Monday, August 08, 2005

Non-enforcement is not good enough

My posting levels seem to be plummetting. I blame it on the silly season. Stifling Montreal heat has made me apathetic, and I haven't had a lot to get worked up about in the daily news.

In the interests of maintaining my blogger credentials, I should probably post something before I head off on vacation (along with every other columnist in this nation, it would seem).

So here goes. Everyone seems to be up in arms one way or the other about the Mark Emery case. Here's my two cents: the central issue here is not about the extradition and Canadian sovereignty, but about Canada's half-assed approach to legalizing or decriminalizing unpopular or "icky" practices. Because MPs are afraid of the political consequences - both foreign and domestic - of legalizing marijuana, they simply allow statutes to stay on the books, and not enforce them. So 99% of the time, a person can smoke a joint in peace, but you're SOL if you get caught by an overzealous police officer. Rather than legalizing and regulating sex trade workers, politicians create wiggle-room by outlawing some of their associated practices, so it can continue to go on, but only in dark alleys, where workers are unprotected.

Politicians need to be forced to develop a spine (or be given strap-on spines, a la Dilbert) and confront these issues directly, rather than hoping that legal limbo will suffice. Canadians deserve to know where they truly stand vis-a-vis the law, so that they can behave accordingly.

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