POT TV – Marijuana activist Jodie Emery, now a regular contributor to Global News BC1, clearly describes the relationship between drug prohibition and gang violence on a recent episode of Unfiltered with Jill Crop.
“Tougher sentences and even the threat of being murdered in the streets doesn’t deter people from getting involved in gang violence,” Emery told the host and panel of guests. “I know the police are trying their hardest use what they have to stop this gang violence, but they can’t. You can only address the symptoms of the problem. We need to look at what’s causing the problem.
“For a lot of young people they cannot resist the allure of huge amounts of money in the drug trade. … They know they can get arrested. They know they can go to prison for long periods of time and that doesn’t deter them. You have to address the problem’s source and that’s prohibition of drugs, which creates the criminal underworld that sells them.”
Host Jill Crop asked in a surprised tone: “But clearly you’re not asking for cocaine to be legalized, methamphetamine to be…”
“Yes I am actually,” Emery said. “We sell a lot of drugs that are dangerous and kill people. There are pain killers and alcohol and all sorts of substances hurting people every day. And yet there are few substances made illegal and that doesn’t protect anyone from using them. It only allows for a criminal market to sell them. If you criminalize something, the distributors will be criminals.
“Illegal drugs are more available in schools than alcohol. We need to educate [kids]to make responsible choices. Threatening people with arrest does not protect our children, it endangers them.”
Emery pointed out that the country of Portugal decriminalized all drugs over a decade ago, which has led to a series of positive societal changes related to addiction and drug use.
“They found that youth use dropped; criminal organizations lost money. The research has shown that when you make the drug laws less severe, young people use drugs less often.”
Jodie Emery is wife of imprisoned marijuana activist Marc Emery and owner and operator of Cannabis Culture and Pot TV.
Watch more episodes of Unfiltered with Jill Crop featuring Jodie Emery.
Watch The Jodie Emery Show on Pot TV.