A tale of two approaches to legalization

First, in Canada…

Marc Emery was right; Julian Fantino was wrong

In September 2011, Conservative MP and former OPP commissioner Julian Fantino stood in the House of Commons to urge MPs to vote for the Conservatives’ Safe Streets and Communities Act, which, among other things, increased mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana offences, including six months for possessing six plants. […]

Emery, who finished his sentence in 2014 and returned to Canada, is not able to enter the legal marijuana business because of his criminal convictions. On Monday, he and his wife, Jodie Emery, will appear in a Toronto courtroom where they will plead guilty to marijuana charges laid after the police busted marijuana stores they were running in Ontario and British Columbia. They will have to pay large fines. […]

I believe Emery was right about marijuana and Fantino was wrong, and it seems that Fantino now has had a change of heart, because last month he announced that he plans to sell medical marijuana in a business he founded with former RCMP deputy commissioner Raf Soccer.

Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, where Shaleen Title is an active force for coming up with approaches that are fairer.

Mass. Recreational Pot Industry Won’t Just Line Pockets Of Big Businesses, Regulators Say

But regulators say they are looking out for the interests of people who, in the past, may have been in legal trouble for activities involving marijuana that the new law no longer criminalizes. […]

Certain entities would have their application fees waived if they’re determined to be an equity applicant coming from one of those disproportionately affected communities. Criteria include residency, past nonviolent drug convictions for themselves or for someone in their family.

“If you come from a community where marijuana enforcement has been unfair, and there are disparities, you now are given a way to enter this industry in a way that’s fair, so that you just have some help starting your business and getting to be involved in the wealth that is being built,” said Shaleen Title, who is a member of the Cannabis Control Commission.

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37 Responses to A tale of two approaches to legalization

  1. Freeman says:

    Fantastic! Much better and far more progressive than that “third way” where excessive taxation to hold the retail price unrealistically high necessitates excessive enforcement, making it nearly indistinguishable from the first way.

  2. “After 4,000 years of humans taking cannabis for epilepsy, we have scientific evidence it works.”

    – Orrin Devinsky, Harvard University, on results from his team’s late-stage clinical trial of cannabidiol to treat Dravet syndrome.

  3. Hope says:

    Marc Emery and Jodie deserve a chance to profit from the cannabis industry if anyone in Canada does. He’s a hero. He forged many paths through a dangerous wilderness.

    I wouldn’t have done everything like he did if I’d been him and I certainly wouldn’t have risked so much. But he did. He risked everything, over and over, to do all he could to change the unjust laws, to make Cannabis legal. He should be honored. He’s worked so hard and given so much.

    Love you, Marc Emery!

    Let he and his dedicated wife have a stake in the cannabis industry, to one degree or another. Put them to work as commissioners of cannabis or something. They totally deserve to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

    Think! Award that man and his hard working wife a piece of the Canadian cannabis industry pie!

    • Hope says:

      “Enjoy the fruits of his labor”. I’m sure he is thrilled about what is happening in Canada and seeing other people’s freedom, although I’m sure he wants his freedom to be the businessman that he is. But surely he has experienced great joy and relief that what he’s been working for, lo, these many decades, is happening. He has to love that, and what a tasty piece of fruit that has to be, too. I think he deserves recognition and some respect, but hey, he’s out of the pen, he’s well and he lived to see the day! Well, almost. The Big Day is Sunday? Right?

  4. Hope says:

    Twenty something years ago, before I went on the net, when I was scouring every newspaper and magazine, and constantly listening to TV and radio for information on the struggle, I knew about Marc and his fight because of little articles in High Times magazine. Which I bought in plain paper and kept hidden.

    Texas filtered all our news and information, for our own good, of course. During the Vietnam war, Alice’s Restaurant was never, ever played on the radio. I didn’t hear it until well after the war was over. I knew about it, but I never heard it on any media. The big shots, the “Deciders”, decided the little people in Texas didn’t need to hear it. The internet brought news and information and allies. It’s helped tremendously, at least for us that live in the boonies. The town over from me had one hippie. He had a bumper sticker that read, “Don’t Shoot ! I’m Your Local Hippie!”

    I got to know him because he was a genius at fixing cars and trucks and he worked for my step-dad. He came from Michigan. I remember, among other things he said, that he thought all the women in Texas acted like Lucille Ball. He seemed to like us though. He eventually married and settled down and had some local little hippie babies… and raised them.

    • WalStMonky says:


      Texas became a State because Mexico outlawed slavery and Texas wanted slaves. First it declared independence but Mexico objected so it negotiated joining the US. Systemic disregard for individual human rights is ingrained in Texas’ political DNA.

      • Will says:

        Texas has been unwittingly sowing the seeds of it’s own dilution for a while now. When you have governors traveling to other states attempting to lure companies to a more “friendly” business environment, you also end up dragging in riff-raff such as myself. This could be remedied with a ‘Texas Citizen Purity’ test, of which I would have pathetically failed. Example questions (with my wrong answers);

        1). Which of the following is your favorite food?: Chicken fried steak, Tex-Mex, BBQ brisket (write-in answer: Interior Mexican)

        2). How long after moving to Texas do you intend to wait before buying Stetsons and cowboy boots?: Immediately, within a few hours, no longer than a week (write-in answer: Never)

        3). Who is your favorite Texas musician/band?: Willie Nelson, Asleep At The Wheel, Stevie Ray Vaughn (write-in answer: the Butthole Surfers)

        This would have helped Texas (and Texans) remain true or alternatively decide to build a wall around themselves.

        [Note: of my prodigious concert going days of yesteryear, I was pleasantly, irrevocably damaged after seeing the Butthole Surfers play the Cameo Theater in Miami Beach in the late ’80’s. After the show, seeing wannabe hardcore punks stagger out looking for their mommies, I knew at least something terrifically odd was occurring ‘down yonder’).

  5. TRACY says:

    marc has come a long ways in the battle for marijuana and we should all take are hats off to him also ive been honored to read and try and follow in there footsteps ,,society in the past looked at so much so different and now well with some people that have never let there passion change thank you

    sincerly ,tracy stinson
    *owner) http://www.marij19.com

  6. Servetus says:

    Prohibiting entry into a legal Canadian marijuana business due to prior drug convictions preserves the persecution of illicit drug consumers — dissenters or dissidents who opposed drug wars and prohibitions by taking direct action to bring about change. The differences between the Canadian and the proposed Massachusetts methods of dealing with prior convictions for employment depict two opposing cultures in US politics.

    Author Stephen Hicks highlights the differences in the two social philosophies:

    …As with Islamists, Christians were taught faith and obedience. They were taught to seek their identity in something larger than themselves. They were taught to minimize Earthly concerns and to focus on an afterlife and to honor the martyrs. They were taught that dissenters and unbelievers were threats to the fabric of everything holy. So they became active participants in a dysfunctional culture of threat, persecute, and kill and be killed.[…]

    The humanists taught – often against vicious religious opposition – that life on Earth matters and that we should enjoy it. They taught that we should be rational, using our senses and our reason to understand the world and ourselves. They taught, increasingly as the Renaissance made headway, that each individual‘s life matters and that we should judge people according to their individual characters and actions. They taught that each person is responsible for his (and even her) life. A long line of thinkers from Montaigne in France to Galileo in Italy to Spinoza in Holland to Locke in England waged a multi-generational debate and succeeded in establishing them as foundational principles of modern Western civilization. The West tamed its religious fanatics only because humanistic philosophy prevailed.[…]


    Differences between religious and humanist cultures underscore the drug war and all its ill effects. Religious cultures will repress the individual with terrorism, whereas a humanist culture enhances and empowers the individual while promoting a free and open society.

    Holland is a humanist country thanks to Spinoza. The Dutch maintain humane policies toward drug consumers and those with addiction disorders because the Dutch don’t moralize. Instead they focus on health, well-being, and personal happiness. By contrast, the US and Canada moralize practically everything, with persecution being the result. Despite all the problems that subsequently befall them, people in closed societies persist in being misled and thereby elect authoritarian politicians such as Stephen Harper or Donald Trump, and the cycle of despotism continues.

  7. NorCalNative says:

    Overgrow the Government

    Marc Emery

  8. WalStMonky says:


    I’d never heard of Julian Fantino before this controversy. But I do recall in the weeks leading up to Election Day 1996 when the California AG helped snatch defeat from the jaws of victory for Prop 215 by having his ass handed to him in a nationally followed, very public debate in the MSM with Zonker Harris leading up to the vote.

    Ex-CA Attorney General To Distribute Marijuana: Report
    Bill Lockyer, who was the attorney general from 1999 to 2007, is one of many who will profit from the recreational sale of marijuana.
    By Hoa Quách
    Dec 23, 2017

    Aside from his role as the attorney general, Lockyer served in the state Legislature from 1973 to 1998 and was the state treasurer from 2007 to 2015.

    The Los Angeles Times said Locyker has formed the company with Eric Spitz, who once led parent company of the Orange County Register.

    “The businessmen aim to get their products to pot shops in L.A. in late January or early February,” the newspaper reported. “(Lockyer) said he sees his involvement in the marijuana industry as a mixture of helping to pay for his kids’ college tuition and public service to help the new regulations work.”

    I guess that Mr. Lockyer doesn’t has changed his mind about Federal laws being all that compelling after all.

    • WalStMonky says:


      Correction: “I guess that Mr. Lockyer doesn’t has changed his mind about Federal laws being all that compelling after all.”

    • Hope says:

      I’d rather see the prohibitionists not be allowed to profit from the end of prohibition and those harmed because of prohibition should be given a fair chance to try their hand in the new legal business.

      Maybe if Lockyer had any record whatsoever of mercy toward those prohibition was aimed at or participated in any activity to decrease the range of laws against cannabis, I would tend to feel more leniency towards him stepping up to profit from what he once punished people for. I seriously doubt he did any such thing, though.

  9. Well, started tweeting in 2012 under the topic “the war on drugs is a war on us”.

    Its Christmas day 2017 and I just turned 50,000 tweets. Things do look much better than they did in 2012.

    Merry Christmas to everyone on the couch, especially you Pete Guither!

  10. State Supreme Court Justice Just Called for the Release of All Those in Prison for Cannabis – in Ohio

  11. jean valjean says:

    The Stranger Who Sent Steve Mnuchin A Box Of Horse Poo Has Come Forward:

    “Because if money is free speech, so is horse shit”


  12. Servetus says:

    Arch prohibidiot Stormin’ Orrin Hatch is in political trouble with the State’s leading newspaper. Senator Hatch’s sycophancy for the Trump administration has been rewarded with an ignominious Utahn of the Year Award from the Salt Lake Tribune that urges the voters to get him out of office:

    12-26-2017 — …The selection of Sen. Orrin G. Hatch as the 2017 Utahn of the Year has little to do with the fact that, after 42 years, he is the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history, that he has been a senator from Utah longer than three-fifths of the state’s population has been alive.

    It has everything to do with recognizing:

    ●Hatch’s part in the dramatic dismantling of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

    ●His role as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee in passing a major overhaul of the nation’s tax code.

    ●His utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power.

    Each of these actions stands to impact the lives of every Utahn, now and for years to come. Whether those Utahns approve or disapprove of those actions has little consequence in this specific recognition. Only the breadth and depth of their significance matters.

    As has been argued in this space before, the presidential decision to cut the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in half and to slash the size of the brand new Bears Ears National Monument by some 90 percent has no constitutional, legal or environmental logic.

    To all appearances — appearances promoted by Hatch — this anti-environmental, anti-Native American and, yes, anti-business decommissioning of national monuments was basically a political favor the White House did for Hatch. A favor done in return for Hatch’s support of the president generally and of his tax reform plan in particular. […]

    It would be good for Utah if Hatch, having finally caught the Great White Whale of tax reform, were to call it a career. If he doesn’t, the voters should end it for him. […]


    • Will says:

      The last part of the article is my favorite;

      Common is the repetition of the catchphrase that Hatch successfully used to push aside three-term Sen. Frank Moss in this first election in, egad, 1976.

      “What do you call a senator who’s served in office for 18 years? You call him home.”

      Less well known is a bit of advice Hatch gave to Capitol Hill interns in 1983.

      “You should not fall in love with D.C.” he admonished them. “Elected politicians shouldn’t stay here too long.”

      If only he had listened to his own advice.

      And the hypocrites wonder why we hate them so.

  13. Mr_Alex says:


    Do you know how effective is Cannabis on treating male erectile dysfunction and inability to orgasm, last night on YouTube there was a US doctor who did a live stream and actually in his opinion even said Cannabis is much better than viagra or ciliax, your thoughts?

  14. jean valjean says:

    True. But both together is best. Happy New Year!

  15. jean valjean says:

    Watched a cookery program with my mum today. Featured an urban farm in East London. They have a fish farm for tilapia on the lowest level and the fish poo nutrient is piped through the plants under lights on higher levels….you can guess where I’m going with this? Impressive set up even if it is UK legal, i.e veggies. Looks like the future to me. (Begins about 6:30 in)


  16. Bundiddly says:

    The elderly bud couple are the parents of a Vermont prosecutor.

  17. thelbert says:

    happy new year to the couch, pete you are the best. four days until my garden is semi-legal!

    • NorCalNative says:

      Outlaw cannabis growers are my oldest heroes.

      Recently, I’ve had the pleasure to meet two couchmates that fit that description. Darkcycle in WA, and photog, Allan Erickson in OR.

      • NorCalNative says:

        Apologies to Allan and darkcycle. You guys are outlaws only in the sense that all good-hearted, old-hippies are. I certainly didn’t mean to suggest you guys are breaking any laws or doing anything illegal.

  18. jean valjean says:

    Chicago Area Officials Demand Accountability For Drugmakers ‘Complicit’ In Opioid Crisis:

    ‘The lawsuit cites the companies’ “coordinated, sophisticated, and highly deceptive marketing” of prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Percocet, which public health officials have named as a major cause of the opioid crisis.’


  19. Servetus says:

    Dick Cheney’s stock portfolio is showing big gains thanks to Trump’s tax gift to private prison corporations:

    28 Dec 2017 — Individual investors in US private prisons are poised to collect their most lucrative earnings ever thanks to changes in the tax code signed by Donald Trump, continuing what has been a banner year for the industry since the 2016 election.

    “It’s going to be great for the investors, banks and hedge funds that own shares in private prisons, and are dependent on increased incarceration and criminalization,” said Jamie Trinkle, campaign and research coordinator with the racial and economic justice coalition Enlace.

    Under the new GOP law, investments in so-called “real estate investment trusts” (reits) will see a 25% reduction in tax, from 39.6% down to 29.6%.

    Corecivic, formerly Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), and the Geo Group, which together own more than 80% of private prison beds in the US, both restructured as reits in 2013 after a private letter ruling by the Obama Administration IRS green-lit the change.[…]

    With dividends of more than $430m paid out by the two major private prison companies in 2017, in theory, prison investors could see an additional $50m in dividend earnings next year, thanks to the GOP legislation.[…]


    The prison industrial complex is also seeing gains as it provides cells for the many people who are waiting to be deported from the US. Trump wants to contract the prison companies to build his wall along the Mexican border.


    “Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzales Indicted in Private Prison Case in Texas”:


    “Dick Cheney’s Financial Ties to Private Prison Companies”:


    • jean valjean says:

      The Bush family are major investors in private prisons too.

    • WalStMonky says:


      All private prisons are REITS but all REITs. E.g. Innovative Industrial Properties Inc (NYSEARCA:IIPR) purchases properties, develops them .to suit and then leases them to commercial cannabis enterprises. They’re sticking with medicinal producers and/or vendors as a talisman to keep the Feds from noticing the company. I still had to pass because I don’t think that its a good bet seeing as how the company files complete details of their portfolio with the SEC.

      BTW the tax reduction mentioned is wholly inaccurate. The article is very poorly researched and qualifies as hysterical rhetoric. There’s nothing to see here. Now move along.

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