They say things happen in threes.
First, President Trump orders a symbolic missile launch on a Syrian government military installation.
Second, he orders the “mother of all bombs” be dropped on an alleged ISIS stronghold in Afghanistan.
Trump is showing early in his presidency that he is not afraid to flex U.S. military muscle. He is sending clear messages to everyone.
I’m thinking a clash with North Korea is inevitable and will be No. 3 on Trump’s hit list, perhaps as early as this Saturday. It would be a pre-emptive strike, because I have little doubt that North Korea will launch a missile at the U.S. if it has the capability.
Finally, politicians in Canada are righting a longtime wrong.
I’m talking about the tabling of a bill paving the way for legalization of the recreational use of cannabis — which had been legal for thousands of years prior to the early 1900s and had been considered an herb. Because, after all, it is actually a seed-bearing herb.
But somebody decided to reclassify it as a drug, and to oppress its users.
Canada criminalized its use in 1923, “before there were actually any reports of its use” in this country, Wikipedia notes in its entry on the history of cannabis.
Since then, countless numbers — many, many thousands — of people have been arrested in Canada, perhaps imprisoned, fined and otherwise punished for having cannabis in their possession.
As one Liberal cabinet minister said Thursday at a press conference about the tabling of the bill, the war on cannabis has been a complete failure.
To digress: Of course, it depends on which side of the war you were on. A lot of people got rich thanks to the prohibition on cannabis, and they didn’t have to pay any taxes on their gains. They didn’t want to see the herb legalized, and they may have colluded with various government officials over the decades to keep it illegal.
It remains to be seen if organized crime will be elbowed out of the pot business in Canada, or if they will find a way to keep their hands in it — as some police forces say they are, in fact, doing right now. It is quite possible that legal pot businesses won’t be able to keep their prices low enough to compete with underground sellers and still make a profit.
Whatever the case, the legalization is good news for those who use pot. No longer will they have to live in fear of being arrested for having it in their possession, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should be applauded for being the one who has finally moved to legalize it.
But he needs to go further. The Canadian government must pardon all those who have ever been arrested for possessing pot, and should review the cases of those who produced and/or sold it and consider pardoning them, too. Because what Justin’s action is telling everyone now is that pot should be legalized, and it should never have been criminalized in the first place.
We children of the 1960s and ’70s knew that. We knew it when Justin’s dad, Pierre Trudeau, was prime minister. We’ve known it all along. Those of us who used it were never criminals. The law against it was unjust, and we said so over and over and over again.
Finally, we have a prime minister who knows that, and is willing to do something about it.
That will be Justin Trudeau’s legacy and it is a big one, far bigger than the effects of any U.S. MOAB.
Justin Trudeau can now take his place among the greatest of the world’s leaders.
Photo credit: Pot.TV/Cannabis Culture