Pubdate: Fri, 17 Feb 2012
Source: Richmond News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2012, Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Page: A10


Four former attorneys general of British Columbia have co-authored a 
letter asking Premier Christy Clark and Opposition leader Adrian Dix 
to endorse an end to marijuana prohibition.

Colin Gabelmann, Ujjal Dosanjh, Graeme Bowbrick and Geoff Plant 
represent an unusual alignment of former senior cabinet ministers: 
three NDP politicians, one a premier and one a B.C. Liberal.

Old-timers here will remember that North Vancouver Seymour was an NDP 
riding in the early 1970s, represented by Gabelmann.

What makes their letter politically compelling is that they all used 
to be responsible for law enforcement in this province. The laws 
their police forces upheld continue to give thousands of - mostly 
young - British Columbians a criminal record every year.

Now they are out of government, they are calling for political 
leadership to change marijuana drug policy.

Better late than never, perhaps, but they add their voices to the 
growing sentiment that something has to change - if only for financial reasons.

"Punitive laws such as mandatory minimum sentences are clearly not 
the solution," they wrote, calling for taxation and regulation "under 
a public health framework" as a way forward.

The former attorneys general join four former Vancouver mayors and 
the Health Officers Council of B.C. in recent high-profile 
endorsements of Stop the Violence B.C., an organization dedicated to 
reducing social harms and violent crime.

According to Angus Reid, 78 per cent of the B.C. public agrees with 
their stance. Perhaps change is in the air.
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart