"The prohibition on pot has driven up the cost of policing, contributed to a national crisis of court delays, supported gang-run black markets, compounded racial and class inequities and unnecessarily criminalized people for doing something that by and large poses little threat to them or others – all without delivering the promised benefits for public health or public safety." HoW backasswards is this statement? Talk about a person who has ZERO understanding of how it all works .The article sounds like it was written by a disgruntled stock idiot! The ongoing effort in the Senate to derail the passage of the Liberal government’s bill to legalize marijuana is not an exercise in sober second thought, as its Conservative proponents claim, but an attempt to obstruct democracy. The Trudeau government should use the tools at its disposal to push this important legislation through the Upper House. Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, and C-46, which would tighten rules on impaired driving related to marijuana use, have been before the Senate since the Commons passed them in late November. And they may languish there forever if the government does not invoke so-called time allocation, a tool for curtailing debate that the Liberals have largely eschewed. The delay has been caused by some 20 Conservative senators who have signed up to speak on Bill C-45 before it is referred to committee for review. But speaking seems less their purpose than stonewalling. In the more than two months since the bill reached the Red Chamber, not one of them has actually weighed in. Until they do so, the legislation is stuck. Anticipating just such obstructionist tactics, Independent Senator Tony Dean, the bill’s sponsor in the chamber, tried to organize a “structured” debate that would have given senators a chance to examine the new laws, but according to a timetable that would allow for a vote before the government’s summer deadline. Conservative senators rejected this proposal, however, arguing that it would not allow for the full airing of the opposition’s many concerns. Yet surely the silent obstructionism the Tories are now employing does nothing to advance their concerns. The Senate can play a useful role in studying, debating and improving legislation. But these delay tactics, so counter to the spirit of sober second thought, serve only to subvert the will of the people. After all, the legalization of marijuana was not only a Liberal campaign promise, but a wildly popular one. Some 65 per cent of Canadians continue to support the policy - and for good reason. The prohibition on pot has driven up the cost of policing, contributed to a national crisis of court delays, supported gang-run black markets, compounded racial and class inequities and unnecessarily criminalized people for doing something that by and large poses little threat to them or others – all without delivering the promised benefits for public health or public safety. The bill the Conservative senators are now working so hard to delay seeks to regulate the drug and ensure that it’s safe, to tax it and put proceeds into public education about the risks and to strike a serious, if not fatal, blow to the black market in the process. It is among the best and certainly the boldest pieces of legislation this government has yet pursued. The Trudeau government, unlike its predecessor, has been admirably reluctant to use procedural tricks to subvert democratic due process. During the Harper years, behemoth omnibus bills and time allocation were used freely to speed the passage of controversial legislation and to evade public and parliamentary scrutiny. In opposition and on the campaign trail, Justin Trudeau promised a more democratic approach and he has largely been true to his word. But just because Harper used these tools too much does not mean that Trudeau must never use them at all. Every government must manage the tension between efficiency and democracy. But in the case of the popular pot bill and the unelected senators trying to block it, these values are not at odds. Both would be well served by a heavier government hand in the Upper House.