TORONTO - An online search for marijuana has turned into a job hunt for one Canadian Twitter user.
Sunith Baheerathan caused an online stir when he issued a tweet requesting prospective pot sellers to bring some of their wares to a Mr. Lube location in a Toronto suburb.
That location was Baheerathan's place of employment until Tuesday, according to both the company and Baheerathan's own tweets.
Baheerathan first raised eyebrows when he expressed his workplace craving in a public tweet and appealed directly to those who may be able to satisfy it.
"Any dealers in Vaughan wanna make a 20sac chop? Come to Keele/Langstaff Mr. Lube, need a spliff," he wrote.
But the tweet soon turned into a viral sensation when it caught the attention of local police, who lost no time in contributing to the online chatter.
"Awesome! Can we come too?" read the retort from the York Regional Police's official twitter feed.
Moments later the twitter exchange was a trending topic in Toronto. Shortly after that, Baheerathan found himself looking for work.
"Just got the call of termination," he tweeted to a friend.
An employer at the Mr. Lube location mentioned in Baheerathan's controversial tweet, who would not share his name, confirmed that Baheerathan had been fired yesterday but would not say whether his dismissal was related to his online activities.
Phone calls to the head office of Mr. Lube in British Columbia were not immediately returned.
Baheerathan responded to an interview request by retweeting it to his followers alongside several messages expressing consternation at his firing.
"I've lost complete hope in society man. There's killers/rapists/people missing and all they care about is a dude asking for weed," he wrote in one tweet.
"Gotta watch what you tweet nowadays, even the freedom of speech & the right to an entitled opinion isn't safe," read another.
Social media consultant Amber MacArthur doesn't believe freedom of speech has much to do with the issue.
Companies are unlikely to look kindly on any employee that brings them unwanted attention, she said, adding canvassing illegal activity on Twitter is one of the most basic breaches of corporate online etiquette.
"There is that perception that employees can be free to say whatever they want, but the reality is an employer does have the right to dismiss an employee if the employee has connected their name with some kind of activity . . . that doesn't reflect well on them, and this is a perfect example of that," she said.
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<a href="http://stash.norml.org/bigbook/adult-use-rates-by-year.html" target="_blank">(Source)</a>
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/29/one-marijuana-arrest-occu_n_2041236.html" target="_blank">(Source)</a>
<a href="http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/DrugProhibitionWP.pdf" target="_blank">(Source)</a>
Next: Justin Trudeau's Marijuana 'Evolution'
In 2009, rookie MP Justin Trudeau votes for Bill C-15, which would have <a href="http://www.cannabisculture.com/content/bill-c-15-dead-now" target="_blank">imposed mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana-related offences. </a> The legislation passes the House of Commons with the support of both Tories and Liberals but dies after Parliament is prorogued.
In July of 2009, Trudeau is called a "f**cking hypocrite" by marijuana activist, the so-called "Prince of Pot" Marc Emery, who <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5M-zSXF_dBU" target="_blank">claims the Liberal MP smoked cannabis with him four or five times</a>. "It really pisses me off when I see Justin Trudeau, who took big daggers with me, is in Parliament actually voting for Bill C-15," Emery says.
In May of 2010, Trudeau tells Maclean's magazine that marijuana decriminalization is a step in the wrong direction. "It's not your mother's pot," <a href="http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/05/06/mitchel-raphael-on-what-justin-learned-from-his-whistler-days-and-a-helena-homage/" target="_blank">he tells Mitchel Raphael</a> of the stronger marijuana grown today. "I lived in Whistler for years and have seen the effects. We all need our brain cells to deal with our problems."
In an <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=llTcoaBhU14" target="_blank">interview with ProjectRedDot</a> from the floor of the 2012 Liberal Convention in January, Trudeau says he understands pot is not as dangerous as other legal products like alcohol or tobacco, but expresses concern marijuana still "disconnects" you from the world. "So I don’t know that legalizing it – although I totally understand the arguments around removing the criminal elements – I don’t know that it’s entirely consistent with the society we’re trying to build," he says.
Seventy-seven per cent of delegates at the 2012 Liberal convention tell the party's leadership they want a future Liberal government to legalize marijuana. "Frankly, the status quo doesn't work and that's what needs to change," says <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/01/15/liberal-vote-legalize-marijuana_n_1207388.html" target="_blank">interim Grit leader Bob Rae</a>. "The Liberal party is saying that the current laws do not work and that we need a new direction."
In November of 2012, not long after launching his leadership bid, Trudeau tells a group of Charlottetown high school students he is a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/14/justin-trudeau-marijuana-decriminalization_n_2129476.html" target="_blank">"huge supporter" of marijuana decriminalization.</a> "I think we have to recognize first and foremost that the war on drugs, as it exists right now, doesn’t work," he says, adding that the next logical step may be legalization.
In January of 2013, Trudeau <a href="http://www.reddeeradvocate.com/news/Marijuana_mental_health_among_Trudeaus_top_priorities_188676371.html" target="_blank">tells a crowd in Red Deer</a> that he would seek the full legalization of marijuana in order to tax and regulate it, making it more difficult for young people to access. "When it's illegal and only available in the black market, someone pushing it doesn't check for ID," Trudeau says.
In April of 2013, Trudeau speaks to party members at the Liberal leadership showcase. His speech, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/04/06/justin-trudeau-speech-convention-liberal_n_3029678.html" target="_blank">titled "Hope and Hard Work," </a>makes no mention of his marijuana policies but does attack the Tory tough-on crime agenda. "The Conservatives have forgotten about the value of service," he says. "The only time they talk about community service these days is when it's punishment for a crime."
About a week later, Trudeau <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/04/14/justin-trudeau-speech-full-liberal-win_n_3082219.html" target="_blank">wins the Liberal leadership</a> with more than 80 per cent of the vote. His victory speech makes no mention of pot.
In July of 2013, Trudeau's pot remarks to a group of potential British Columbia voters <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/07/24/justin-trudeau-marijuana-legal_n_3645624.html" target="_blank">quickly go viral</a>. "I'm actually not in favour of decriminalizing cannabis -- I'm in favour of legalizing it. Tax and regulate. It's one of the only ways to keep it out of the hands of our kids because the current war on drugs, the current model isn't working," <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BetOS0y9mNg" target="_blank">he says</a>.
In July of 2013, Trudeau tweets that marijuana prohibition is "costly and unsafe."
In August of 2013, Trudeau Liberals launch <a href="http://petition.liberal.ca/end-prohibition/?utm_source=liberal&utm_medium=email&utm_content=jb&utm_campaign=marijuana-petition" target="_blank">an online petition</a> calling for an end to marijuana prohibition. "Liberals believe in a smart on crime approach, targeting real criminals instead of ordinary Canadians," it reads.