CANNABIS CULTURE – Calling all Canadian marijuana users! A federal election has been called and Canada needs your help. It’s now time to stand up and rescue our country from Stephen Harper and his anti-democratic, pot-hating Conservative Party. Vote against the Conservatives on May 2, 2011 and SAVE CANADA!
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party are the most regressive and dangerous government our country has faced in the modern era. On March 21, they were found in contempt of Parliament for refusing to disclose the true costs of a host of big-ticket items, and a unanimous no-confidence motion from opposition parties brought down the government and sparked an election.
May 2, 2011 is the day you can take your country back by voting for whoever can beat the Conservative MP candidate in your riding from the Liberal, NDP, or Bloc Québécois parties.
This is not the time for party politics – the stakes are quite literally life and death for the cannabis community. All three parties have been significantly more progressive and sensible about drug laws than the Conservatives, and we must do anything we can to stop the Cons from winning seats in the House of Commons. If Harper and his party manage to win a majority of seats, we face a near-dictatorship that will undoubtedly do everything it can to wipe the cannabis community off the map.
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Harper has been the cannabis community’s greatest nightmare; shortly after winning a minority government in 2006, Harper and his party declared an all-out war on Canada’s cannabis community and have been waging weed battles on several fronts.
Conservative Bill S-10 (and before that, Bill C-26 and Bill C-15) threatened to imprison non-violent Canadians for small amounts of marijuana with mandatory minimum prison sentences, including 6 months to 2 years in jail for growing 6 plants, and 18 months in jail for making and sharing cannabis edibles or extracting hash. The bills even included life sentences for non-violent marijuana offences.
These bills and other “tough on crime” legislation proposed by the Cons would cost Canadians billions in tax dollars for new prisons and increased enforcement. We can’t be sure exactly how much, because the Harper Government would not disclose the numbers. This callous act of disdain for transparency led to the government’s historic contempt of Parliament charges, the first time in Canadian history a government has faced such charges. Luckily, Bill S-10 died when an election was called, but not before being passed by the Conservative-controlled Senate.
The Conservatives have also tried several back-door methods in targeting pot users, including changing what constitutes a Serious Offence in regulations relating to marijuana and organized crime – so if three or more people trade a few grams of pot amongst each other, this could be a ‘serious offence’, and these people would face 5 years in prison. This was a process Harper’s cabinet manipulated without the need for Parliamentary approval.
As well, on the Harper government’s watch, Health Canada’s medical marijuana access program has deteriorated into a confused mess. Long delays in processing applications and renewals are turning patients into criminals overnight, leading to unfair police raids and harassment of sick Canadians.
Significant evidence shows that Theo-Con Harper, a devout Evangelical Christian, sees the War on Drugs as a Holy War, and marijuana users as un-Godly sorcerers and witches; and he isn’t afraid to appoint his religious buddies to important posts.
One thing is for sure, if the Conservatives win the election, we will see similar or worse attempts to destroy our community. If they get a majority of seats this time around (which is quite possible), it could even mean the extinction of the medical marijuana program.
“This is a government that’s introduced mandatory minimums every single term they’ve had the last four years,” activist Jacob Hunter of WhyProhibition.ca, told Cannabis Culture. “With a majority government, Harper would be able to pass bills like that within as little as a few weeks. There will be no opportunity for amendment and no opportunity to delay substantially or to block them. Harper could pass whatever crazy mandatory minimum bills he wanted to right away.”
With a majority, Harper wouldn’t have to call an election for another five years, giving him plenty of time to do serious damage through more regressive policies on drugs and many other issues. It would also allow him to make long term, fundamental changes to our justice system.
“Within three years Harper would have the ability to have a majority on the Supreme Court and major appellate courts in this country,” Hunter said. “In the past, Harper has been absolutely willing to politicize even the most basic of government appointments. There’s no reason to believe he would be any different in his judicial appointments. This of course could lead to the removal of the medical marijuana program, the removal of same-sex marriage rights, and even the removal of abortion-rights. I don’t think its outside the realm of possibility to talk about forced bans on paraphernalia – and say goodbye to Insite and needle exchange programs.”
With voter turnout rates in Canada at historic lows, a concerted effort by even a moderate group of marijuana users and young people could make a serious difference in the outcome of this election.
The stakes are HUGE, so get out there and VOTE on MAY 2, 2011. It may be our last chance to reclaim our country from the draconian Conservatives before irreparable damage is done!
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UPDATE: An amazing NDP surge – the Orange Wave – is rolling across Quebec and the rest of the country, making strategic voting more difficult. The NDP is doing so well, OUR PREVIOUS LIST IS NO LONGER VALID.
At this point, we are encouraging Canadians to enter your information into the WhyProhibition widget for the latest updates on strategic voting from WhyProhibition.ca.