Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Smarter Brand of Justice - Actor Russell Brand Solves the Failed War on Drugs in 1 Minute & 35 Seconds

Via George Stroumboulopoulos:

Russell Brand's Latest Role: A Defender Of Harm Reduction Drug Strategies

"Addressing members of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee in the U.K., Brand argued bluntly that treating drug addiction as an illness rather than as a criminal activity is not only a humane approach, but a sensible one that will "prevent people from committing crimes." (Seriously, go read the whole Strombo Health post.)

Forty years after Nixon's War on (People Who Use Certain) Drugs infected countries the world over, the truth is being recognized and shared everywhere; prohibition has failed and government cannot incarcerate people out of addiction.

Four Decades of overly punitive criminal convictions haven't achieved their goal of reducing recidivism and an ever-expanding mountain of expert research and evidence correlates that Harm Reduction programs like Rehab, Therapy and even Yoga, trumps imprisonment significantly in terms of reaching and maintaining sobriety.  Plus, these Harm Reduction strategies also cost less than keeping (primarily non-violent) drug offenders locked up where they are less likely to have access to adequate therapeutic and job skills programs. 

Also worth discussing, what will become of us now with the passing of Bill C-10?  I hope Canadians are prepared for the influx of recreational cannabis users, small time pot growers, and illegal substance abusers (some who are sadly victims of mental illness and childhood abuse) into our taxpayer supported penal institutions.  Rehab spots behind bars were scarce before, and I'm afraid we ain't seen nothin' yet!  Correctional Service of Canada and the Justice Department might as well change their names to Punishment Disservice of Harperland and the "Tough on Crime!" Ministry respectively.

Drug abuse, whether it is for illegal drugs, alcohol, prescription drugs, etc. is uniquely personal.  Treat the person as a patient and they have a fighting chance to manage and successfully beat their addiction(s).  Criminalize and convict them, and it further damages their mental state and exponentially hinders their potential for recovery.

Just because a person uses drugs does not mean they are undeserving of compassion, and realistically our drug policies must reflect that truth.  So Thank You, Mr. Brand, for bringing even more attention to the failure of the War on Drugs, your passionate testimony is much appreciated by those of us campaigning for the reform of our national and global drug laws. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hey Harper! Get Off My Lawn!

My response to this article:

It's time for Canada and all nations to admit that the War On Drugs is lost, in fact, just like The Noble Experiment it could never have been won to begin with.  We do not respect the laws of drug prohibition because they are unenforceable.  To prohibit the use of a plant that we have used for thousands of years for medicine, relaxation, paper, food, fabric, fuel, etc. is not only unjust, but an impossible endeavor.
I respect laws that are created to keep society safe from truly violent and dangerous people.  As a Mother I believe a majority of police and judicial resources must be focused on those who truly pose a threat to society.   But the law of Cannabis Prohibition is so ridiculous that it causes disrespect for the law and law enforcement, which is a shame because there are many great police, lawyers, judges, etc. out there who really do care about people, most notably members of L.E.A.P. ~ Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Politicians must concede that they cannot legislate human behavior when it comes to what we eat and drink, how we medicate or what we grow in our gardens.  It is the ultimate persecution of our freedom(1) of personal autonomy and wreaks of ownership!  We're not perfect, we're Human, we use drugs, we always have, deal with it!  The mere notion that government believes laws can stop plants from growing in the ground is ludicrous.

End the Drug War that empowers and enriches cartels and organized criminals.  Provide truthful facts to our children about all substances and regulate the sale of drugs to adults.  Revive the farming of the Industrial and food grade Hemp plant the world over so we can help our environment and conquer famine and malnutrition.  We can concentrate on more important things like our disastrous economy, health care, school boards and old and failing infrastructures.  Every taxpayer dollar we spend fighting this unwinnable war is a dollar stolen from proven programs that really do help support the health and safety of all of us.  When it comes to paying for helicopters flying through the air searching for plants(2) or schools and hospitals, I know without a doubt where I want my tax dollars to go!

via YouTube: David Bratzer, a police officer in British Columbia, Canada, says he has seen how marijuana prohibition and the failed "war on drugs" directly lead to the growth of organized crime and cause gruesome illegal market violence. David is a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which anyone can join for free at

"The Law Makes Us Lawless"
The awesome Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary
"Prohibition" can be viewed at PBS online.

"I, as a responsible adult human being, will never concede the power to anyone to regulate my choice of what I put into my body, or where I go with my mind. From the skin inwards is my jurisdiction, is it not? I choose what may or may not cross that border. Here I am the Customs Agent. I am the Coast guard. I am the sole legal and spiritual government of this territory, and only the laws I choose to enact within myself are applicable." 
~ Alexander Shulgin PhD, Chemist and author

(1) The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

(2)  “Globally, the annual risk of eradication is continually below 10% for each crop [of opium poppy, coca bush, and cannabis plant].” source

“Get off my lawn!” - Stay out of my business, my personal life.