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Radio host Ed the Sock on decriminalizing marijuana (Anthony Jenkins/The Globe and Mail)
Radio host Ed the Sock on decriminalizing marijuana (Anthony Jenkins/The Globe and Mail)

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Radio host Ed the Sock on decriminalizing marijuana Add to ...

Ed the Sock (created and voiced by Steven Kerzner) hosts the syndicated show I Hate Hollywood on Mondays at 10:30 p.m. on CHCH television in Hamilton. He will play host to Futurecon, the New Year’s Eve charity science fiction convention held Dec. 30 through Jan. 1 at the Holiday Inn in Markham, Ont.

What happened to the war on drugs?

The war on drugs was lost before it started. You should never go into a war that you can’t win. When you fight a country, you know exactly where it is, right? When you’re fighting a drug war, you don’t know where everybody is. They’re all over the place. You can’t spread your forces out like that. You learn that playing Stratego! People coulda played a board game and woulda figured out that the war on drugs wasn’t going to work!

Are you in favour of the decriminalization or legalization of marijuana?

I don’t give a rat’s ass what anybody does in their own home. Quite frankly, that we’re going to make it easier for people to be even stupider than they already are, I have concerns about that. But stupidity seems to be on the march anyway. So why should we stand in the way of progress?

Washington State and Colorado recently voted to decriminalize marijuana. Is decriminalization of marijuana in Canada inevitable?

Well, they’ve been doing that controlled experiment of having it legalized in Toronto. It’s called Kensington Market. There are benefits to it. Especially if you’re Frito-Lay. If you run the local Mac’s Milk or 7-Eleven, there are benefits to legalizing marijuana. Oh, it will happen. It won’t happen while Stephen Harper is Prime Minister. I think he’s causing drug use to go up having to endure him as Prime Minister.

You have no hands. I presume you don’t smoke dope.

No, I have a big cigar. And I only have that because people around me find it annoying.

You know when you go places and you run into people you know and they’re drunk or they’re high and they say things or act in a way that you can never look at them the same again? That ain’t gonna be me!

Canada has always been a more liberal society than the United States on issues such as gay marriage or the social safety net. Would following the U.S. lead on marijuana decriminalization seem odd?

We’re not following the States because, currently, our prisons aren’t filled three-quarters with people who were caught with a joint. We’re more progressive here. In the States, they started increasing the sentences on drugs and they didn’t have the prison space. Here, we’re building the prisons first before there’s any need for them.

Isn’t that foresight?

It’s foresight if you talk about pandering to the base of the Conservative Party for votes. If you’re talking about a good place to pour federal money, no, it’s not foresight. Foresight would be to treat drug use as a health issue when it becomes a problem.

Other vices – liquor, cigarettes, gambling – are already heavily taxed. Would taxing marijuana be justification for legalizing and regulating it?

Basically, anything people enjoy needs to be taxed. People can’t enjoy something free and clear. There must be some kind of detriment to it. It goes back to some religious ethic that says you’re really not allowed to be to be happy all the time.

Is it a justification? No. Otherwise, we could tax murder, ’cause Lord knows there are people who’d enjoy that. I think if they do make it legal, they should make it illegal for anyone to say, “Dude, I am so high.”

When something is criminalized, doesn’t that just create and empower criminals? I’m thinking of Prohibition.

Well, Prohibition was a good example if anybody would have paid attention. Unfortunately, people’s notion of history goes back to who was eliminated in Dancing with the Stars last week. We’re really not taking lessons from history. If there’s a strong enough desire for something, someone will pop up to meet that desire – and make you pay for it.

It will be like Mountain Dew. Mountain Dew wasn’t good enough on its own. They had to make it Mountain Dew Thunderbolt or whatever it is, to increase the caffeine and make it more and more insane. It’s like a nuclear arms race with the potency for marijuana. The drug dealers are going to offer something to try to entice people to buy from them. Maybe a set of Olympic glasses.

The majority of Canadians favour the decriminalization of marijuana. This is supported by medical and police associations. Why doesn’t the government reflect the will of the people on this?

Sure, it’s what they were elected for. It isn’t what they do. [They’re] like breasts, or toy trains. They were designed for kids, but Dad likes to play with them more. Just because the government was designed to do things to represent us doesn’t mean they do. We continue to elect people who do things that go against what we really want because, somehow, they manage to convince us that the other guys are gonna do worse.

 

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