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Friday, October 10, 2008

rahim jaffer's pot attack ad falls flat on flip-flop.

January 2000: Reform Party MP Rahim Jaffer fought for the decriminalization of marijuana at that year's Reform Party conference:

...MPs such as Keith Martin or Rahim Jaffer say it makes sense to decriminalize the drug, a move that would free up countless hours of expensive police and court time. They plan to rally support for the motion.
October 2008: After 11 years in Ottawa and in a tight race for re-election, Rahim Jaffer's campaign launches a series of negative attacks ads against the NDP, accusing them of supporting the legalization of marijuana:
"Jack Layton and the Ottawa NDP have publicly supported the legalization of marijuana. In fact when asked about marijuana Jack Layton called it a wonderful substance which Canadians should be free to smoke at home or in a cafe.

Edmontonians understand how difficult it is to make sure our children make the right choices especially on serious issues like drug use. The Conservative Party supports drug free schools and getting tough with drug dealers who sell illegal drugs to children.

Don't let our schools go up in smoke... on October 14th vote Conservative. Authorized by the official agent for Rahim Jaffer."


eh said...

Wow. Talk about fear-mongering. Hopefully, voters in Edm-Strathcona, will see these ads for what they are. Moreover, evidence for the decriminalization of marijuana was as strong in 2000 as it is now, if circumstances haven't changed, what else could be influencing Jaffer's opinion? This flip-flop speaks volumes about Jaffer's values (or lack there of).

hatrock said...

Dave, nice try. That was 2000. Different party and different leader now.

Anonymous said...

"That was 2000. Different party and different leader now."

Same MP. Same person.

kyle said...

What a slimy ad.

I hope this fear-mongering backfires on Jaffer.

Anonymous said...

"The Conservative Party supports drug free schools and getting tough with drug dealers who sell illegal drugs to children."

What's wrong with this? After Rahim decriminalizes marijuana, the Conservative Party can get tough with drug dealers who sell those other illegal drugs to children in the playgrounds of our nation.

It's clear that evil Jack Layton wants to promote the dark and dangerous drug culture in the playgrounds of our nation.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

For those who are saying "different party, different leader," I'm sorry to have to correct you. Jaffer talked about his support for the decriminalization of marijuana (which just happens to be identical to the NDP position) just this week at the Kings College all-candidates' forum.

His support for decriminalization is also mentioned in the Edmonton Journal today:

Jaffer is on the record as supporting the decriminalization of marijuana, but said that is different from legalizing the drug. He said he is open to discussing marijuana's medical uses, and decriminalizing it in small amounts.

The NDP's official position on marijuana is it should be decriminalized in small amounts, particularly for medical needs.

Anonymous said...

Come on you people, Are you that stupid?

Decriminilization is removing the criminal aspect of the drug, allowing people to have so many grams on their person and not have to go to jail. The substance would still be illegal.

Layton wants to make it legal so you damn hippies can get your pot from the local corner store.

There is a difference between legal and illegal, I suggest you look it up!.

Aden said...

Ok, I hate to get involved, but everyone's missing the point of legalization.
The point isn't to make life easier for hippies and stoners, the point's to cut funding from drug gangs, who currently make around $2 billion per year from marijuana. Decriminalization doesn't solve that. Legalization, regulation and taxation does.
I could talk about this longer.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...


Sorry, but you're just wrong about this. The NDP doesn't want to make it legal, they want to decriminalize it. Which is exactly the same as Jaffer's position. There is no difference between Jaffer's position on this and the NDP's. None.

In fact, you don't even have to dig as far back as daveberta did to get confirmation for that, because these positions were outlined in detail at the beginning of this very week at the King's University College all-candidates' forum. There's a whole room of witnesses who can vouch for that. Somebody asked the four candidates to clarify their parties' positions on marijuana. Linda Duncan said: "we should decriminalize it." Jaffer said: "we should look into decriminalizing it." It was the Green who said: "we should legalize it." Not Linda.

I have to admit, I'm just baffled by this whole thing. I don't think much of Jaffer's party, but he himself isn't stupid, and I never thought he would be careless enough to run an attack ad criticizing his opponent for having exactly the same position that he has. Especially given the fact that there are a number of other things he could have highlighted that are actually huge differences between them, and which would have done much more damage to the NDP vote in the riding. In fact, I really have to wonder who's been giving Jaffer advice on strategy. They should be fired, whoever they are, because this was a dumb, dumb move.

b_nichol said...

But how do we know for sure that it was Jaffer's official agent that authorized this ad?

Anonymous said...

We don't, but look at the bright side. If he loses, we won't continue to be subjected to whining about how he can't get married to the lovely Miss Huronia because he doesn't know when the next election will be called. On the other hand, if he wins, pot-smoking kids will be incarcerated for life.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

From today's Edmonton Journal:

Meanwhile, back on the election trail, here's a refresher course on looking before you leap from Edmonton-Strathcona. That's where Conservative candidate Rahim Jaffer is battling it out with New Democrat Linda Duncan.

Jaffer, who has won the seat three times, wanted to put some distance between himself and Duncan this week. So he devised an ad about crime and marijuana for the local CHED radio station.

Using some five-year-old quotes from NDP Leader Jack Layton about marijuana, Jaffer's ads went on to say the NDP's official position is to legalize use of the drug.

But Jaffer overreached. As it turns out, he and Duncan are on the same page on this one. The NDP's official position is to support decriminalization in small amounts, particularly for medical purposes: exactly how Jaffer views the issue.