Marijuana, Tickets, and The Trouble With Finding Good Hired Help These Days

On the morning of August 21st, 2013 I awoke to the news that The Canadian Association of Chiefs Of Police had suggested handing out tickets for marijuana users instead of laying charges or issuing warnings… and something inside me just popped.

I sent this open letter to the Association:

An Open Letter To The Canadian Association Of Police Chiefs,

Recently you suggested handing out tickets for marijuana users instead of laying charges. Here’s a better idea: Leave marijuana users alone and go do some real police work, you lazy cowards.

Seriously, women are being sexually assaulted and going missing, kids are living with monstrous villains, people are sick on the street because prohibition has made the cities awash with smack and meth and crack, human trafficking abounds, corporate criminals are destroying the planet and evading taxes, and you clowns walk around wasting almost 80% of your time handing out marijuana fines or charges or warnings. It is disgusting and embarrassing and you should all be deeply ashamed of yourselves.

On top of that, every grow you bust subsidizes the guys you DIDN’T bust. You know this. Your own data proves it. Any 8 year old could figure this out, but you continue to publicly lie and tout prohibition as the solution to all of the problems caused by prohibition. It is disgusting, and your lying should be illegal.

Meanwhile, little kids walk around drinking Red Bull and Monster, getting fat on junk food and often smoking tobacco right on school property, and you let that all go. Because it is legal. But someone smokes a joint in public and they suddenly have to deal with some officer who usually treats us like we are second class citizens.

 Well, we’re not second class. Actually, marijuana users are better than non-users: healthier, sexier, smarter, more creative, and longer-lived. History and science shows that. That isn’t an opinion, it is fact: we’re better than other people.

 So, on behalf of every pot user in Canada, I hereby reject your offer to lengthen our leash. We want equality with coffee drinkers, and we will not settle until we have it.

 Russell Barth
Federally Licensed Medical Marijuana User

I also sent it off to many editors across the country, and it was published in the Guelph Mercury.

I posted the letter on Facebook and linked to it with Twitter, and quickly started getting calls from the media for further comment.

On the morning of Sunday 25th, I found a message in my Facebook email from a guy named Patrick Smyth. Smyth is from Whistler BC, and apparently works with Olympic snowboard star and medical marijuana entrepreneur Ross Rebagliati. Smyth told me he was a pot grower and supplier, listed off a bunch of accomplishments and history from his family in the military and the RCMP, mentioned how I am so lucky to have freedom of speech and that if it wasn’t for the police I wouldn’t have it…. then made a veiled threat to come to my door in September.

I notified the local police but plan to follow it up with Whistler Police this week.

Monday, I got this email from a representative of the Association:

Russell – I have read your comments in various ‘comment sections’ of newspapers throughout Canada. You have made your points well known and it is positive we get to express our views in such ways. I will, however, take great exception to your characterization of police and I will not respond further other than to say that during our Winnipeg conference, I heard a detective describe his investigation into the rape of a 16 month old child and having to watch the video of the crime. “It haunts you 4 life, I will never forget the screams.” Think about that when you wish to promote your views not only about marijuana, but your obviously skewed vision of policing,

Timothy M. Smith
Government Relations and Strategic Communications
Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police


I will admit that I am at a loss at this point. How this officer makes the mental leap from “leave pot smokers alone” to “our officers are busy trying to stop baby-rapers”, is a complete mystery.

I can see how dealing with that sort of heinous crime could damage a person. I can see that it takes a special kind of person to put themselves through poison like that more than once. I can see that I, personally, would not have the stomach for it, nor would I have the patience to wait for the courts to deal with the suspect in question. That is why I never considered police work: the first time I see an abused woman, child, or animal, I would be extremely likely to take the law into my own hands. I would probably be in cuffs before my first shift was over.

But I don’t see how real cops fighting real crime in any way justifies busting pot users. Are the police suggesting that these guys were high on pot when they raped children? Are they financing their child-porn with marijuana sales? Are pot growing-gangsters now involved in the making of child porn? Do they think that smoking pot makes you want to rape kids or view videos of kids being raped…?

If so, then they need to present evidence to support these assertions, otherwise, they all serve as valid reasons for taking marijuana out of the hands of gangsters and putting it into stores run by tax-paying citizens. If not, then this is all the more reason to think that police should forget about pot smokers entirely and go fight real crime.

Notice also that Mr. Smith pointed out that he has seen my comments around the net (suggesting that they have been watching me). Was this meant to frighten me? I expect so. Over the years, I have noticed that cops – and the families of cops – love to bring up freedom of speech whenever someone critiques their blunders or policies. I have had more than one “freedom of speech” finger wagging in my face for pointing out that cops are helping gangsters with prohibition, and lying to the public while doing so.

I honestly get the impression that police don’t like the fact that we all have freedom of speech, because that means “nobodies” like me are free to point out their lies. They love it when people praise them, but as soon as you critisize them, they become condescending, aloof, and occasionally threatening.

And boy oh boy, do cops like to lie when it comes to drugs. It is almost like they are incapable of telling the truth about drugs! They claim that needle exchanges and safe injection sites cause more addiction and crime. They say marijuana is addictive, more dangerous than booze or tobacco, and inevitably leads to hard drug use. When asked to show evidence to support such claims, the refuse. When confronted with evidence to prove them wrong, they ignore or dismiss it.

Meanwhile, the media – knowing that they won’t get access or comments or any co-operation from police if they report something that shows the police in a less-than-flattering light – simply let police say what they want, and almost never ever dare challenge it. Cops will say “we got a major amount of drugs off the street”, but no reporter will bring up the fact that the bust will have zero effect on the availability of drugs in the community, or that by busting one grow house or drug ring, all the police do is subsidize the ones they haven’t busted. If they did, they would never get a chance to ask a cop a question ever again.

So we, the public, are fed a daily diet of cop-sucking tripe, where Canadian police are referred to as “heroes” simply for putting on a badge every day. “The brave men and women of the police”, and all that. I scoff at this notion because statistically, police work is among the safest jobs around. When you compare the numbers (how many officers, how many man-hours they collectively do in a year, and how many deaths or injuries occur in any year), you see that police work is not that dangerous. Far less dangerous than most manual labor jobs, and, unlike manual-laborers, police have an assortment of weapons, special training, armored vests, super tough and fast cars, a radio to call a dozen heavily-armed friends at a moment’s notice, and a union that protects them whenever they break the law, which is often. Soon, they will get tazers, which terrifies me.

Police get better health care than the average citizen, and whenever they get into trouble for, say, killing an unarmed and cornered man in a street car or beating the crap out of a woman and cutting her bra off with scissors, they get to stay home and get paid. They also face far weaker penalties than any civilian would for similar or even lesser offenses.

Two more facts to consider: crime has been dropping every year for 30 years and we are now living with the lowest per-capita crime rate in 40 years. Meanwhile, busts for simple marijuana possession have increased 68%. So it should be obvious to even the dumbest kids in class that the police have very little to do with their time, in regards to fighting crimes like, say, searching for missing native women or stopping people who make baby-rape videos.

If the police are spending so much time busting marijuana smokers, while all of these other real crimes go unsolved or uninvestigated, then they must know something about prohibition that the rest of us don’t.

About russellbarth

Trying to end marijuana prohibition, and educate people about marijuana, diet, prohibition, and sustainable living.
This entry was posted in Activism, Harm Reduction, Marijuana, Ottawa, Politics and mental illness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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