Category Archives: The Issues

Frank Wirrell Cannabis Part 2

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.                                                                                                                    John Adams

Mr. Wirrell accuses the media of accepting Prime Minister Trudeau’s “ridiculous and stupid statement” on cannabis legalization without any “statement to support” what the Prime Minister states. Mr. Wirrell then proceeds to make numerous statements without citing any supporting proof..

In fact in stating the legalization of cannabis will “work in favour of the dealers” with users beating a path to dealers doors to avoid government taxes Mr. Wirrell does not simply fail to cite any evidence to support his statement but ignores obvious facts that show his assertion to be false.

Illegal grow operations need to be hidden and any illegal grow operations discovered result in the loss of crop and equipment. These significant additional production costs for illegal cannabis production over legal cannabis production leaves a healthy margin where even government greed should leave the price of legal cannabis at a level that provides no reason for consumers to run the legal risk of buying from illegal sources.

Furthermore buying from dealers remains illegal and government has demonstrated elsewhere that it will protect its tax revenue by prosecuting consumers buying from illegal sources.

Most importantly, buying from legal sources removes the concern about whether anything has been added to the cannabis [meth, crack, heroin] to increase the market for other substances.

Also, if avoiding taxes was the most important motivator for those consuming mind altering drugs there would be a huge moonshine industry for those whose choice is alcohol.

Mr. Wirrell states “the costs to our medical system will escalate dramatically” but provides no facts to support his assertion that cannabis legalization will increase healthcare costs at all, much less dramatically.

Mr. Wirrell compounds his assumption that cannabis will increase healthcare costs by using tobacco health statistics in his argument against cannabis.

Comparing apples [tobacco] and rutabagas [cannabis] is an interesting example of ‘How to Lie with Statistics’ [a how to book written by Darrell Huff in 1957] but actually detracts from Mr. Wirrells argument, smacking as it does or Harry S. Truman’s “if you can’t convince them, confuse them”.

When it comes to costs Mr. Wirrell totally ignores the reason more and more US states are defying the US federal government and treating cannabis as if it were legal. Yes the tax revenue is a nice bonus but the real benefit for the states is the $$$$ it cost to have cannabis illegal. A cost that continues to in effect bankrupt states which enforce laws against cannabis and force continual cuts to state services.   

“Making this dangerous drug legal places our future generation at risk as many young people will think it is something to try.”

“Many young people” would be an improvement over the overwhelming majority of young people who considered cannabis something to try – and tried it – when cannabis was illegal.

If one is truly concerned about the wellbeing of young people vis-à-vis substance use and not just making a spurious hypocritical argument, one would be fighting to have alcohol – the most harmful drug [The Lancet – the world’s leading independent general medical journal], made illegal.

The reality is that youth experiment. Reality, the outcomes experienced, are clear that it is not the availability of drugs that determines whether people [youth, adult, senior] misuse or abuse drugs it is the experiences and learnings of their lives that determines whether they misuse or abuse drugs.

Blaming the drugs is far more comfortable – and easier – than dealing with the reality that parents and society determine whether someone will misuse and abuse drugs.

Our unwillingness to accept responsibility for our actions and/or the consequences or our actions, together with the discomfort and the blow to our ego in facing and addressing the reality of substance abuse is why substance abuse continues to exist and continues to grow.

Legalization of cannabis was an acknowledgement of reality, it eliminated the need to ignore the law on cannabis or self-destructively enforce the law and it eliminated the Hypocrisy of cannabis being illegal while the most harmful drug [alcohol] was legal.

What is notable about Justin Trudeau legalizing cannabis is that legalizing cannabis was a rational action consistent with the true realities and facts – therefore inconsistent with usual government behaviour – and despite all the hand wringing and catastrophizing, legalization was pushed it through

Capitalism creates widespread prosperity – or does it?

Friedman stated that the only cases in recorded history in which the masses have escaped from gruelling poverty “are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade.”

It is a truism often stated by economists and politicians and widely accepted as true by the public. The question is: did the masses escape from gruelling poverty because of capitalism or in spite of it?

Continue reading Capitalism creates widespread prosperity – or does it?

Milton Friedman: The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits

Milton friedman
The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits
The New York Times Magazine
September 13, 1970

When I hear businessmen speak eloquently about the “social responsibilities of business in a free-enterprise system,” I am reminded of the wonderful line about the Frenchman who
discovered at the age of 70 that he had been speaking prose all his life. The businessmen believe that they are defending free enterprise when they declaim that business is not concerned “merely” with profit but also with promoting desirable “social” ends; that business has a “social conscience” and takes seriously its responsibilities for providing employment, eliminating discrimination, avoiding pollution and whatever else may be the catchwords of the contemporary crop of reformers. In fact they are–or would be if they or anyone else took them seriously–preaching pure and unadulterated socialism. Businessmen who talk this way
are unwitting puppets of the intellectual forces that have been undermining the basis of a free society these past decades.

Continue reading Milton Friedman: The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits

Homelessness: Harvey

The Giver: A community builder in Abbotsford’s homeless community

A WAY HOME: Harvey Clause wants to build a life helping those around him

“My mind’s a bit like the clouds out there right now,” Harvey Clause says, gesturing toward the fog hanging low over Gladys Avenue, when asked how he’s doing. “It might clear up this afternoon,” he adds with a characteristically anxious laugh.

Continue reading Homelessness: Harvey

Abbotsford News re: Proportional Representation

My proportional representation voting package arrived the other day.

I will be voting NO as should everyone, including those who support proportional representation, because the process is so flawed that NO is the only option where there is any certainty as to the electoral process we are voting for.

Roadmap Understanding NDP proposal

Continue reading Abbotsford News re: Proportional Representation