Don't park your life 'at the end of a marijuana cigarette,' Ignatieff tells Mount Pearl students

Steve
Steve Bartlett
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After encouraging O'Donel High students to vote and help create a better country, it was Michael Ignatieff's reply to a young man's question about legalizing marijuana that drew the loudest and longest applause.

"If I had to tell you as a parent or as someone who has spent his whole life working with young people, the last darn thing I want you to be doing is smoking marijuana," the federal Liberal leader said.

Federal Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff held a Youth Town Hall meeting at O'Donel High in Mount Pearl Monday afternoon as part of his national tour for Canada's 150th anniversary that will begin with a national conference in Montreal at the end of this m

After encouraging O'Donel High students to vote and help create a better country, it was Michael Ignatieff's reply to a young man's question about legalizing marijuana that drew the loudest and longest applause.

"If I had to tell you as a parent or as someone who has spent his whole life working with young people, the last darn thing I want you to be doing is smoking marijuana," the federal Liberal leader said.

"I want you to be out there digging a well, digging a ditch, getting a job, raising a family ... doing stuff, instead of parking your life on the end of a marijuana cigarette."

Ignatieff held the town hall-style meeting Monday as part of a cross-country tour leading up to "Canada at 150," a Liberal-organized conference on where the country should be in 2017 that's being held later this month.

A number of organizations and interested adults also attended the event.

Noting he likes an occasional drink and having a good time, Ignatieff didn't seem concerned if his anti-weed stance made him appear conservative.

"Given the things we need to do together, that's what I think," he said, adding that legalizing marijuana would create problems in dealings with the U.S. because the drug would remain illegal there.

Ignatieff opened the meeting by encouraging students to vote, saying only one in five young Canadians did so in the last election.

He also shared his national vision. He wants Canada to be the most educated society, the most energy-efficient country and the most international society.

"And that's a funny goal," he said of the latter, encouraging the students to have experiences overseas and then return home.

Global thinking needed, Liberal leader tells students ... Continued from page A1

"We can't afford to be provincial. We can't afford to be small. We've got to engage with the world. The world needs Canada to solve conflicts, to give advice, to dig wells, to build schools, to help people. We (also) need more people coming into Canada."

During the Q and A, besides marijuana, Ignatieff was quizzed about ACAP funding, Africa, student debt, poverty, tax and small business succession, and product safety.

Most of the questions came from organizations.

The Liberal leader said his party would to restore ACAP funding and that Canada should be engaged in Africa because of the opportunities and our historical ties to that continent's Francophone portion.

Ignatieff stressed his post-secondary schooling credo: "You get the grades, you get to go." He said student aid must to get to those who need it and that investment levels must be sustained. He suggested specific post-secondary education transfers to provinces and financial rewards for universities that attract students.

As for poverty, the Liberal leader said government has to provide basic income security.

"We do not want to dig ourselves out of the deficit on the backs of the working poor," he said to applause. "We need to identify the community groups that do a good job (at reducing poverty) and we need to partner with them."

The effect of taxation on small business succession - kids will be "taxed enormously" for taking over a family business, warned the insurance brokers association - appeared to be a new concern.

Ignatieff said he wanted discuss it with his caucus because he didn't have the details. He did acknowledge the importance of small business and noted the Conservatives are planning to "massively increase" the EI contribution rate. That, he said, will negatively affect small business and could kill jobs.

Asked about ensuring children's products are safe, Ignatieff said government has to protect Canadians and must provide the right amount of resources to do it.

"I'm not a big government guy - that's not what the Liberals stand for - but we do believe this place really will go to hell if you don't have a government that stands up and protects Canadians."

After being such an outspoken critic of the Conservatives' proroguing of Parliament, reporters later asked Ignatieff why he had hit the road now that the House of Commons was open.

"We saw the budget last week (and) the Throne speech, there's nothing there," he replied. "There's really nothing there...So now that's been voted, we're doing what we think needs to be done, which is just as important, which is, 'If that's the Conservative offer, we've got to make the Canadian people a counter offer.' How do you do that? You go around the country, listen to Canadians, get ideas in."

sbartlett@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Conservatives, House of Commons

Geographic location: Canada, Mount Pearl, Africa U.S.

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  • NORML
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    like the tulip restrictions that were placed on imports from Netherlands? Ohh... There ain't such a thing. Obama's a smoker, who inhales. Give it 50 years, and just like health care, they'll come around. During the alcohol prohibition, how did Canada fair economically? Exactly.... last one to the pipe is a wrotten egg.

  • Ken
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Ditch-digging? Better to dig ditches and wells (and graves, too?) than to have a joint? To quote a previous person, this guy is a tool. The Liberals would have done better to pick Bob Rae. You would think he could have come up with a better answer to the marijuana question than that, as it is so commonly asked of politicians.

  • anonymous
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Iggy is a tool...

  • Matt
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Cut the guy some slack. I hardly think it's bad advice to say avoid marijuana . If the Conservatives decided to legalize and told everyone that pot is ok there would be a huge backlash, and rightfully so. Stop limiting your arguments by the invisible barriers between political parties.

  • wen
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    This guy is obviously a Obama Fan and a fool he said, adding that legalizing marijuana would create problems in dealings with the U.S. because the drug would remain illegal there. We can't be the same as all the other countries out there and this is why Canada lost their status. If weed was illegal in Canada i m pretty sure that american tourists will come every summer just to try out our amazing weed and the government of Canada can be making millions with just 5 dollars a gram. Less gang violence on weed and no more foolish kids wasting their life out there trying to chop weed cause they can get away with it.

  • Member of the 93%
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    This guy is a tool.

  • MUN Poli Sci
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Mr. Ignatieff notes that young people are not voting in larger numbers.

    Perhaps it is because of events and some of the statements (digging ditches) like the ones he has made which are turning off voters.

    In Newfoundland, we can heartily endorse a politician who is seen to be doing something and representing our values and interests.

    Look at the approval numbers for Danny Williams. We are not fools.

    Mr. Ignatieff, you and your Mount Pearl MP, Siobhan Coady, just do not connect with the electorate here. You need to show us you understand our concerns, not preach from a pulpit on issues that are not a priority for us.

    Mr. Ignatieff, when Stephen harper changed the Equalization formula to include offshore energy revenues without notice to this Province - you called the move targetted, draconian and unfair .

    But you have never said what you would do about it. Would you undue the damage??

    You have had 2 years and 2 Budgets to think about it - how about an answer?

  • Frank M
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    An interesting dichotomy - Ignatieff says the Conservative government's Throne Speech and Budget are without ideas and therefore bad for the country.

    Ignatieff goes on a cross country tour to get ideas from the population.

    Are we to conclude that the Opposition liberals, supposedly a government in waiting, has no ideas of its own either.

    If the Throne Speech and Budget are bad for the country, the opposition has an obligation to vote against it.

    Which, this Opposition did not.

    In closing, this was an academic exercise, nothing more.

  • Adam
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    How about after a hard day digging a ditch, relaxing at home with a marijuana cigarette? Why do people have to perpetuate the myth that if you smoke cannabis you are a lazy do nothing bum?

  • Whatever Bud
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Reefer Madness called,it wants it's propaganda back.

  • Daniel
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Amazing. Ignatieff gives a practical, non-judgmental response to a question about pot and gets accused of claiming pot smokers are a bunch of lazy bums and demonizing marijuana. What he said is that it's better for you to work than smoke pot (true) and that legalizing pot would cause problems with our biggest trading partner (also true). To the guy who is supporting his family with a full-time job while acing all his engineering classes -- if that's true, doesn't that mean you're placing a higher priority on work and school than on pot? And isn't that what Ignatieff actually advised? Anyone who has evidence that contradicts what he actually said, and not what they accuse him of meaning, I'd like to see it. It's not like the student asking the question (or the ones cheering him) are asking about legalizing pot because they hope to one day unwind with a single joint at the end of a productive week at a full-time job.

  • Pothead
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Hmmmm, everyone I smoke pot with is a successful, tax-paying, contributing member of society. I've smoked pot with your doctor, your lawyer, CEO's, teachers.

    The pot smokers are lazy bums myth smacks of ignorance. Anyone who uses can't debate facts, and hurl insults instead.

  • Telling it how Id
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    @ pothead,

    Hmmmm, everyone I smoke pot with is a successful, tax-paying, contributing member of society. I've smoked pot with your doctor, your lawyer, CEO's, teachers.

    Now I'm not denying your claim, if you are, great. But I've heard so many people use this argument, surely not every pot smoke who comments on this page is somehow linked to a CEO.

    Look, I'll give you an example of what I mean....how many guys do you know have made out with a girl downtown only to BS the next day his encounter was all night?

    If you would, please provide the names or at least the companies of these apparently professionals.

    Afterall, it's one thing to make out with a girl, it's another thing to sleep with her.

    It's another thing to smoke pot with a ceo, it's another thing to prove it.

  • Mo
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Mr. Ignatieff's visit did not touch on anything important to Newfoundland and Labrador like offshore oil and Equalization, the Fishery, or our highest unemployment rates of all the provinces.

    He must have gotten his briefing materials from Siobhan Coady, MP for St. John's South, who does not have a clue about those things either.

    A waste of an afternoon.

  • Member of the 93%
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Iggy is a tool.

  • Mario
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I am a weed smoker. And yeah, when I think about it, I am kind of a failure. I mean, it isn't very hard to maintain a 4.0 average in a university level engineering program, or financially support your family since the age of 18, or work 40 hours a week while trying to attend classes and write exams while all my peers are DRINKING (proven to be much more destructive than marijuana) and partying. Yep, I've got failure and bum written all over me. But, if I'm the failure, then what does that make you? I could think of a few things...

  • Margaret
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    I have yet to see anyone who smokes pot habitually able to balance their lives properly. I have met a *few* financially successful people who are basically potheads, and who have crap for marriages and relationships with their children. You can't have emotional intimacy with anyone if you've got a substance which is first and foremost in your mind.

    The rest of them -- sorry, but potheads lose their ambition.
    That's one of the symptoms. They also lose interest in other interests, in what they look like, and where they're going.
    We're just watching a neighbour girl waste her life because she smokes pot habitually; she's lost interest in anything productive, and is getting fat. She won't hang out with our daughter because our daughter doesn't smoke up. She tried to get her to do it, and when she met a consistent 'no thanks', that was the end of the friendship. It's all too typical.

    I came of age in the 60s, was in my 20s for the 70s, lived in Montreal, with potheads --and I got so that I just couldn't stand them. The main thing is that it is so BORING being around them when they're stoned, and they have to get stoned to - go to a club, go camping. go grocery shopping, go for a drive, or go for a walk; smoke up to watch TV or a movie - absolutely. You can't do anything without being stoned.
    Not only are they boring, but they don't like being around anyone who doesn't smoke pot - so they tend to be cliquey. And when they're stoned they have zip to talk about.

    I think legalizing would be a good idea in that it would take the power away from gangs, but that's about it. I know that alcohol is on the surface more destructive - but pot is just as destructive in the long run; it erodes relationships - the main relationship is with weed.
    Ignatieff is right - but the problem is that you have now got parents who smoke pot, so don't care if their kids do, and they don't see it as harmful. (And I think if you haven't quit by the time you're 30 you're never going to grow up.)

  • I Smoke Pot
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    I'm going to start by saying, Why don't people take their negativity towards marijuana, and put it towards something constructive, like say, Welfare? Why didn'tIggy talk to the student's about how important it is to get an education, a career and do something constructive with their lives. Why isn't the governement harping on people who are milking the system for what it's worth, raising kids on this system, taking advantage of free schooling by the system, only to go back and sit on their lazy good for nothing asses. Why isn't the government forcing these people to work? Make them dig the ditches, clean garbage from streets, paint houses, and mow lawns. If they want money from the government MAKE THEM WORK!!!! It isn't meant to raise children on, so you can sit in your house and do nothing all day, and expect to get a paycheck every 2 weeks. I have to work hard for my money, so why can't I smoke a little marijuana? You buy a pack of smokes, and a case of beer, I choose Marijuana.
    I'm 26 years old. I've worked since I'm 15(attending work and high school both full time) and smoke marijuana regularly. How can any of you sit here and say smoking marijuana is wrong, and should be illegal, condemned.. or whatever it is you say. If smoking 'weed' makes people lazy, explain to me why I (and many others) have careers, post secondary education, families, are members of town committees, school committees, and sport committees? Prove to me marijuana is worse than, alcohol, tobaccoo, cocaine, oxy's, methadone, extacy, and GAMBLING (Should I continue?). Give me just one example of a family being torn apart from just smoking marijuana. Or a statistic of one single death (in the world) of a person dieing, or overdosing while smoking marijuana.

    Tobacco has been around for about the last 50 years or so. Marijuana has been around for 100s of years. There are over 400,000 deaths in this world, every year related to tobacco. I can list family members, friends, relatives, who have all died from alcohol, or tobacco related deaths, and also people who have ruined their lives and families, from gambling, or on such drugs as cocaine, oxycodine. Yet, I can not find one single statistic that a person has died/overdosed from smoking/eating marijuana. If marijuana is so bad , why do doctors prescribe this to cancer patients, or patients with eating disorders, or patients with chronic pain. Why would a doctor do such a thing if it's so bad for you? Explain this to me? Please, go ahead and enlighten my day a little.

  • andycanuck
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    The Grits aren't a big government party? Iggy really has been out of the country for most of past 40 years.

  • Louise
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    I see all the pot-smoking, legalize marijuana fans are hard at work at home or using their employer's time to browse the blogs. I'm retired, so I can afford to stay home and check the blogs. But I don't smoke marijuana. Once you've paid your way through life, you can do whatever you want. On another point, what were the corporations asking quetions doing at a high school. Isn't that called planting questions ?

  • Michael
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    A MESSAGE TO THE IGNORANT PEOPLE

    I think it's complete nonsense when people around the world consider marijuana users as lazy people. Next time do your research because many people through out history that (smoke) or smoked marijuana are sensible,intelligent,intellectual people. CEO Bill Gates owner of Microsoft, (A Marijuana user) is an example of success.

    DEATHS PER YEAR FROM ALCOHOL------ thousands and thousands.
    In the process Countless family's are destroyed.

    DEATHS PER YEAR FROM POT-------- Zero

    it seams like the so-called intelligent people of the world ARE NOT so smart.
    A Herb that makes you happy, creative, Non-violent, hungry and brings relaxation are sure threats to humanity.

    ----1000's to 0 remember that.

  • Riley
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Adam Baum from AB writes: How about after a hard day digging a ditch, relaxing at home with a marijuana cigarette? Why do people have to perpetuate the myth that if you smoke cannabis you are a lazy do nothing bum?---------------------------------------- Everybody I know who smokes pot is a lazy doofus. Ignatieff is right on. Here's what he said: Quit sitting on your butt, get a job, if you have trouble doing that or you lose your job, Canada will pull together and give you income support until your get on your feet, alternatively study hard, get good grades and you get to get to go to university -- free (like most countries in Europe, where they're richer than us). He also wants you to get off your lazy small minded butt and see some more of the world, learn about the world, then use that knowledge to help build a better Canada. The alternative is to vote Conservative and wait for them to THROW YOU IN JAIL for smoking weed -- which is what they want to do, next.

  • Kathy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    He is telling the kids what they do not want to hear.

    That is courageous but how will it translate to more votes from a group that Iggy has already identified as one which votes less and less?

    Courageous, but not very smart politics.

    No votes gained in that room.

  • Time For Change
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    The Liberals under Ignatieff have no idea about the problems facing Newfoundland and Labrador.

    Ignatieff wants to improve access to post secondary education, well MUN has the lowest tuition in the country and Newfoundland's student loan program forgives a portion of the loan interest if you complete your program, so we are already providing the best access in the country.

    Glib PR junkets by politicians are not what this country needs. It needs leadership and neither Ignatieff or the Newfoundland MP's are showing any.

    Vote NDP next time.

  • Andrew
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    What a moron. Guess what? You can use marijuana without ruining your life. He acts as if it's the end of your life should you inhale. That's like saying if you drink a beer, you're an alcoholic.

    Also, once again, showing he cares more about the United States than Canada, it's all he thinks about.

    What an idiot. He needs to get out of Newfoundland and not come back.

  • Mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Just wanted to clarify, Ignatieff never actually states that smoking marijuana will ruin your life, that would be your interpretation... he does admit that if we were to legalize the stuff it would cause us problems with the US, which like it or not is the truth. When the previous Lib government was in power and toyed with the idea of decriminalizing, there were threats from the US administration about retaliation through trade restrictions... just sayin'

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Michael Ignatieff: legalizing marijuana would create problems in dealings with the U.S. because the drug would remain illegal there.
    Jct: One bad reason for his cowardice. and U. of Saskatchewan reported a couple of years ago that marijuana regrows brain cells, one reason it's good for Alzheimers. It's apparent Michael Ignatieff hasn't been growing too many brain cells recently.

  • Mark
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    I see above the header The Telegram there are three words that say The Peoples Paper .
    This is curious.
    Ignatieff takes the question which gets, by far, the loudest response and he proceeds to demonize marijuana. Now I'm sure that these young people who asked this question will make up their own minds about any substance they decide to experiment with. That's called FREEDOM Mr. Ignatieff. With all your talk of global this global that I think you are nothing but a puppet for your offshore banking friends who are taking down, by design, our great country of Canada. Peace. Mark.

  • bart
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    @margaret:

    I'm from the Netherlands originally and cannot confirm your description of pot smokers attitude & subculture.

    You have all kinds of groups with subcultures, and maybe you are reversing cause and effect here. Maybe the typical lazy people might be more inclinded to smoke pot, instead of pot smoking causing lazyness?

    I for one, including most people I know, do not fit your description. I'm a 45 yo physicist with wife and 2 teenage kids. I use pot 1 or 2 times in the weekend (not smoking b.t.w. for health reasons, but eating or vaporizing). My relation is as good as it can be and I have a very good job. My wife doesn't use and doesn't want to but has no problem with my recreation at all.

    I have to say that my use is quite moderate. As with anything, if you overdo it, it will become harmful.

    Of course, pot users like me are not very visible. Since it is still illegal I don't shout around that I use it, only my closest friends know, even many of my relatives do not know.

    I assure you there are many people like me that you never hear or see about. They use pot in moderation, enjoy it and have perfectly normal lives, jobs and families.

  • Manuel
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Why does he go to the kids in school and ask them to vote. I would say most arent old enough to vote and could care less about him or what he wants. He is show boating for the TV and nothing more.
    Why wont he give us the people who get to vote him in office a chance to say something. Ask him about the wastage of our government. 6000 for 5 lightbulbs, how about a 2500 hammer or the numerous jets at our governments disposal that are wasting away. Hundreds of billions of dollars wasted every year. His only concern is the money he gets while he is in office and the connections he will have after he is thrown out.

  • Sarah
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Gee whiz, Iggy, I'm not one of those smart Toronto folks you hang out with, and all this newfangled technology and dee-ziner drugs like Marihuana cigarettes is just too much for my old brain to handle.

    I think I'll take grampy's old shovel and calm my nerves by digging a ditch or a well.

  • William
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Perhaps, what the wannabe, Iggy , is trying to say is, Yes, I know there are no jobs, or Departments of the Federal Government located in Newfoundland-Labrador, but, if elected, it wil be my SOLEMN PROMISE to bring such Departments and the construction, bureaucratic, and the servicing jobs that go with them to that area... Then we will be done with the ethics-brokering problem that he seems to have with the U.S... WE do not wan't to LISTEN to a Country, that has 2.4% of it's population interred in a long-term facility at any given time, DICTATING how we handle the laws of our people... They can swin in, and, correct their own messy toilet....

  • Margaret
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Sarah M

    Just keep on being thin-skinned, don't bother thinking, and go nowhere.

    He talks about digging a ditch -- in that first of all ANY work is honourable, and secondly -- you're better off doing that than getting stoned.

    Make any sense?

  • Member of the 93%
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Abraham Lincon's wife was a drug addict. She was constantly stoned on Laudanum, an Opium and Morphine substance. Talk about hypocracy.

  • Mitchy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Comepare his response to the marijuana question to the one Harper gave on Youtube. Harper had time to prepare his answer and all he could say is drugs are bad .

    At least Ignatief gave a reasonable answer and all anyone can do is slam him for it. Plus he never said ANYTHING about pot smokers being failures - I read the darn article, did any of you?

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    The part about the gov't having to make sure of basic income security is what gets me. Isn't your income, your problem? This is just typical nanny state liberal marxism. Keep paying increased taxes and we will pay ourselves and gov't workers nice salaries and pensions, make sure our industry friends are doing fine and we'll make sure you have enough to buy cheap white baker's bread. If gov't would reduce the things it does, schemes and programs that I'm sure they never requested we approve since we aren't really important and it's hardly any of our business anyway what they do wih our taxes, reduce size, and then maybe they can reduce the tax load, put money in the people's hands to do what they want with it. This goes for party's of all stripes, but more the NDPand Libs. And Bob Rae would be a disaster if any of the Ontario writers-in are correct.

  • Nick
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    To the majority of the comments here. If you gave half as much of a care about our country as you do for your right to waste your life smoking dope imagine how great this country could actually be.

    And I agree with him. Get off your lazy, smoke-hazed butts and DO SOMETHING useful with your lives. And yes, compared to smoking pot, digging a ditch would be an improvement.

    And to Mark, far from demonizing pot, Mr. Ignatieff is encouraging these young people to make a difference in the world. That's called RESPONSIBLITY.

  • Linda
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Nice that the Iggster thinks that high school students today can only dig ditches. I guess they aren't as smart as him or entitled as him.

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Liberals being completely out of touch and not understanding the future.
    Anyone who war games the future knows that marijuana will eventually be legal. Every successive generation shows increasing tolerance. As soon as retrograde ignoramus generations die off, it will be legalized.
    The Liberals are stuck in old ideas which aren't really getting them anywhere.

  • Kenn
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    When Iggy relates HIS activities as a young person, I doubt they would include much ditch digging.
    His own life, spent in the haze of academia, is surely no example to follow. Further, the ever-present Yank in him e.g. 'can't do it 'cause Uncle Sam sez' makes him unsuitable as a national leader.
    Go home, Iggy; not here.

  • M
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Any person who would provide such sage advice to young people at the risk of his future career is more than an 'academic'. His response is one any parent wants to hear and I think he should be given a chance to bring this country back to the strenghs and beliefs our forefathers fought for.

  • NORML
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    like the tulip restrictions that were placed on imports from Netherlands? Ohh... There ain't such a thing. Obama's a smoker, who inhales. Give it 50 years, and just like health care, they'll come around. During the alcohol prohibition, how did Canada fair economically? Exactly.... last one to the pipe is a wrotten egg.

  • Ken
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    Ditch-digging? Better to dig ditches and wells (and graves, too?) than to have a joint? To quote a previous person, this guy is a tool. The Liberals would have done better to pick Bob Rae. You would think he could have come up with a better answer to the marijuana question than that, as it is so commonly asked of politicians.

  • anonymous
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Iggy is a tool...

  • Matt
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Cut the guy some slack. I hardly think it's bad advice to say avoid marijuana . If the Conservatives decided to legalize and told everyone that pot is ok there would be a huge backlash, and rightfully so. Stop limiting your arguments by the invisible barriers between political parties.

  • wen
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    This guy is obviously a Obama Fan and a fool he said, adding that legalizing marijuana would create problems in dealings with the U.S. because the drug would remain illegal there. We can't be the same as all the other countries out there and this is why Canada lost their status. If weed was illegal in Canada i m pretty sure that american tourists will come every summer just to try out our amazing weed and the government of Canada can be making millions with just 5 dollars a gram. Less gang violence on weed and no more foolish kids wasting their life out there trying to chop weed cause they can get away with it.

  • Member of the 93%
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    This guy is a tool.

  • MUN Poli Sci
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    Mr. Ignatieff notes that young people are not voting in larger numbers.

    Perhaps it is because of events and some of the statements (digging ditches) like the ones he has made which are turning off voters.

    In Newfoundland, we can heartily endorse a politician who is seen to be doing something and representing our values and interests.

    Look at the approval numbers for Danny Williams. We are not fools.

    Mr. Ignatieff, you and your Mount Pearl MP, Siobhan Coady, just do not connect with the electorate here. You need to show us you understand our concerns, not preach from a pulpit on issues that are not a priority for us.

    Mr. Ignatieff, when Stephen harper changed the Equalization formula to include offshore energy revenues without notice to this Province - you called the move targetted, draconian and unfair .

    But you have never said what you would do about it. Would you undue the damage??

    You have had 2 years and 2 Budgets to think about it - how about an answer?

  • Frank M
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    An interesting dichotomy - Ignatieff says the Conservative government's Throne Speech and Budget are without ideas and therefore bad for the country.

    Ignatieff goes on a cross country tour to get ideas from the population.

    Are we to conclude that the Opposition liberals, supposedly a government in waiting, has no ideas of its own either.

    If the Throne Speech and Budget are bad for the country, the opposition has an obligation to vote against it.

    Which, this Opposition did not.

    In closing, this was an academic exercise, nothing more.

  • Adam
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    How about after a hard day digging a ditch, relaxing at home with a marijuana cigarette? Why do people have to perpetuate the myth that if you smoke cannabis you are a lazy do nothing bum?

  • Whatever Bud
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Reefer Madness called,it wants it's propaganda back.

  • Daniel
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Amazing. Ignatieff gives a practical, non-judgmental response to a question about pot and gets accused of claiming pot smokers are a bunch of lazy bums and demonizing marijuana. What he said is that it's better for you to work than smoke pot (true) and that legalizing pot would cause problems with our biggest trading partner (also true). To the guy who is supporting his family with a full-time job while acing all his engineering classes -- if that's true, doesn't that mean you're placing a higher priority on work and school than on pot? And isn't that what Ignatieff actually advised? Anyone who has evidence that contradicts what he actually said, and not what they accuse him of meaning, I'd like to see it. It's not like the student asking the question (or the ones cheering him) are asking about legalizing pot because they hope to one day unwind with a single joint at the end of a productive week at a full-time job.

  • Pothead
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    Hmmmm, everyone I smoke pot with is a successful, tax-paying, contributing member of society. I've smoked pot with your doctor, your lawyer, CEO's, teachers.

    The pot smokers are lazy bums myth smacks of ignorance. Anyone who uses can't debate facts, and hurl insults instead.

  • Telling it how Id
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    @ pothead,

    Hmmmm, everyone I smoke pot with is a successful, tax-paying, contributing member of society. I've smoked pot with your doctor, your lawyer, CEO's, teachers.

    Now I'm not denying your claim, if you are, great. But I've heard so many people use this argument, surely not every pot smoke who comments on this page is somehow linked to a CEO.

    Look, I'll give you an example of what I mean....how many guys do you know have made out with a girl downtown only to BS the next day his encounter was all night?

    If you would, please provide the names or at least the companies of these apparently professionals.

    Afterall, it's one thing to make out with a girl, it's another thing to sleep with her.

    It's another thing to smoke pot with a ceo, it's another thing to prove it.

  • Mo
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    Mr. Ignatieff's visit did not touch on anything important to Newfoundland and Labrador like offshore oil and Equalization, the Fishery, or our highest unemployment rates of all the provinces.

    He must have gotten his briefing materials from Siobhan Coady, MP for St. John's South, who does not have a clue about those things either.

    A waste of an afternoon.

  • Member of the 93%
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    Iggy is a tool.

  • Mario
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    I am a weed smoker. And yeah, when I think about it, I am kind of a failure. I mean, it isn't very hard to maintain a 4.0 average in a university level engineering program, or financially support your family since the age of 18, or work 40 hours a week while trying to attend classes and write exams while all my peers are DRINKING (proven to be much more destructive than marijuana) and partying. Yep, I've got failure and bum written all over me. But, if I'm the failure, then what does that make you? I could think of a few things...

  • Margaret
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    I have yet to see anyone who smokes pot habitually able to balance their lives properly. I have met a *few* financially successful people who are basically potheads, and who have crap for marriages and relationships with their children. You can't have emotional intimacy with anyone if you've got a substance which is first and foremost in your mind.

    The rest of them -- sorry, but potheads lose their ambition.
    That's one of the symptoms. They also lose interest in other interests, in what they look like, and where they're going.
    We're just watching a neighbour girl waste her life because she smokes pot habitually; she's lost interest in anything productive, and is getting fat. She won't hang out with our daughter because our daughter doesn't smoke up. She tried to get her to do it, and when she met a consistent 'no thanks', that was the end of the friendship. It's all too typical.

    I came of age in the 60s, was in my 20s for the 70s, lived in Montreal, with potheads --and I got so that I just couldn't stand them. The main thing is that it is so BORING being around them when they're stoned, and they have to get stoned to - go to a club, go camping. go grocery shopping, go for a drive, or go for a walk; smoke up to watch TV or a movie - absolutely. You can't do anything without being stoned.
    Not only are they boring, but they don't like being around anyone who doesn't smoke pot - so they tend to be cliquey. And when they're stoned they have zip to talk about.

    I think legalizing would be a good idea in that it would take the power away from gangs, but that's about it. I know that alcohol is on the surface more destructive - but pot is just as destructive in the long run; it erodes relationships - the main relationship is with weed.
    Ignatieff is right - but the problem is that you have now got parents who smoke pot, so don't care if their kids do, and they don't see it as harmful. (And I think if you haven't quit by the time you're 30 you're never going to grow up.)

  • I Smoke Pot
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    I'm going to start by saying, Why don't people take their negativity towards marijuana, and put it towards something constructive, like say, Welfare? Why didn'tIggy talk to the student's about how important it is to get an education, a career and do something constructive with their lives. Why isn't the governement harping on people who are milking the system for what it's worth, raising kids on this system, taking advantage of free schooling by the system, only to go back and sit on their lazy good for nothing asses. Why isn't the government forcing these people to work? Make them dig the ditches, clean garbage from streets, paint houses, and mow lawns. If they want money from the government MAKE THEM WORK!!!! It isn't meant to raise children on, so you can sit in your house and do nothing all day, and expect to get a paycheck every 2 weeks. I have to work hard for my money, so why can't I smoke a little marijuana? You buy a pack of smokes, and a case of beer, I choose Marijuana.
    I'm 26 years old. I've worked since I'm 15(attending work and high school both full time) and smoke marijuana regularly. How can any of you sit here and say smoking marijuana is wrong, and should be illegal, condemned.. or whatever it is you say. If smoking 'weed' makes people lazy, explain to me why I (and many others) have careers, post secondary education, families, are members of town committees, school committees, and sport committees? Prove to me marijuana is worse than, alcohol, tobaccoo, cocaine, oxy's, methadone, extacy, and GAMBLING (Should I continue?). Give me just one example of a family being torn apart from just smoking marijuana. Or a statistic of one single death (in the world) of a person dieing, or overdosing while smoking marijuana.

    Tobacco has been around for about the last 50 years or so. Marijuana has been around for 100s of years. There are over 400,000 deaths in this world, every year related to tobacco. I can list family members, friends, relatives, who have all died from alcohol, or tobacco related deaths, and also people who have ruined their lives and families, from gambling, or on such drugs as cocaine, oxycodine. Yet, I can not find one single statistic that a person has died/overdosed from smoking/eating marijuana. If marijuana is so bad , why do doctors prescribe this to cancer patients, or patients with eating disorders, or patients with chronic pain. Why would a doctor do such a thing if it's so bad for you? Explain this to me? Please, go ahead and enlighten my day a little.

  • andycanuck
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    The Grits aren't a big government party? Iggy really has been out of the country for most of past 40 years.

  • Louise
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    I see all the pot-smoking, legalize marijuana fans are hard at work at home or using their employer's time to browse the blogs. I'm retired, so I can afford to stay home and check the blogs. But I don't smoke marijuana. Once you've paid your way through life, you can do whatever you want. On another point, what were the corporations asking quetions doing at a high school. Isn't that called planting questions ?

  • Michael
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    A MESSAGE TO THE IGNORANT PEOPLE

    I think it's complete nonsense when people around the world consider marijuana users as lazy people. Next time do your research because many people through out history that (smoke) or smoked marijuana are sensible,intelligent,intellectual people. CEO Bill Gates owner of Microsoft, (A Marijuana user) is an example of success.

    DEATHS PER YEAR FROM ALCOHOL------ thousands and thousands.
    In the process Countless family's are destroyed.

    DEATHS PER YEAR FROM POT-------- Zero

    it seams like the so-called intelligent people of the world ARE NOT so smart.
    A Herb that makes you happy, creative, Non-violent, hungry and brings relaxation are sure threats to humanity.

    ----1000's to 0 remember that.

  • Riley
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Adam Baum from AB writes: How about after a hard day digging a ditch, relaxing at home with a marijuana cigarette? Why do people have to perpetuate the myth that if you smoke cannabis you are a lazy do nothing bum?---------------------------------------- Everybody I know who smokes pot is a lazy doofus. Ignatieff is right on. Here's what he said: Quit sitting on your butt, get a job, if you have trouble doing that or you lose your job, Canada will pull together and give you income support until your get on your feet, alternatively study hard, get good grades and you get to get to go to university -- free (like most countries in Europe, where they're richer than us). He also wants you to get off your lazy small minded butt and see some more of the world, learn about the world, then use that knowledge to help build a better Canada. The alternative is to vote Conservative and wait for them to THROW YOU IN JAIL for smoking weed -- which is what they want to do, next.

  • Kathy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    He is telling the kids what they do not want to hear.

    That is courageous but how will it translate to more votes from a group that Iggy has already identified as one which votes less and less?

    Courageous, but not very smart politics.

    No votes gained in that room.

  • Time For Change
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    The Liberals under Ignatieff have no idea about the problems facing Newfoundland and Labrador.

    Ignatieff wants to improve access to post secondary education, well MUN has the lowest tuition in the country and Newfoundland's student loan program forgives a portion of the loan interest if you complete your program, so we are already providing the best access in the country.

    Glib PR junkets by politicians are not what this country needs. It needs leadership and neither Ignatieff or the Newfoundland MP's are showing any.

    Vote NDP next time.

  • Andrew
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    What a moron. Guess what? You can use marijuana without ruining your life. He acts as if it's the end of your life should you inhale. That's like saying if you drink a beer, you're an alcoholic.

    Also, once again, showing he cares more about the United States than Canada, it's all he thinks about.

    What an idiot. He needs to get out of Newfoundland and not come back.

  • Mike
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    Just wanted to clarify, Ignatieff never actually states that smoking marijuana will ruin your life, that would be your interpretation... he does admit that if we were to legalize the stuff it would cause us problems with the US, which like it or not is the truth. When the previous Lib government was in power and toyed with the idea of decriminalizing, there were threats from the US administration about retaliation through trade restrictions... just sayin'

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Michael Ignatieff: legalizing marijuana would create problems in dealings with the U.S. because the drug would remain illegal there.
    Jct: One bad reason for his cowardice. and U. of Saskatchewan reported a couple of years ago that marijuana regrows brain cells, one reason it's good for Alzheimers. It's apparent Michael Ignatieff hasn't been growing too many brain cells recently.

  • Mark
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    I see above the header The Telegram there are three words that say The Peoples Paper .
    This is curious.
    Ignatieff takes the question which gets, by far, the loudest response and he proceeds to demonize marijuana. Now I'm sure that these young people who asked this question will make up their own minds about any substance they decide to experiment with. That's called FREEDOM Mr. Ignatieff. With all your talk of global this global that I think you are nothing but a puppet for your offshore banking friends who are taking down, by design, our great country of Canada. Peace. Mark.

  • bart
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    @margaret:

    I'm from the Netherlands originally and cannot confirm your description of pot smokers attitude & subculture.

    You have all kinds of groups with subcultures, and maybe you are reversing cause and effect here. Maybe the typical lazy people might be more inclinded to smoke pot, instead of pot smoking causing lazyness?

    I for one, including most people I know, do not fit your description. I'm a 45 yo physicist with wife and 2 teenage kids. I use pot 1 or 2 times in the weekend (not smoking b.t.w. for health reasons, but eating or vaporizing). My relation is as good as it can be and I have a very good job. My wife doesn't use and doesn't want to but has no problem with my recreation at all.

    I have to say that my use is quite moderate. As with anything, if you overdo it, it will become harmful.

    Of course, pot users like me are not very visible. Since it is still illegal I don't shout around that I use it, only my closest friends know, even many of my relatives do not know.

    I assure you there are many people like me that you never hear or see about. They use pot in moderation, enjoy it and have perfectly normal lives, jobs and families.

  • Manuel
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    Why does he go to the kids in school and ask them to vote. I would say most arent old enough to vote and could care less about him or what he wants. He is show boating for the TV and nothing more.
    Why wont he give us the people who get to vote him in office a chance to say something. Ask him about the wastage of our government. 6000 for 5 lightbulbs, how about a 2500 hammer or the numerous jets at our governments disposal that are wasting away. Hundreds of billions of dollars wasted every year. His only concern is the money he gets while he is in office and the connections he will have after he is thrown out.

  • Sarah
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Gee whiz, Iggy, I'm not one of those smart Toronto folks you hang out with, and all this newfangled technology and dee-ziner drugs like Marihuana cigarettes is just too much for my old brain to handle.

    I think I'll take grampy's old shovel and calm my nerves by digging a ditch or a well.

  • William
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Perhaps, what the wannabe, Iggy , is trying to say is, Yes, I know there are no jobs, or Departments of the Federal Government located in Newfoundland-Labrador, but, if elected, it wil be my SOLEMN PROMISE to bring such Departments and the construction, bureaucratic, and the servicing jobs that go with them to that area... Then we will be done with the ethics-brokering problem that he seems to have with the U.S... WE do not wan't to LISTEN to a Country, that has 2.4% of it's population interred in a long-term facility at any given time, DICTATING how we handle the laws of our people... They can swin in, and, correct their own messy toilet....

  • Margaret
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Sarah M

    Just keep on being thin-skinned, don't bother thinking, and go nowhere.

    He talks about digging a ditch -- in that first of all ANY work is honourable, and secondly -- you're better off doing that than getting stoned.

    Make any sense?

  • Member of the 93%
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Abraham Lincon's wife was a drug addict. She was constantly stoned on Laudanum, an Opium and Morphine substance. Talk about hypocracy.

  • Mitchy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Comepare his response to the marijuana question to the one Harper gave on Youtube. Harper had time to prepare his answer and all he could say is drugs are bad .

    At least Ignatief gave a reasonable answer and all anyone can do is slam him for it. Plus he never said ANYTHING about pot smokers being failures - I read the darn article, did any of you?

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    The part about the gov't having to make sure of basic income security is what gets me. Isn't your income, your problem? This is just typical nanny state liberal marxism. Keep paying increased taxes and we will pay ourselves and gov't workers nice salaries and pensions, make sure our industry friends are doing fine and we'll make sure you have enough to buy cheap white baker's bread. If gov't would reduce the things it does, schemes and programs that I'm sure they never requested we approve since we aren't really important and it's hardly any of our business anyway what they do wih our taxes, reduce size, and then maybe they can reduce the tax load, put money in the people's hands to do what they want with it. This goes for party's of all stripes, but more the NDPand Libs. And Bob Rae would be a disaster if any of the Ontario writers-in are correct.

  • Nick
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    To the majority of the comments here. If you gave half as much of a care about our country as you do for your right to waste your life smoking dope imagine how great this country could actually be.

    And I agree with him. Get off your lazy, smoke-hazed butts and DO SOMETHING useful with your lives. And yes, compared to smoking pot, digging a ditch would be an improvement.

    And to Mark, far from demonizing pot, Mr. Ignatieff is encouraging these young people to make a difference in the world. That's called RESPONSIBLITY.

  • Linda
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Nice that the Iggster thinks that high school students today can only dig ditches. I guess they aren't as smart as him or entitled as him.

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Liberals being completely out of touch and not understanding the future.
    Anyone who war games the future knows that marijuana will eventually be legal. Every successive generation shows increasing tolerance. As soon as retrograde ignoramus generations die off, it will be legalized.
    The Liberals are stuck in old ideas which aren't really getting them anywhere.

  • Kenn
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    When Iggy relates HIS activities as a young person, I doubt they would include much ditch digging.
    His own life, spent in the haze of academia, is surely no example to follow. Further, the ever-present Yank in him e.g. 'can't do it 'cause Uncle Sam sez' makes him unsuitable as a national leader.
    Go home, Iggy; not here.

  • M
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Any person who would provide such sage advice to young people at the risk of his future career is more than an 'academic'. His response is one any parent wants to hear and I think he should be given a chance to bring this country back to the strenghs and beliefs our forefathers fought for.