Pubdate: Fri, 06 Mar 2009
Source: Nanaimo News Bulletin (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009, BC Newspaper Group
Author: Glenda Allard Barr


To the Editor,

I think it is an appropriate time to address an issue that causes
distress to our economy and our citizens, especially those already
afflicted with various serious health concerns - the use and
production of cannabis.

This industry is producing huge gains for the underground economy and
financing gangs and organized crime.

As a non-user who is married to a federally licensed medical marijuana
user, I have become increasingly aware of the issues of the use of
this valuable plant.

I propose that we completely change our approach to this plant.
Legalization would have many benefits.

This is an herb with far fewer negative effects than

The economic benefits of legalization would be tremendous. Our
finances would no longer be drained by expensive enforcement
operations. Marijuana could be taxed and sold to adults in a similar
fashion as alcohol.

Patients with a doctor's prescription should be exempt from the taxes.
Those with medical needs would no longer have to deal with the
cumbersome licensing process through Health Canada.

A small number of plants could be grown by users much as wine is
legally made at home.

In these times of economic crisis, legalization of what is often cited
as the second-largest industry in B.C. would be a significant aid to
recovery. It would also take away from criminals and illegal gangs
which profit enormously from prohibition.

We would not be criminalizing citizens who use marijuana medicinally
without a licence, or those who use it for relaxation, causing no harm
to others.

Glenda Allard Barr

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