I didn't weigh in on Occupy, but here's something I will say something about: legalizing marijuana. It's a very, very good idea. Tax it, regulate it, remove criminals from the picture and let those of us who use it now and then relax, forgodsake - I'm sick of trying to be covert about smoking it when it's such widespread and harmless behaviour, sick of the grey area it presently exists in. I smoke pot - in moderation, a few puffs a few times a week - for various reasons:
a) when I've been bogged down all day in some project or responsibility and am mired in a stressed-out, exhausted state, it helps me shift gears in a shorter timeframe, get out of one unproductive mindset and into another more positive one
b) to stimulate the flow of creative juices when brainstorming about a piece of writing
c) to enhance movie nights with a buddy - marijuana and movies go together like alcohol and fighting
d) to enhance various other aesthetic experiences (listening to music, having sex, or combinations thereof)
e) as a remedy for motion sickness - remarkably effective; sometimes when transferring between buses on long commutes I've puffed a bit on my pipe to keep me from getting sicker, and it works quite well
f) to fend off migraines; during periods of my life when I'm subject to them, it is far, far preferable as a means of coping than any of the prescription meds I've tried (like menacingly-named vasoconstrictors, which list heart attacks as a possible side effect; why would I want to pop a pill that might kill me when I can simply take a few puffs on my pipe?).
I fail to see any of these things as being a social threat. What IS a social threat is the violence associated with its criminalization; I have no idea, when I buy pot, where it's coming from, whether I'm financing gang activity or such. I would much rather have the transaction taxed and regulated and above-ground, which is the ONLY thing that the current laws against pot prevent (they don't slow or stop the usage of the substance one iota, they just raise the price and remove the revenue that changes hands from the tax-stream). It's nice to see a few Vancouver politicians joining the call for this highly sensible move; after having recently been called a hypocrite by Marc Emery -whose prison blogs can be read here - even re-elected Mayor Gregor Robertson has joined his voice to calls for legalization. Stephen Harper, predictably, has just said no.