Pubdate: Fri, 18 Oct 2013
Source: Oak Bay News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 Oak Bay News
Author: Judith Stamps


Re: Marijuana referendum misguided (B.C. Views, Oct. 8)

Imagine the current pot smoker in B.C. He is arrested for possession
and acquires a criminal record. Then, if he is a teacher or other
public employee, he loses his job. You can't work in public service
with a record. If he has a mortgage, he loses his house. If he is
financing a car, bye-bye car. If he goes to find a new job, good luck.
A long list of jobs require a criminal record check. If he wishes to
visit American cousins to relieve his stress, he finds that he is
permanently on the no-fly list, a condition that even an official
pardon will not change.

If our arrestee is a youth, he is put through youth court, a process
that traumatizes both him and his family, something that would never
have happened had he been caught with a beer. Under Sensible B.C.'s
amended police act, there would be none of the above. Youth would be
dealt with in the same manner as youth caught drinking alcohol.

Is it enough? No. We want a legal system. But eliminating that trauma
listed above is much more than a gesture, hip or otherwise. It would
save millions of tax dollars, and countless personal lives from the
legal shredder.

And as to the "criminal distributors," of which you disapprove, well,
some of them are pot farmers, aren't they? Maybe if we decriminalized,
we could all learn to call them something like that.

Judith Stamps