Pubdate: Wed, 08 Feb 2012
Source: Parry Sound North Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2012 Metroland Media Group Ltd.
Author: Dan Mulligan


As a currently serving police officer, I must preface the following
commentary with the proviso that the opinions expressed below are
simply my own personal opinions and do not represent the
position/thoughts/policy of my employer.

They say politics is the art of the possible. Had someone suggested to
me three months ago that a 35-plus-year Progressive Conservative
would've switched federal political stripes at my age (and profession)
I undoubtedly would've laughed it off. The hook was a proposed policy
resolution (#117) brought forward to the Liberal Party of Canada's
biennial convention in Ottawa recently. Created by the Young Liberals
of B.C., it amounts to a proposal for the party to endorse the
legalization and regulation of marijuana as formal policy. Following a
good debate amongst a very large delegation of members from across
this great country of ours, this resolution passed in an overwhelming
majority of 77 per cent for versus 23 per cent against in a vote put
to the floor.

As a new member and Parry Sound-Muskoka delegate, I had both the
pleasure and privilege of being present for this historical vote as
well as speaking in the debate for this resolution. I was provided
with all of 60 seconds to convince my fellow delegates that it was
high time for Liberals to support this measure in the primary
interests of decriminalizing our youth, the future of our country.
While utilizing the age-old premise that future solutions can often be
discovered through an honest reflection of the mistakes of the past, I
reminded my fellow Liberals of the origin of marijuana

In 1923, the Minister of Labour (Liberal MP William Lyon Mackenzie
King) endorsed the addition of cannabis as a prohibited "narcotic"
under the Opium and Narcotic Act, originally created in 1908. This
measure was taken as a means to grant the RCMP wide-ranging search and
seizure authorities in a concentrated, specifically targeted effort to
eradicate via deportation what remained of the original 17,000 Chinese
immigrants brought over to Canada during the latter part of the 18th
century as a sacrificial labour force to complete our "National
Dream." They subsequently settled in the lower mainland of B.C. Four
thousand of them perished during their labours on this country's
earliest mega-project.

Marijuana prohibition was born out of racism, pure and simple. It was
a shameful, despicable policy in 1923 and has done nothing but
criminalize our youth since its inception. The Liberal Party of Canada
is determined to right this wrong. Given that successive governments
of various political thought since 1923 have failed to rectify this
prohibition of a relatively benign (and God-given) plant which boasts
an incredibly surprising number of positive, medical attributes
(Google "medical cannabis"), we all must assume a degree of
responsibility for the ongoing social, economical and criminal
justice-related fallout from this wrongful prohibition.

Dan Mulligan

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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.