Harper Blows More Hot Air on YouTube Marijuana Questions

Harper giving a smug grin after (barely) answering questions about marijuana which dominated YouTube's question/answer poll.Harper giving a smug grin after (barely) answering questions about marijuana which dominated YouTube’s question/answer poll.CANNABIS CULTURE – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper answered questions this evening in a YouTube-sponsored poll and interview where marijuana was the #1 issue. As expected, the PM rehashed the same old tired arguments in defense of his destructive cannabis policies.

Marijuana- and crime-related questions dominated the YouTube/Google poll, coming in #1, #2, #3, #4 and several other spots in the top 10. A similar poll of “Ideas for Change” for US President Obama on Change.org also places marijuana legalization at #1.

Below is the video and transcript of Harper’s response to questions about marijuana:

TRANSCRIPT:

PATRICK PICHETTE: The last question that we have today was the question that was passed with the most votes, and it’s about marijuana.

RT. HON. STEPHEN HARPER: Oh really!

PATRICK PICHETTE: It was the question with the most votes, tackled the subject of marijuana. And it is written as follows: “A majority of Canadians, when polled, say they believe marijuana should be legal for adults, just like alcohol. Why don’t you end the war on drugs and focus on violent criminals?”

RT. HON. STEPHEN HARPER: Well, it’s a good question. I’m not sure I’ve seen this particular poll. There are different polls on this subject that show different things, but you know, I have to say young children, I guess they’re now…Ben and Rachel are now getting pretty close to 14 and 11, but maybe they’re not that young, but they are at the age where, you know, they will increasingly come into contact with drug use, and I guess as a parent, you know, this is the last thing I want to see for my kids or anyone else’s children. You know, I understand that people defend the use of drugs, but that said, I don’t think…I think I’ve been very fortunate to live a drug-free life, and I don’t meet many people who’ve led a drug-free life who regret it. Met a lot of people who haven’t, who’ve regretted it. So this is something that we want to encourage obviously for our children, for everybody’s children.

Now, I also want people to understand what we’re really talking about here when we’re talking about the drug trade. You know, when people say focus on violent crime instead of drugs, and yeah, you know, there’s lots of crimes a lot worse than, you know, casual use of marijuana. But when people are buying from the drug trade, they are not buying from their neighbour. They are buying from international cartels that are involved in unimaginable violence and intimidation and social disaster and catastrophe all across the world. All across the world. You know, and I just wish people would understand that, and not just on drugs. Even when people buy, you know, an illegal carton of cigarettes and they avoid tax, that they really understand the kind of criminal networks that they are supporting, and the damage they do. Now, you know, I know some people say if you just legalized it, you know, you’d get the money and all would be well. But I think that rests on the assumption that somehow drugs are bad because they’re illegal.

The reason drugs…it’s not that. The reason drugs are illegal is because they are bad. And even if these things were legalized, I can predict with a lot of confidence that these would never be respectable businesses run by respectable people. Because the very nature of the dependency they create, the damage they create, the social upheaval and catastrophe they create, particularly in third world countries…I mean, you look now, you look at Latin America, some of the countries to the south of us, and the damage the drug trade is doing, not just to people’s lives as drug users.

Look at the violence it’s creating in neighbourhoods, the destruction of social systems, of families, of governmental institutions, the corruption of police forces. I mean, these are terrible, terrible organizations, and while I know people, you know, have different views, I must admit myself sometimes I’m frustrated by how little impact governments have been able to have on the drug trade internationally. But we should not fool ourselves into thinking that if we somehow stopped trying to deal with it, it would suddenly turn into a nice, wholesome industry. It will never be that. And I think we all need to understand that, and we all need to make sure our kids understand, not just that our kids…hopefully not just understand the damage drugs can do to them, but they understand as well the wider social disaster they are contributing to if they, through use of their money, fund organizations that produce and deliver elicit narcotics.

Harper was also gave a hollow answer when asked about mandatory minimum sentencing:

TRANSCRIPT:

PATRICK PICHETTE: This question is from Chris in Waterloo, and he writes, “Since research has shown that mandatory minimum sentencing does not deter future crime, what makes you as the Prime Minister believe this is still an effective way of persecuting criminals?”

RT. HON. STEPHEN HARPER: Well, I think the view of the population of Canada on this issue is actually pretty clear, that when serious crimes are committed, people expect the penalties to match these crimes. And obviously, you know, for 40 years our criminal justice system was going in a very different direction. We were…you know, there are these arguments that told people somehow if you don’t punish criminals, that crime will go away. I never quite understood the philosophy, but I think people understand that that approach has not been effective. So we have been, since we’ve come into office, trying to make sure, trying to toughen up our laws and make sure that the crimes are appropriate.

You know, for example we think that if people commit serious crimes, violent crimes, we don’t think it’s appropriate that they would serve their sentence at home, what’s called conditional sentences, effectively house arrest. We don’t think it’s…and we don’t think it’s appropriate that very serious or repeat crimes would not be subject to at least some kind of minimum penalty, minimum prison time. I mean, surely if a crime is serious enough, a murder charge, for example, there should be some prison time for a murder charge. So these are the kinds of changes we’ve been making over time. They’ve been very well supported by the Canadian public. I don’t want to say crime is out of control in this country, but we do know that there have been some very worrying growth areas, particularly if you look at the areas of guns, gangs and drugs, and this is a growth area, not just in Canada, but around the world. It’s an international phenomenon.

But we do think it’s very important that the criminal justice system send a strong message that such behaviour is not acceptable, and that it be appropriately punished, and that those who engage in such behaviour understand what the likelihood of punishment actually is. Because what we do know about deterrence is it doesn’t work unless people are actually certain they’re going to get punished. But if you create a system where there’s always a loophole, and you can always get out of the punishment, or the punishment can always be downgraded or forgotten, then it’s clear, that kind of a system does not deter people.

PATRICK PICHETTE: Is not credible.

RT. HON. STEPHEN HARPER: Is not credible. It’s not credible. I think…I’m not an expert in this area, but I think the evidence suggests it isn’t the length of the punishment that matters; it’s the certainty of the punishment. And if there’s no certainty you’ll be punished, then no possible penalty will matter. So that’s why we think it’s important to actually have a minimum penalty for serious crimes.

Watch the entire interview on YouTube.

Comments

41 Comments

  1. Anonymous on

    rot in hell . i hope you get cancer and die from codiene od

  2. Anonymous on

    The poor kids are probably so stoned by fear of what daddy might do if he ever found out, they just may stay away.

    That said, we can all pray they are free-minded enough to eventually try it.. and then strong-willed enough to tell dad he was wrong.

  3. Anonymous on

    The poor kids are probably so stoned by fear of what daddy might do if he ever found out, they just may stay away.

    That said, we can all pray they are free-minded enough to eventually try it.. and then strong-willed enough to tell dad he was wrong.

  4. Anonymous on

    If that is so why then why is the growing of marijuana for personal use worthy of jail time? Would Harper be willing to put legalization of marijuana on the ballot in the next election? He should not have a problem with this if he is so sure the majority of Canadians are wanting to put personal pot growers in jail?
    Harper is lying piece of political right wing trash! Need I say any more?

  5. Anonymous on

    God made Marijuana.

    “our” prime minister ive heard is a “christian”. So, what are you trying to say mr harper, God is evil?
    Im a Christian, but I don’t worship the almighty dollar, or the ever corrupt business’s/corporations. Its people like mr harper that truly expose the ravenous wolf that hides behind some self proclaimed christians/business thugs. like himself. That would rather see crime escalate, gangsters, etc. Yea…….WAY TO GO “GOD” BOY! Really paving the way for followers eh stephen! What do ya expect from a preppy, no backbone, lakeshore boy. Its because of people like him, we cant walk the streets at night, unless ya have a weapon, ya….vote pc.

  6. Sinister on

    Stephen Harper is such a tool. Thank goodness I left Canada for Africa before he got in. I’m really not liking this “political party” thingy when it comes to democracy. There needs to be a BETTER way. Our elected leaders are failing us at every turn. WTF??
    We elect these morons and then they misrepresent us. Things NEED to CHANGE…pronto. I’m sick of fu*ked-up government preying on the electorate. Citizens really NEED to WAKE the fu*k UP and take back their country. Americans too. I know this sentiment is echoed across many communities here in Canada and the US. What we need is a strong united COLLECTIVE.

    Now I understand why the Borg are so powerful. :-) They think as ONE.

  7. Mark Taylor on

    Mostly every thig that he said was a lie
    pot should be legal because i have been smokin pot for about 13 years and i have never met anyone who smokes pot and is violent , Pot heads are a verry peacefull people they don’t do nuttin to no one , so Harpper better fuck off and just leagleize it or he WILL BE SORRY ,and he better make it so my Hero Marc Emery (if he has to go to jail )to have him spend it in Canada so that his wife and his fan and fallowers can visit him or he WILL BE SORRY!!!!!!!!

  8. Anonymous on

    Marijuana being illegal is dumb. Why? Because it’s so weak that it couldn’t possibly cause any significant problems. Even hash isn’t particularly strong. You pretty much need pure resin to get a strong effect. Simple Cannabis buds are weaker than tobacco. Unless you’re already a nicotine addict, taking one haul off a cigarette will practically drop you. In fact, the tobacco grown today was specially bred to be weak. The real tobacco used by the Indians was so strong it really would knock you out. Cannabis buds are like nothing compared to real tobacco. The fact that it’s illegal while tobacco is not is a prime example of the idiocy of lawmakers. Maybe if they actually smoke weed for a while they’d see how stupid it is to ban it like it’s a serious drug or something. I can’t smoke that shit anymore. It just stinks the house up and harshes me out. Little piece of extracted resin mixed with just enough bud powder to make it hold together does the job nicely without the stink and massive smoke inhalation.

  9. Anonymous on

    Get him locked up and he won’t be

  10. Anonymous on

    “it’s the certainty of the punishment” (i.e. its a judge issue so need mandatory minimum sentences, sounds like the Police lobby view).

    NO, the REAL experts say: “its threat of arrest” (its really a policing issue), not if you are arrested, you are CERTAIN to get punished. Of course the pot laws are UNJUST laws so they are just FASCIST.

  11. Anonymous on

    You have to wonder if its negligence for a PM to mislead on an issue of public safety.

  12. Jason Lob on

    Stephen harper is clearly on the pay role. He has no legitimate reason to continue prohibition. He gets money from the “cartel”

    you think about it though, do we really want gov. to control marijuana. cigarettes were just tobacco but gov. started to regulate and look what they did to that. there is fuckingg rat poison in them as well as addictive additives and so much shit. If marijuana became legal and regulated by gov. it would also become addictive and bad for you with all the shit the gov. would cut into it as they can make more money. legal and unregulated would be the best but realistically thats not going to happen.

    i have my mmj licence and this is great for me…. a huge success in my opinion. at least people that need it can get it and through illegal activities we can keep weed safe and cheep. the people growing and selling illegally are not the crooks the gov is. at lest we arent cutting it.

  13. Anonymous on

    We should have a panel of 10 year olds audit every decision Mr. Harper makes. That should improve efficiency by 200% and at least the ten year olds know right from wrong.

  14. Anonymous on

    harper won’t be in office long enough for this to happen and still everyone cares.

  15. Anonymous on

    Nice attitude Harper. I can see Ben and Rachel both blazin a fatty soon times

  16. Dirty Harry on

    Was he wearing tap danceing shoes? He sure seemed to be doing a lot of dancing around to avoid an actual answer to the questions.

  17. Anonymous on

    One more thing: The Canada that Mr.Harper is trying to build is not my Canada.In my Canada,Cannabis Sativa and Indica species will grow onto that land from coast to coast.

  18. Zak on

    haha… dammit

  19. Anonymous on

    Can you expect anything more from a puppet of the american agenda it’s time to kick this asshole out of office

  20. Anonymous on

    I have zero respect for this lying hypocrite, it will be such a joy to see him booted from office in the next election.

  21. Anonymous on

    I cant wait to read in the newspaper of the future:
    Harper’s daughter caught smoking mj !
    Bet: 2020 ? 2025 ? 2030 ?
    Ill be laughing
    because when you belong to the high class political its de rigueur…

  22. Anonymous on

    Question for Mr.Harper:
    What are you doing to keep my kids away from booze and cigarettes ?

  23. Anonymous on

    The Hygrade frankfurter syndrome:more people eat them because they taste better, they taste better because more people eat them.
    Drugs are dangerous because they are illegal and they are illegal because they are dangerous.

  24. Anonymous on

    you don’t deserve to be the PM of your own a$$!!

  25. pedro on

    DORK !! Unfortunately, Ig’s not much better

  26. Anonymous on

    There is always the preliminary loophole called “trying to avoid getting busted” !

    Such legislation only makes ppl work more carefully.

    Eg, retalliation towards snitches will become inevetible more harsh!

  27. Anonymous on

    Now hopefully people will see you for the moron you really are!!!

    I hope you get voted out real soon, you don’t deserve to be the PM of Canada!!!

  28. Anonymous on

    I mean, they will be next to become incarcerated for 9 months for some silly pot offence most likely.

  29. Anonymous on

    Great Parenting Mr Harper,

    Your children will be next!

  30. Paul on

    Hold on one second,isn’t Marijuana a herb?Blah,Goes to show you that are great leader know’s FUCK ALL.

  31. Jack on

    extremly disapointing interview

    same bullshit as usual;
    now the people need to rise up in the streets, we’re at this stage

  32. David Malmo-Levine on

    My analysis of Harper’s speech

    forums.cannabisculture.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1625187#Post1625187

  33. Dmitriy Goncharuk on

    What a fool , makes me think this fuckhads ran country , nothing he sad make any signs ! i am not a cartel , I am Russian Hipy , Peace and love ! Fuck you Stephen Harper , Die in peace !

  34. The Napkin on

    I think you’re a respectable person Mr Emery.

    Let’s lose this loser.

  35. Travis Erbacher on

    Drugs are bad, mmkay!

  36. shiloh on

    Hilarious Mr. Harper. Guess what? I buy from my neighbors.

  37. kaylea on

    SIGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. Anonymous on

    So he basically analizes the affects of our CURRENT prohibition system, pointing out damage and harm that it is currently causing, then puts on his evil keneivel cape and jumps the grand canyon of relativity comparing tax and regulation as an equal?? What a fucking load of shit.

  39. Anonymous on

    Ditto. Hate that man with a passion.

  40. Kevin R M on

    This man is a complete idiot.