority of the marijuana black market exactly the same as they did during alcohol prohibition. The organized crime element is caused by prohibition not a reason for it.

I know that some people say if you legalized it you would get the money and all would be well. But I think that rests on the assumption that somehow drugs are bad because they are illegal. The reason drugs are illegal is because they are bad.

Here he used the old debater’s trick, the straw man. He built up a phony aspect of the argument (the straw man) and easily knocked it down. Nobody thinks drugs are bad because they are illegal and nobody would argue that. The question is not whether drugs are bad or not. The question is, why is marijuana illegal when 1/6 Canadians are using it? Good or bad people are going to be using it. The prohibition approach has done nothing to stop people from using pot. Prohibition has done very little in preventing drug use, in fact it has failed completely. Prohibition has made billionaires out of villans and ruined the lives of countless good honest citizens.

… and even if these things were legalized I predict with great confidence that these would never be respectable businesses run by respectable people, because of the very nature of the dependency that they create, the damage that they create, social upheaval they create.

So Harper thinks the marijuana business could never be respectable. I wonder if he thinks all the breweries, wineries, bars, and liquor stores in Canada are respectable? This is another example of his moral objection to marijuana. It is also absolutely false.

To sum up Harper’s arguments

I don’t give a fuck if Canada votes to legalize marijuana I think it is morally wrong.

It’s nice to see someone like you steering the ship Harper. Here’s one more question for you, what is the shelf life for bad legislation?

Rick Simpson is the Mother Teresa of the marijuana movement.  He has made and distributed his cure for cancer for years.  It is hard to believe that marijuana is actually the cure for cancer but the evidence is undeniable.  Rick’s cure is hemp oil, he makes it the same way as honey oil. The results are amazing, just watch his promotional video “Run From The Cure”,

Marijuana has been smoked as medicine for millenia.  Even today more and more medical uses are being discovered.  Cancer patients have used cannabis in a variety of forms since the 70s.  Rick Simpson discovered that in order to achieve the full medical potential it is necessary to consume large quantities of cannabinoids, much more than you can get from smoking.  Following his formula a patient must ingest 1 gram of “hemp oil” per day for 60 days.  After that period 70% of patients are cancer free.  He has had similar success with many other medical conditions.

The cancer fighting effects of cannabis are backed up by independant scientific research.  Studies show that marijuana kills brain cancer cells while leaving regular healthy cells alone (link1, link2).  Other research backs up the claim that marijuana cures cancer (link1, link2).  It has been known since the 70s that natural marijuana can slow cancerous tumor growth (link).  In addition it is physically impossible to have a fatal overdose on any form of marijuana.  It is not addictive, and ingesting cannabis in the form of “hemp oil” eliminates any negative effects associated with inhaling burning plant material.

Non only have these incredible results been ignored by the medical establishment and cancer associations now the RCMP has raided Rick’s house and charged him with marijuana cultivation. Rick is currently in exile in Europe because if he comes back to Canada he will have to face trial and could be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison.  Rick Simpson was awarded the High Times Freedom Fighter of the Year 2009 and had a cover story published in the January 2010 issue.

How can cancer groups such as the Canadian Cancer Society claim that they are looking for a cure? Rick has contacted as many groups as he can to get this cure to the people. He has been ignored by every one. It sure seems like a conspiracy doesn’t it?

If you take a look at the treatments for cancer today you really have to wonder why the medical establishment runs from the cure. Chemotherapy only has a 2-4% success rate in treating cancer. The process kills healthy and cancerous cells in the same way. The first chemical used in chemotherapy is same chemical in mustard gas (a chemical weapon). Today’s chemotherapy drugs are considered to be the most toxic substances ever put deliberately into the human body. The side effects of chemo are horrendous and far too many to list here, you can see that list here. It is no wonder that 75% of doctors would not even take chemo themselves if they had cancer (link).  Despite these facts they will encourage you to take chemo, and in some cases people are forced by courts into chemotherapy (link).

Radiation therapy works by damaging the DNA of cells.  It kills healthy as well as cancerous cells.  Unlike chemo doctors can target cancerous cells to minimize the damage to healthy tissue but it still does damage.  Radiation therapy also has a laundry list of side effects including hair loss and reduced white blood cell count.  Radiation therapy can actually be a cause of cancer as well.  The success rate is much higher than chemo but does not work for all types of cancer.

There are other treatments as well such as surgery, immunotherapy, hormonal therapy and others.  For each of these treatments patients are given all kinds of pharmaceutical drugs, including medical marijuana.  The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most lucrative industries on the planet.  The estimated market share is in excess of $820 billion and projected to hit $929 billion by 2012.  The cancer portion is estimated to be a $200 billion industry.  With those kind of numbers it is becoming clear why they run from the cure.

It is impossible to patent a natural plant.  Pharmaceutical companies tried and failed.  That is a contributing factor to the ongoing prohibition of marijuana.  Big pharma does not want you to be able to grow medicine yourself.  That is exactly what Rick Simpson demonstrated with his work.  His medicine can be grown by anyone in nearly any part of the world.  Hemp oil is easily produced at home without the need of any specialized equipment.  It is the absolute worst enemy of the pharmaceutical industry.

Living in exile in europe is not cheap.  Rick has never asked for any money for his contribution to mankind but now he needs our help.  Donation can be given to Rick at his website phoenixtears.ca.  We hope the best for you Rick, keep up the fight!

With all the progress in the anti-prohibition movement over the last year a government fear mongering effort was inevitable. After all it is the job of the government to maintain the status quo.

Last night in Canada our national TV station, CBC, aired two 1 hour documentaries about marijuana. The first one was on David Suzuki’s Nature of Things. Suzuki is very well respected in Canada, he ranked fifth in “the Greatest Canadian” vote hosted on CBC.  Last night’s episode was titled “The Downside of High” and focussed mainly on the cannabis-schizophhrenia link.  As Loopy Lettuce readers know that is a total myth.  Suzuki quoted a study that was done in the 80s which showed a weak causal relationship at best, read the  schizophrenia myth for more on that.

He also used the marijuana potency myth.  “This isn’t your grandma’s weed” is the jist of it.  The documentary was not objective and ignored newer studies that disprove the cannabis-schizophhrenia link.  The second documentary was called CannaBiz and showed the organized crime connection in the marijuana industry.  It was a generally anti-prohibition documentary and even featured interviews with Marc Emery.  Suzuki’s show was clearly placed in the lineup to give an anti-marijuana message before CannaBiz was shown.  It was obvious fear mongering and CBC is not alone.

The National Post published an eerily similar article the same day, Jan 28 (LINK).  This article was much more blatant fear mongering than the Nature of Things.  If you have any doubts this quote from the article will set the record straight,

Despite what some of its advocates might claim, any “medicinal” qualities are bred right out of the stuff that’s sold on the streets. It’s not wacky anymore. It’s dangerous.

I hope the author, Brian Hutchinson, reads this; medical marijuana is exactly the same as street marijuana.  Many medical growers sell their excess in the black market and the overwhelming majority of Canadian medical cannabis users buy their weed on the “streets”.  He used the potency myth too.  The article says “[BC bud is] 130% more potent than marijuana produced just a decade ago.”  That little “fact” was competely fabricated in order to scare readers.  It is a lie.  I live in BC and I rarely get the high end pot discussed in these propaganda pieces.  When I do it is fucking awesome!  BC bud is not one kind of weed, as Hutchinson points out it is “a catch-all term for locally grown marijuana.”  There is shitty weed in BC too but overall we do have some of the best pot in the world.  It is not some diabolical scheme to hook young addicts as the propaganda would have you believe, we just try harder because we love good pot.

BC bud is being demonized the same way “skunk” is in the UK.  Newspapers in that country have made alarmist claims about skunk and the non-existent schizophrenia risk for some time now.  The British media is the main distributor of this particular propaganda.  Here are some of the UK media claims:

From this article,

Cannabis has been implicated in a string of vicious killings, including the recent stabbing of fashion designer Lucy Braham.

This article is even worse,

Addicts will kill more people unless the Government takes tougher action against super-strength cannabis, a mental health charity has warned.

This headline says it all, “Skunk Linked to Huge Increase in Risk of Psychotic Disease

There are literally hundreds of similar articles published in the UK in the last couple years.  It is all lies, and founded in gutter science.  This is brainwashing.  Marijuana, unlike alcohol or cocaine, does not lead to violence.  It has been shown scientifically again and again.

About a month ago Canadian newspapers headlined some more marijuana junk science.  Read about it here.  A study from McGill University in Montreal used rats and powerful synthetic cannabinoids to show that marijuana damages adolecent humans’ brains.  Paul Armentano does a great job of cutting through the media lies.

At the end of December the Conservative government began an anti-pot media campaign with TV commercials and print ads.  The Conservatives also introduced legislation that will introduce mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana crimes and US style drug courts.  Stephen Harper’s affinity for the US war on drugs is pretty damn obvious.  Previous Canadian governments were smart enough to stay away from a full on war on drugs but Harper didn’t get the memo.  The US has placed anti pot messages in TV shows since the Nixon regime.  It is pretty obvious what Harper and his team are up to.

The government knows that pot is harmless, their own commission proved it in 2002.  There are volumes of scientific evidence that  prove marijuana is the safest drug.  So why is the government spending millions of our own tax dollars to brainwash us against pot?  I don’t know the answer to that.  The government has something big to gain from marijuana prohibition and my bet is its money.  One way or another they aren’t going to give in without a fight.

Last night (Dec 28) I caught an anti-marijuana commercial while watching TV. Nothing unusual except this was put on by the Canadian government. It showed a kid being offered a pull on a joint, he then had flashbacks of getting busted for ecstasy and other drugs. You can watch the ad below.

Incidentally I witnessed the beginning of Prime Minister Harper’s new anti-drug media campaign. Anotner step towards the americanization of Canada. The campaign includes advertisements in buses, trains, subways and shopping malls across Canada, as well as Internet banners on websites popular with teens. The strategy is an exact copy of the Partnership for a Drug Free America (PDFA) which has been going on since the 80s and has been proven to be ineffective. The PDFA brought us such ads as “this is your brain on drugs” and the recent “above the influence” camaign. The not4me.ca website is clearly inspired by abovetheinfluence.com. It uses a more appealing website design than standard Canadian government pages to keep young people’s attention. Compare this site to this one and you’ll see what I mean.

A major, and critical, difference between PDFA and the new Conservative campaign is that PDFA is sponsored by corporations not governemnt. Check out the list of sponsors for Harper’s campaign, SPONSOR LIST. Many contributers are Canadian police groups including: Canadian Police Association, Justice Canada, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Another one that really stands out is Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. Nearly all the sponsors are organizations funded by taxpayer money. Harper is once again using our own money against us.

To Harper’s credit the “facts” section stays closer to the real facts than PDFA and DEA. While the PDFA says,

Marijuana is addictive with more teens in treatment with a primary diagnosis of marijuana dependence than for all other illicit drugs combined.

The Conservative campaign uses carful wording using words like “may” and “has the potential”. The not4me.ca website says,

Cannabis has the potential to be psychologically and physically addictive.

Here’s another quote that really disturbed me,

Marijuana has over 400 chemicals and some of the same toxic substances found in tobacco smoke that can cause cancer.

If you read that sentence carfully it does not actually say marijuana causes cancer. Although the sentence is technically true it gives a very negative impression of marijuana.  That is exactly what Harper is counting on.  Marijuana has not been proven to cause cancer, in fact it has been proven to cure cancer (articleRick Simpson). The Conservative government has launched a Canadian war on drugs. Its a little late in the game though, the US is taking baby steps towards legalization and the rest of the world is easing their pot laws. I don’t think Harper got the memo.

The national anti-drug srategy is new government plan to ramp up the war on drugs in Canada. Only a few years after the Liberal government tried to decriminalize in 2004 (shot down by pressure from the US) the Harper regime took a U-turn. Look at the budget on this thing, from the drug strategy backgrounder,

The Government of Canada has committed $30 million in new funding over five years to support the Prevention Action Plan.

Conservatives introduced legislation like bill C-15 (mandatory minimum sentences, increased maximums), increased justice budgets and put more cops on the street. They are also promoting DEA style drug courts and other tenants of the failed US drug war. Drug courts promote court-monitored rehab over prison (more on rehab).

Harper is Canada’s George W Bush. We need to get that fucker out before its too late!

Marijuana prohibition and anti-homosexual laws are two heads of the same snake – laws governing morality. Victimless crimes that are committed in the privacy of your home. The laws for marijuana and homosexuality vary significantly throughout the world. In places such as Malaysia and Saudi Arabia you can get the death penalty for marijuana as well as for homosexuality. While in other parts of the world both cannabis and gay rights are accepted by society. Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, South Africa, and Spain legally recognize gay marriage (including adoption) they also have some of the most lax marijuana laws. Look at the similarity of these two maps of marijuana and gay laws (click to see larger image).

World Gay Laws by Country

World Cannabis Laws by Country

The southern hemisphere on these two maps is almost an exact match. The majority of countries where marijuana is decriminalized (light blue) also allow civil unions for homosexual couples (also light blue). The United States is divided on both maps, the West coast and Colorado having the more liberal laws. Africa has the harshest penalties for morality crimes, in Sudan and several other countries you can get the death penalty for sodomy. The cultural contrast between South Africa and its neighbours really stands out.

In ancient Rome homosexuality was commonplace. Several emperors openly enjoyed sodomy and homosexual and straight relationships were seen as equal. Ancient Greece and Japan were also pretty cool with homosexuality. In 385 BC Plato argued that love between males is the highest form and that sex with women is lustful and only for means of reproduction.

Marijuana was legal in the ancient world, too. While it was used all over the ancient world for fibre the medicinal and recreational effects of marijuana were unknown except for in China, India and Persia. The Arab world was fond of cannabis, they prefered hashish which was invented in Persia in A.D. 1155. Later hashish caught on in India and Europe. In the 1890s 70,000 to 80,000 kg of hashish was legally imported into India from Central Asia each year.

Homosexuality became illegal in Rome during the conversion to Christianity. As Catholicism spread throughout Europe so did harsh anti gay laws. Homosexuality remained illegal in most of the world until the French Revolution in 1771.  The Netherlands and Portugal soon followed, they were also pioneers in marijuana legalization.  During the 19th and 20th centuries the Western world slowly legalized homosexuality.  In 1989 Denmark was the first country to legalize gay marriage. Same sex couples were given a special status called civil union which is basically the same as marriage excluding the right to adoption and the right to marriage in a church. Gay marriage is still a hot political topic today, Canada just legalized gay marriage as well as adoption in 2005.

Napoleon prohibited marijuana for the first time in history in 1798, less than 30 years after France legalized homosexuality. Strangely he found cannabis important enough to invade Russia over during the war of 1812. The first anti-marijuana law in North America came into effect in 1910 in Utah. During that time Mormons who came back from Mexico were smoking marijuana and the church’s reaction led to the ban. Several other states followed but federal marijuana prohibition would not happen until Harry Anslinger came into the picture in 1937. The Canadian version of Anslinger, Emily Murphy, beat him to the punch in 1922 when she convinced parliament to criminalize marijuana possession. By 1961 nearly the entire planet prohibited marijuana with the passing of the UN Single Convention of Narcotic Drugs.

Homosexuality laws originated with Abrahamic religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism). Marijuana laws were driven mainly by racism but religion played a role as well. Early anti-marijuana laws in North America were created to satisfy Christian and Mormon clergy. Church backed temperance groups like the WCTU, of which Emily Murphy was a member, successfully campaigned for prohibition of alcohol in the early 20th century. The WCTU wanted to have marijuana and tobacco prohibited as well. Temperance created the prohibition mentality and the propaganda that followed. Even today the WCTU website calls medical marijuana a scam and warns of the dangers of hemp agriculture.

No government has the right to legislate morality. Your body and your mind are not the property of the state. Abraham Lincoln summed it up in 1840 when he said, “Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.”

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is a United States federal police agency but they operate in over 60 other countries as well. They conduct investigations worldwide to arrest drug traffickers and producers, seize their assets and prosecute them in the United States. These actions are usually in cooperation with their foreign counterparts but covert illegal operations are frequent.

The DEA is legally bound by the US constitution which states, DEA agents are prohibited from active involvement in arrests of suspects in host countries and from participating in unilateral enforcement actions without the approval of officials from the host government. There are five different functions that DEA agents officially engage in while on foreign missions these are: bilateral investigations, foreign liaison, institution building, Intelligence gathering and international training.

In Canada DEA stretches these rules to the limit. Money from the DEA is paid to informants in Canada. Informants and agents from the US conduct reverse stings, undercover drug sales, on Canadian soil sometimes without telling the RCMP. The DEA is represented in Canada at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa and at the U.S. Consulate in Vancouver. DEA’s official role in Canada is to coordinate international drug-trafficking investigations between the United States and Canadian law enforcement.  The DEA website says “Both DEA offices in Canada are very operational, working with the Canadians on a full complement of cases while ensuring that our activities are in keeping with Canadian laws and existing agreements.”

In a RCMP/DEA joint operation a cocaine dealer was arrested in BC. The police made a deal with him in which he wouldn’t be charged if he became a confidential informant. He fed the RCMP information on local marijuana growers for months, he was paid $440,000 and moved out of town at DEA’s expense.  Unlike Canadian police the DEA relies heavily on paid informants.

They use another technique referred to as a rouse. A Canadian marijuana smuggler was caught in the US with 43 pounds of marijuana. Police on both sides of the border did not press charges because they thought if would interfere with a larger investigation. Once the investigation was over the smuggler got a letter from US customs it said,

The state of Washington has declined to press charges in this case. Therefore the government is obligated to return seized items to you. You are requested to personally pick up these items as your original signatures are required.

When the smuggler showed up at the border he was arrested by DEA and sentenced in American court.

The case of Sam Brown is very disturbing. He was a thrill seeker from Nelson, BC who got into marijuana smuggling. In February 2009 he was lured into Washington state by a DEA reverse sting which was code-named “Operation Blade Runner”. Sam was supposed to fly a helicopter with 200kg of marijuana across the border and take 71kg of cocaine back to Canada. The guy with the cocaine was arrested by DEA and they used his phone to contact Sam. After being arrested Sam Brown hanged himself in his US jail cell (CBC documentary, very well done).

Of course there is the famous Marc Emery case. The price of pot was arrested by a RCMP/DEA task force for selling marijuana seeds online and is in the process of being extradited to the US (more on Marc Emery). No other Canadian has been extradited for seed sales. Emery was targeted only because of his political activity.

The United States uses political pressure to force Canadian law enforcement to cooperate.  In 1999 DEA chief of staff, John Lampman, was asked “What if Canada doesn’t come through with some resources to keep up its end of the deal?” This is what he said,

I think what we’re looking at there is unilateral action by the United States. The United States is not going to fail to meet its commitment to its citizens. We want to do it with the cooperation of our neighbours, and that is the preferred way to go. But if Canada, for whatever reason, should fail to meet its part of the cooperative effort, we certainly are not going to fail to go unilaterally ahead and meet our commitment to our citizens.

The US does not stop at interfering with law enforcement they actually interfere with the legislative process. In 2004 Canada’s Liberal government proposed a bill to decriminalize marijuana. Pressure from the US prevented the bill from becoming law. Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister of Canada, on the situation,

It would be great for the Canadian economy because we’re huge producers of marijuana… We have actually talked about decriminalizing it, because our criminal law is federal. And it was pressure from the Americans that has kept Canada from decriminalizing possession of marijuana.

The US drug czar at the time, John Walters, said “We don’t want the border with Canada looking like the U.S.-Mexico border,” “You expect your friends to stop the movement of poison toward your neighbourhood” and “We have to be concerned about American citizens … When you make the penalties minimal, you get more drug production, you get more drug crime.”

Then president G.W. Bush said,

“United States would not look kindly on changes to Canadian marijuana laws and warned that it would be forced to take action”

At the time there were 12 states in the USA that had decriminalized marijuana for recreational use. The US is very sneaky in its methods of manipulation. The American’s disrespect of national sovereignty extends to many other countries all over the world. Check out this map,

DEA has always been heavily involved in South America. From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, the DEA ran Operation Snowcap, which involved the “dismantle and disruption” of the cocaine trade in Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil, Chile,Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico. In 1986 the DEA was involved in the Iran-Contra scandal in which the US sold arms to Iran through Israel in order to free 6 US hostages from Iran. The money was then used to fund Contra militants in Nicaragua. The DEA and CIA bought cocaine from the rebels and sold it on the streets in the US. Every part of this scandal was illegal but the fact that Drug Enforcement Agency actually smuggled drugs into the US and sold them to US citizens shows the true insanity of the war on drugs.

In 2005, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has kicked the DEA out of Venezuela, alleging that DEA agents are “spies” who are in his country not just to root out the illegal drug trade, but to assist a purported US attempt to overthrow Chavez, who was an outspoken critic of Bush administration foreign policy. DEA was accused later that year of collaborating with drug traffickers by the Venezuelan government.

The DEA treats Mexico as if there were no border. In 1984 DEA agent Enrique Camarena defied the Mexican government and searched for the gigantic marijuana fields controlled by the Quintero cartel. He found the fields and the DEA and Mexican Army raided the fields and claimed to have found 8,000 tons of marijuana baled and ready for shipping. The Mexican government protected the Quinteros and gave the pot back. On February 7, 1985 Camarena and his Mexican counterpart were kidnapped from in front of the US Embassy. An audio tape of the torture inflicted by the Quinteros was found along with their bodies. The torture was very gruesome and even involved a doctor who kept them alive so the torture could continue.

The DEA’s illegal investigations and arrests have surfaced in Europe as well. DEA have been criticized for violations of Dutch sovereignty in drug investigations. In 2005 DEA admitted to activities on Dutch soil. Minister of justice Piet Hein Donner, had denied to the Dutch parliament that he had given permission to the DEA for any such activities, which would have been a requirement by Dutch law in order to allow foreign agents to act within the territory.

The DEA reestablished its presence in Afghanistan in early 2003 after they were kicked out by the soviets in 1979. Crop eradication was the primary goal of DEA but they are now targeting trafficking and production rings. DEA paramilitary groups called Foreign-Deployed Advisory and Support Teams (FAST) were deployed in Afghanistan beginning in 2005. FAST teams are basically the same as Operation Snowcap. They look like military but they are not, watch this video.

There are DEA offices and teams stationed all over the world but not one single foreign police agency is stationed on US soil. Their official story is that they cooperate with authorities in the host country. While that is true in many cases the DEA does not follow the rules. They see them selves as a global police force and will continue illegal operations with or without international support. It seems that filling US prisons and US hegemony are more important than national sovereignty.