By Alfa · Jun 5, 2004 · ·
  1. Alfa

    Dustin Sobie may only be 18 years old and have a shoestring campaign
    budget, but he's eager to try his hand at politics.

    From the time he was an exchange student in Germany and the war in
    Iraq started, Sobie has been a keen follower of the news, especially
    politics. The Grade 12 student at Lethbridge Collegiate Institute
    wanted to see what the electoral process was like so he decided to run
    as a candidate for the Marijuana Party of Canada. It's the first time
    the party has had a candidate in Lethbridge.

    "I support the legalization of marijuana and the platform of the
    Marijuana Party," Sobie said.

    His parents have mixed feelings about his decision, but they're glad
    he's getting involved in the political process when so many youth are

    "They probably wish I was running for a different party," Sobie
    admits, adding his mom is particularly concerned, yet supportive.

    "My dad supports me all the way."

    The party's platform centres around legalizing marijuana and amending
    the Canada Elections Act. The party wants to see the
    first-past-the-post method scrapped in favour of proportional

    "A lot of Canada is underrepresented in the House of Commons. A lot of
    people get elected and they're not what everybody wants," Sobie said.

    Legalizing marijuana would bring social and economic advantages and
    send a strong message to the United States.

    "I think Canada has to stand up to the United States and say we're
    going to control our domestic policy," he said.

    If Canada became a leader in legalizing marijuana, other countries
    would follow suit, eventually putting a dent in U.S. domination and
    its tendency to dictate drug policy.

    RCMP statistics from 1996 estimate five million Canadians use
    marijuana recreationally.

    "That makes them criminals. According to the law, all of them should
    be jailed right now and fined. I think that's wrong."

    Canada's laws affect young adults most seriously by denying them
    career and travel opportunities if they are convicted of possession.
    With 75 per cent of all drug cases in Canada involving marijuana,
    often simple possession, taxpayers pay more than $100 million every
    year for jailing marijuana users.

    "It puts a huge strain on the legal system. I believe this is a huge
    waste of Canadian taxpayers' money because these people did nothing
    wrong," Sobie said.

    Economically, marijuana represents an untapped resource worth about $7
    billion a year, which is more than the wheat, beef or timber
    economies. Legalizing marijuana would save money spent to enforce drug
    laws and would generate money as a taxable commodity.

    Even though his party doesn't have official positions on other issues,
    Sobie has his own opinions on voter concerns like health, education,
    government accountability and taxes.

    "I think we have to put more money into education," he said, adding
    the money should be spent on hiring more teachers, creating smaller
    classes and buying more computers and newer textbooks.

    He points a finger at Premier Ralph Klein for the state of education
    in Alberta. While students do well on provincial achievement tests,
    Alberta students are at a disadvantage when compared to students in
    neighbouring provinces. He'd like to see the federal government
    exercise some influence on how provinces spend education dollars.

    "Education should be equal across the country, there shouldn't be

    The country's health-care system is one of the jewels in the crown of
    Canada and "we should maintain the Canada Health Act and put more
    money into health care," he said.

    Sobie favours a progressive tax system based on ability to pay and for
    Canadian citizens to have access to any and all government information
    that isn't a matter of national security. He said the House of Commons
    is marked by too much aggression and the parties should work together,
    as occurs in Sweden.

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  1. Woodman

    If drugs were legalized & taxed in the US, there would be a significant economic upturn.

    A tax revenue generated by drug commerce would allow government to justify taxcuts to small businesses.

    ... but who said politicians are smart?!
  2. sands of time
    The political system is grossly inefficient and flawed but its still better than dictatorship.
  3. Alfa
    It is a front and a tool for dictatorship.
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