Remember and Honour The Fallen: End All Wars

CANNABIS CULTURE – November 11 is Remembrance Day in Canada – a day to honour fallen soldiers of past and ongoing wars.

I’ve commented before that the only real way to honour those who sacrificed their lives is to work towards ending all armed conflicts, and that includes the ongoing global Drug War.

An article I wrote on Remembrance Day 2010 for Cannabis Culture called “Remembering the Victims of All Wars” explains:

As part of our memorial, we include the millions of casualties of the global War on Drugs, which continues to rage on around the world, intensifying in places like Mexico, where the government vows to continue its violent crackdown. The Drug War death toll in Mexico has now reached 50 deaths a day, and this year’s total toll is expected to exceed 18,000. According to the Globe and Mail, the total number of death since the beginning of President Felipe Calderon’s six-year term may be 60,000, “more than 10 times the number of Americans killed to date in both Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Beginning in 1914, the US War on Drugs is the country’s longest war, claiming the lives of countless individuals, imprisoning hundreds of thousands of non-violent citizens, tearing apart families, and destroying the hopes and dreams of Americans young and old.

Reports by the International Harm Reduction Association say more than one thousand people face execution for drug offences each year in 32 countries that retain the death penalty for drug crimes.

We also remember the sacrifices of police officers killed on duty enforcing drug laws and military officers overseas battling over drug plantations, like the heroin-producing poppy fields of Afghanistan.

This commentary is still necessary five years later. Though we’ve made gains in drug law reform in places like the US and Mexico, lives around the globe are still being destroyed and lost to the Drug War.

In Canada, we have a new Prime Minister who has promised to deescalate our military involvement overseas and legalize marijuana.

In a column called “Why I am still wearing a white poppy for Remembrance Day” Robin Whitaker points out that though the war-hungry Stephen Harper and his militant Conservatives are no longer in power, she wears the white poppy as a sign of “encouragement” to the governing Liberals to stand by their commitments aimed at making peace:

The white poppy symbolizes grief for all victims of war, civilian as well as military, regardless of nationality. It also represents opposition to war and determination to work against the causes of war. Today it is relevant as ever in a Canada newly committed to humanitarianism and peacekeeping.

Today I will too wear a white poppy to encourage Trudeau and the Liberals to stand by their commitment to end Canada’s War Against Marijuana. This would be a great start to eventually ending the war against all illegal drugs in Canada – which is, in reality, a war on Canadian citizens who use drugs.

Remember and honour the fallen: end all wars.

Jeremiah Vandermeer
Jeremiah Vandermeer

Jeremiah Vandermeer is Chief of Operations of Cannabis Culture and Editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine & Pot TV.