Pubdate: Tue, 24 Apr 2012
Source: Intelligencer, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2012 Dan Mulligan
Author: Dan Mulligan


BELLEVILLE - As a currently serving police officer, I must preface the
following 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 only a few months ago that a 35+ 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 in early

Created by the Young Liberals of BC, it amounts to a proposal for the
party to endorse the legalization & regulation of marijuana as formal

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 vs 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 & 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" - and who subsequently settled in the lower mainland
of BC - 4,000 of whom 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 (simply google "medical cannabis"), we
all must assume a degree of responsibility for the ongoing social,
economical and criminal justice related "fallout" from this wrongful

Our country does not need more prisons... our country needs fewer

Dan Mulligan

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