And here I thought that currency was the currency

Marijuana ‘currency’ used to import harder drugs: Justice minister

OTTAWA — Canada’s justice minister says people who sell or grow marijuana belong in jail because pot is used as a “currency” to bring harder drugs into the country.

“This lubricates the business and that makes me nervous,” Rob Nicholson told the Commons justice committee Wednesday as he faced tough questions about a controversial bill to impose automatic jail and prison sentences for drug crimes, including growing as little as one pot plant.

“Marijuana is the currency that is used to bring other more serious drugs into the country.”

Let’s start by saying this: Rob Nicholson is not an idiot, not a stupid man, not an ignoramus. So the only conclusion to be drawn from his idiotic, stupid and ignorant comments above is that he is deliberately using rhetoric to push ideological goals. The idea that marijuana is the “currency” used to bring “more serious drugs” into the country is ludicrous on its face. Money is the currency. Sure, marijuana smuggled south is sometimes traded for other drugs coming north. But that is simply an exchange of valuable products (made incredibly valuable by prohibition). If no marijuana went south…money would be used instead (and by and large it still is the primary “currency” used to pay for marijuana sent south).

Are we to take from these comments that the Justice Minister believes that if Canada did not export marijuana it would not import any other drugs? No, he can’t really believe that – as long as you buy the premise that begins this post. So what is he really doing? Well, scroll down the story and you will find out that he’s pimping his government’s harmful mandatory minimum legislation (Bill C-15 – to oppose visit And, after failing to provide any evidence of those measures working…we get to the real nub: the government is “sending a message.”

Look, use email to send messages. Take out ads. But don’t fundamentally alter our sentencing policies, destroy the lives of our citizens and take our country further down the dangerous drug war path forged by the Americans. And what is the message anyway? That bad policies are necessary to attempt to deal with the mess created by bad policies?

Perhaps the Justice Minister needs a lesson in economics. Prohibiting products that are in significant demand creates black markets, inflates prices and secures steady and lucrative profit streams for those willing to violate the by providing those products. People will then trade valuable product A for valuable product B. But ending the prohibition on drugs will render the products exceedingly less valuable and therefore less likely to be used as “currency” for any reason.

Oh and by the way somebody should remind Mr. Nicholson that Canadians inhale about 10 million grams of cannabis a month…not all of our bud makes it south of the border.