My response to Justice Craig’s anti-Marc Emery “remember the fallen heros” rant

Justice Craig is a local proponent of drug prohibition. He wrote a book entitled “Short Pants to Striped Trousers” in which he rails against the horrible drug criminals – as he does regularly on his website blog:

Today, retired BC Justice Wallace Craig wrote the following opinion editorial:

Newshawk: Forums

Letters to the Editor: [email protected]

The Undermining of Sacrifice

By Submitted Article

Sunday, October 18, 2009 04:42 AM

by Justice Wallace Gilby Craig (retired)

Citizenship Contains Rights, Obligations

Citizenship is an entwinement of rights and obligations.

It is that inner voice which keeps us on the straight and narrow, and moves us to do our duty as members of the community.

The ultimate test of good citizenship occurred twice in the 20th century: in the Great War of 1914 -1918, and the Second World War of 1939-1945.

At 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 we stand, silent, in solemn remembrance of men who were killed in the two wars: 60,000 young men in the Great War, and 42,000 in the Second World War. A great many more sustained lifelong incapacitating injuries.

After 1945, demobilized soldiers, sailors and airmen struggled through the transition to civilian life in a new Canada, a land of opportunity, an industrial state that had manufactured all manner of military equipment and sophisticated products. In 1939, Canada’s cupboard was empty, in 1945 it was full; and in the aftermath of the war Canada’s economy continued to expand and diversify.

It was a remarkable transition for a million young Canadians: from the depths of the Great Depression to a savage global war, and then back home to enjoy duty’s reward: freedom under law and order in a democratic country.

I often wonder about ordinary young Canadians and whether a glimpse into the experiences of one veteran is typical of others.

On Oct. 4, a single page in The Province riveted me to its every word. Under the kicker Jim English: 1924- 2009, the headline read Bridge builder fought with Devil’s Brigade; Coalmont Survivor of Second Narrows Bridge Collapse Was `Bulletproof.’

It was a fitting tribute to Jim English by Staff reporter Susan Lazaruk. English died in September just before his 85th birthday. Lazaruk portrayed English as a strong and modest man who, when called upon, could do extraordinary things; an exemplary citizen in all respects.

Like so many others working in downtown Vancouver in 1958, I watched the slow progress of the building of a six-lane bridge across Burrard Inlet’s Second Narrows; its seemingly unsupported steel girders extending further and further high above dark and turbulent waters below. On June 17, 1958, word spread that the bridge had collapsed, sending me to a vantage point to stare, stunned, at the devastation of a downed bridge.

Eighteen workers were killed, 79 were injured. English plunged to the bottom of the narrows and floated to the surface suffering from extensive bruising, a broken tailbone and a gash on his face. As soon as he recovered from his injuries, English was back on the Second Narrows Bridge continuing his lifelong passion for building bridges.

English’s physical strength and toughness was hard-earned during his boyhood. He left home at age 11 to work and board on various farms near Prince George. In 1939, 15-year-old English put adolescence and farming aside and joined the Canadian army.

As a battle-tested foot soldier and sniper, twice wounded, English won transfer to the First Special Service Force, a brigade made up of three elite regiments – a mingling of 700 Canadians with 1700 Americans. Their intensity in combat soon earned them the nickname of The Devils Brigade – inspired by their blackened faces and daring courage.

English’s luck as a soldier returned with him to Canada. On March 27, 1948, he married Ruby Ready, a union that continued for 60 years until Ruby’s death on Christmas Day 2008.

In 1945, when English and all his comrades-in-arms returned home they settled into making Canadian communities civil and peaceable.

Yet within one generation, just 30 years after the war ended, a deviant drug subculture began insinuating itself into society.

And during the last 10 years local drug users have become increasingly vocal and organized, propagandizing as the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users and claiming an inherent right to use illicit drugs without moral and ethical constraint. Their ultimate goal: decriminalization of illicit drugs.

Anomalous users of cannabis are on a parallel path lead by their pretender, Marc Emery, the self-proclaimed Prince of Pot. Presently in custody in Vancouver, Emery will soon be on his way to the United States to begin a plea-bargained sentence of five years for selling cannabis seeds to Americans. (It was a profitable business).

Emery is a self-proclaimed marijuana martyr. In fact he is a serial violator of the law prohibiting possession of cannabis; and, as a pipsqueak scofflaw, he has earned a well-deserved sentence in the reality of an American jail.

In A Nation Forged in Fire – Canadians and the Second World War 1939-1945, authors J. L. Granaststein and Desmond Morton said that “Those men and women who gave their lives might have written great books, discovered cures for disease, or, more likely, simply have lived out their days in peace in their native land. They lost the chance for a full life because of forces beyond their control, beyond their country’s control – forces most of them comprehended only dimly.”

“Was it worth it? Was it worth the death, the maiming, the unending pain? That is a terrible question if posed by someone who lost a son, a husband, or a father at Ortona, on HMCS St. Croix, or in a Lancaster over the Ruhr. Even so, there can be only one answer. Was it worth it? Oh, yes.”

On Nov. 11, we shall stand silent commemorating the sacrifice of those young men and women; evermore mindful of our rights and obligations as citizens of Canada.

[email protected]

This was my response:

Regarding the comments made by Justice Wallace Gilby Craig (retired)
in his article entitled “The Undermining of Sacrifice”,

It is a little known fact that the monument in Victory Square where
members of the Vancouver community gather to honor their war dead
every November 11th is actually a monument commemorating the victims
of the pharmaceutical industry.

If you google the words “Vancouver Corner” or “22 April 1915” or
“Second Battle of Ypres” or read the plaque on the lamppost on
Hastings st. between Cambie st. and Hamilton st. you may learn that
the Victory Square war memorial is actually a memorial to the victims
of the world’s first gas attack. 2000 Canadians died in that attack.
That gas was made by a pharmaceutical company called “Bayer” – also
the makers of “Sativex” which is a legal cannabis medicine in Canada.
It is this battle where the “In Flanders Fields” poem came from which
– ironically – is the poem which resulted in the poppy becoming the
symbol of war and remembering. Ironic too, as Bayer made it’s first
fortune using poppies to make the pain-killer they first produced:

Bayer was also the biggest campaign contributor to the Nazi party and
the main benefactor of their war of aggression. Every time the Nazis
invaded or were about to invade another country, Bayer (in the form of
their chemical company cartel “I.G. Farben”) would take over the big
chemical companies of that country. The CEO’s of Bayer escaped
punishment at Nuremberg – one of the greatest travesties of justice of
all time. Now Bayer makes biological war weapons such as weaponized
anthrax in their Miles Cutter laboratory in Berkeley California, as
well as the “cure” for weaponized anthrax – Cipro. They still haven’t
found the perpetrators of that anthrax attack of October 2001.
Considering how much money Bayer made from Cipro sales as a result of
that attack and considering how few sources of weaponized anthrax
there are in the world, it seems to me that Bayer should be

If we are going to relate the sacrifices of our war heros to drug
policy it would seem more reasonable to relate them to preserving the
freedoms Canadians hold dear – the freedom to choose one’s own tastes
and pursuits and the freedom to engage in any harmless-to-others
activity, rather than the freedom of Bayer to enjoy a
cannabis-medicine monopoly.

Marc Emery was never accused of harming anyone. He was only accused of
being disobedient to a law which the 1972 Le Dain Comission, the 2002
Senate Report and over 50% of Canadians believe should not exist in
the first place. Myths regarding cannabis’s links to psychosis, to car
crashes and lung cancer – the reefer madness of the modern era – are
easily debunked. Considering how valuable civil disobedience has been
in helping slaves escape to Canada, in women getting the right to
vote, in the civil rights movement, in the anti-war movement and in
Canadians getting the right to grow industrial hemp and get access to
medicinal cannabis and supervised injection sites, it seems that it is
Marc Emery, not obedience to irrational laws, that Justice Craig
should be defending.


David Malmo-Levine
Curator, Herb Museum, Vancouver

P.S. Links and sources to back up the opinions expressed above can be
found below, to those who value the truth:

Vancouver Corner and the War Memorial in Vancouver:

Bayer, Heroin and the Nazi’s:

Canadian expert and public opinion on cannabis policy:

Current myths regarding cannabis harms debunked:

Doubt cast on cannabis, schizophrenia link

Cannabis and Lung Cancer

Stoned drivers are safe drivers

David Malmo-Levine