Cannabis / Marijuana, EDITORIAL
Why the Tragic Ottawa Shooting Is a Potential Boon to the Canadian Cannabis Industry
By Anthony Wile - October 25, 2014

The movement to legalize cannabis is in place. It will continue. And it leads to some interesting conclusions.

One can argue, for instance, that the tragic shooting in Canada's capital city earlier this week may ultimately benefit cannabis decriminalization efforts. Once a meme is in place, almost anything can have unexpected consequences. More on that in a minute.

First, let's focus on the pushback.

This week certainly showed elements of pushback. The Seattle PI, for instance, reports that Seattle's financing and planning departments sent 330 warning letters to medical marijuana shops informing them time is running out on obtaining a license if the business is engaged in "major marijuana activity," defined as "growing more than 45 plants or having more than 72 ounces of usable marijuana on hand." But the article goes on to point out, "The Catch-22: There is no such license to obtain for those businesses providing medical marijuana."

And then there is this from the Huffington Post:

Colorado Health Officials Want To Ban Almost All Recreational Marijuana Edibles … Health officials in Colorado are calling for what is nearly a full ban on retail marijuana edibles in the state, just 10 months after the first recreational sales of marijuana began. The call for a ban from the state Health Department comes as multiple lawmakers, state marijuana industry representatives and state officials have made recommendations to be included in a Colorado House bill that seeks additional restrictions on the sale of edible marijuana products …

You see? As prohibition crumbles, various fault lines are revealed. Gradually, the establishment allows dissenting views to be heard. The mainstream media echoes larger trends, allowing truth to leak into journalistic presentations. We can see this now in a SFGate report last week suggesting the "War on Marijuana is Unconstitutional." Here's an excerpt:

The U.S. government claims marijuana is a dangerous, addictive drug with no medical benefits. But that claim will be up for debate Monday in California when a federal judge is scheduled to hear testimony from doctors that conclude the opposite.

Doctors Carl Hart, Associate Professor of Psychology at Columbia University, retired physician Phillip Denny, and Greg Carter, Medical Director of St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane, Washington will testify Monday that marijuana — real name, "cannabis" — is not the demon drug the federal government makes it out to be. Accepted science does not justify the listing of cannabis as a dangerous "Schedule I" substance, many say.

… This is an unprecedented hearing, writes cannabis law reform advocate Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML. "This is the first time in recent memory that a federal judge has granted an evidentiary hearing on a motion challenging the statute which classifies cannabis to be one of the most dangerous illicit substances in the nation.

As I mentioned above, this week's shooting of a Canadian reservist standing guard at the National War Memorial on Parliament Hill may have surprising consequences. Predictably, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a series of high-profile statements afterward, pledging Canada would not be "intimidated." Yet while his remarks were in response to the shooting, his position to join Iraq War III was not. Here, from the UK Guardian:

Earlier this month members of Parliament voted to join the US-led bombing campaign against the al-Qaida splinter group Islamic State. On Tuesday Canada elevated its domestic terror threat from low to medium. "The decision to raise the level is linked to an increase in general chatter from radical Islamist organizations like Isil, al-Qaida, al-Shabaab and others who pose a clear threat to Canadians," said a statement from the ministry of public safety and emergency preparedness.

Shortly after the Ottawa attack Barack Obama spoke with Harper by telephone to offer his condolences. "I pledged, as always, to make sure that our national security teams are coordinating very closely, given not only is Canada one of our closest allies in the world but they're our neighbours and our friends, and obviously there's a lot of interaction between Canadians and the United States, where we have such a long border," the president said in a statement.

Canada's support of the United States, yet again, in what is an increasingly unpopular effort is no great surprise. The Conservatives have acted as if Canada answers to the US for a long time. The party always toes the policy line, albeit with a few semantic differences, promoted by the US, UK, Israel and other Western nations, as the same people are controlling the game no matter the borders. We're all united in fighting the War on Terror!

Not surprisingly, then, Wednesday's shooting death of a soldier immediately became fodder for the ever-increasing effort to pump up the hypervigilant "see something, say something" meme here in Canada. After all, without a state of paranoia among the masses, who needs a nanny state to protect them? Simply stated, government offers a protection racket and their job is only perceived as valuable if the public feels fearful. This shooting, like so many previously trumpeted events, is thus sadly used to prop up the importance of government.

The fact that a member of the military was shot gives it all the more emotional impact. I've questioned this in a previous editorial, but will ask again: Why are we no longer able to attend a single sporting event of any type, whether in the US or Canada, without at some point having to stand and salute a member of the military? It seems to always happen during a break in the action … here he comes, Mr. Military. And the crowd goes wild – often much more loudly than when the home team scores a goal or wins the game. Why? Is this coincidence? Or is it mandated by a power chamber, so to speak? People who own billion-dollar sports facilities are certainly part of that power chamber, and bread and circus promotions are an extremely effective tool in the apparatus of distraction in support of the ever-expanding military-industrial complex, which is driving to install global governance.

This "we love our troops" mania has become so absurd that since the shooting, at two hockey games in the US – in which neither team playing was Canadian – the crowds jumped to their feet and roared in support as "O Canada" was played. Now expressing vigorous support even for a foreign military in the middle of a non-military event is wildly popular. The military is always saluted, one way or another. The citizenry singing the praises of military action – regardless of the flag swaying above their heads or the anthem rolling off their tongues – are nothing more than blindly aiding and abetting mass murder. And that is exactly what the power elite want.

"Our beloved soldiers" – many of whom, granted, joined the military either out of simple desperation for a job or out of a true sense of duty to their countrymen, albeit misplaced – are being used and manipulated into participating in a structure that supports something entirely different than the propaganda used to recruit them and that is endlessly foist upon their countrymen to engender blind support for "our military." To believe this phenomenon is coincidental is simply foolish.

The flags being flown in support of a country no longer have the same sense of significance they once carried. Flags now wave in enthusiasm of the public's euphoric nature, of their obliviousness to the "real" game happening around them. The winds that are shaping and controlling their thinking about the way the world operates are echoing through those flags, no longer even slightly related to the public's interpretation of patriotic songs and rhetoric. This is a grand illusion en masse.

All of this aftermath of the shooting has been quite predictable, of course. What is NOT going to be predictable, in my view, is the impact it may have on elections next year. We can see here, once again, fault lines emerging.

Earlier in the month Liberal candidate for prime minister Justin Trudeau strongly articulated his opposition to Canada's limited air support for Western forces battling the Islamic State. And while the political class, including his own party, expressed surprise at his position, there's evidence that Canadians generally are not pro-war and especially not supportive of overseas participation in the War on Terror. In fact, this very weekend anti-war protests are scheduled again in Canada. Global Research reported "The Canadian Peace Alliance and the Collectif Échec à la guerre are calling for a weekend of protest actions, on 25-26 October, against Canadian participation in the third Iraq war. These protests will take place on the 12th anniversary of the first mobilizations in Canada and the US – in the Fall of 2002 – to oppose the preparation of the US invasion and the war of occupation in Iraq that would last from 2003 to 2011."

The Canadian Peace Alliance's rally announcement states:

We cannot let the attacks in Ottawa and St-Jean-sur-Richelieu perpetuate the cycle of war, violence and Islamophobia. The killing of two soldiers in Ottawa and in Quebec must be condemned, as we oppose all acts of violence against innocent people. This was a tragic loss of life. Moving forward, we cannot let these killings become fodder for a pro-war, militaristic agenda in Canada. … What we need right now is peace, not more war. There needs to be justice, both for the soldiers killed this week, and all of the victims of Canadian foreign policy.

Trudeau and the Liberals have been doing well against the incumbent Conservatives. An August Ipsos Reid poll for Global News showed the Liberals were receiving support of 38 percent of voters compared to 31 percent for the Conservatives. There's plenty of evidence that Trudeau is appealing to the electorate on a variety of issues, not just one or two.

In particular, Trudeau made his anti-war position very clear just weeks before the shooting in Ottawa. The Huffington Post reported on Trudeau's position regarding Canada's role in this latest chapter of never-ending US-led invasions on October 2:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is playing political games with the lives of Canadian soldiers as he prepares to send them to war against Islamic extremists in Iraq, Justin Trudeau charged Thursday.

The Liberal leader said Harper has made no attempt to justify a combat mission or to foster an all-party consensus on the issue. …

"Instead, he dares us to oppose his war, staking out not moral territory but political territory." …

"Why aren't we talking more about the kind of humanitarian aid that Canada can and must be engaged in, rather than trying to whip out our CF-18s and show them how big they are? It just doesn't work like that in Canada." …

Trudeau reminded the conference that Harper supported the 2003 U.S.-led war in Iraq, which was sold to the public "with overheated, moralistic rhetoric that obscured very real flaws in the strategy and the plan to implement it."

He accused Harper of taking the same approach to the current conflict, talking about "the nobility of combat," while refusing to tell Canadians what military support he's offered the Americans, how long a combat role would last or how helpful the CF-18s can actually be.

It's been extensively reported that ISIS has notified the US and nations supporting the US in no uncertain terms that there would be repercussions against their military and civilian personnel if they continue to interfere in their domestic and political affairs. So it should come as no surprise that the very day after Canada dispatched six fighter jets from Alberta to Kuwait in support of the US combat mission – coincidental timing or not – we may well have experienced a blowback reaction that was pre-scripted by ISIS.

There was a time when Canada was regarded around the world as a neutral country, like Switzerland, a country focused on humanitarian efforts in its aid and support of situations around the world. Now, I'm not in favor of any state spending taxpayer money on situations around the world. I think that kind of work should be handled by private organizations and institutions if they are so inclined. Taxpayers, via their governments, should not be caretakers of the world. Government's job is to provide security, on a very limited basis, to secure life and property of the citizens in their country. Furthermore, when you choose an ally, you choose an enemy. It's that simple. Thus, again, it should come as no surprise when enemies fight back – in some cases in extremely horrific ways, such as what I believe is likely to have been the underlying root behind what happened in Ottawa.

The people singing louder and prouder in stadiums following the shooting blindly believe we're fighting off an enemy who wants to destroy our "democratic" ways. But people don't fight ideology if we don't bring it into their back yards at the point of a gun, which is the modus operandi of the stateless elite steering the democratic war machine. In reality, these sad and tragic events are likely just another avoidable example of blowback caused by the stranglehold over energy resources around the world to ensure the petrodollar continues its dominance.

Speaking of the petrodollar and its waning dominance, I recently had the privilege of reviewing a new book, The Colder War, by Marin Katusa of the Casey Research Group that articulately outlines the energy grab for resources and continuing US hegemonic incursions around the world. This book is a must-read for any and all interested in understanding the dynamics of the ready-to-implode petrodollar as the world reserve currency. In fact, Ron Paul said:

The Colder War provides a reversing contrast from the hysterical "Putin is Stalin, Jr., restart the Cold War" message emanating from the neocon think tanks and the mainstream media. Marin Katusa provides an objective examination of Putin's history and goals, and shows the real threat to the American people is not Putin but the US Government's hyper-interventionist foreign policy, our destructive monetary policies, and government policies that inhibit the development of America's energy resources.

Trudeau's comments reported in Huffington Post make it clear he is not oblivious to the probability of blowback in response to Canada's role in support of the US Empire. As the Canadian federal election draws near, expect to hear more and more about why we need to revert back to the status as a more passive, tolerant society that Canadians previously enjoyed, lest we become even further viewed around the world like our neighbors to the south. If we want to maintain that neutral image we're going to have to step back and recognize as a people where the borders of immorality exist.

One could suggest that you're in danger any time you cross the line drawn on a map representing your own border to tell another country, with guns in hand, what to do. You're no longer a defender at that point. Yet when you stand at your border as a militia united to defend against real threats that are attempting to come into your back yard, then according to the US and various international organizations today, you can be called terrorists. It seems to me that people in their own countries, with boots on their own ground, using their own weapons to defend their own ideals are entirely within their right to do so. No other country has any business being there, telling them how they should or should not run their country.

On another note, I certainly do not think anyone should profit from such tragic events as this shooting. But politics being politics, you can bet that the party in support of cannabis legalization will gain from this tragic event as a result of Trudeau's outspoken lack of support for Canada sending troops on this latest invasion and the public's desire to avoid further war.

And one of the most important, of course, is his pro-cannabis position. As the Canadian Guardian pointed out back in 2012, "During a session Tuesday morning with Colonel Gray High School students in Charlottetown, the candidate for the federal Liberal Party leadership came out in support of decriminalizing marijuana and even discussed the possibility of legalization."

Trudeau's view regarding cannabis resonates with the Canadian electorate, as does his view regarding the War on Terror. In fact, according to the National Post, some two-thirds of Canadians want cannabis legalized. In this case, two memes are colliding.

Internationalists who have apparently decided to back cannabis decriminalization and even legalization are also pushing for an expanded War on Terror and additional security measures throughout the West. Yet, in a sense these two memes are mutually exclusive. The support for cannabis legalization is overwhelming. The support for yet a THIRD round of the War on Terror in Iraq is decidedly not.

This situation is typical of how what we call the Internet Reformation has thrown elite thematic promotions into turmoil. Panicked, those who produce these promotions have generated many more of them in the past decade, while supporting them less and less effectively.

As a result, memes are beginning to work at cross-purposes. This is corrosive to social control while confirming our perspective regarding the difficulty of establishing dominant social themes in the 21st century.

More and more, the electorate will pick and choose what to believe as the process of the Internet Reformation continues to inform opinion. In Canada, a majority does believe in the decriminalization of cannabis. And many do not believe that Canada should become more entangled in the so-called War on Terror.

That's good news, so far as I'm concerned. Whether the electorate will choose to support Trudeau's stance for cannabis and against more war with their vote remains to be seen. At this point, it looks like they will.

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Posted in Cannabis / Marijuana, EDITORIAL
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