Pubdate: Wed, 09 Oct 2013
Source: Victoria News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 Black Press
Author: Tom Fletcher
Cited: Sensible BC:


I won't be signing the "Sensible B.C." petition to demand a 
provincewide referendum on marijuana enforcement. You shouldn't 
either, and here are a few reasons why.

Let me start by saying I've been calling for legalization and 
regulation of pot for 20 years, to conserve police resources and 
reduce violent crime. Our war on drugs is a failure even for heroin 
and cocaine, and marijuana is obviously much easier to produce.

But the current effort led by Dana Larsen, B.C.'s clown prince of 
pot, is not only misguided, it's dangerous.

The petition does not propose legalization. It seeks to impose a 
provincial law that would stop B.C. police from using any resources 
for simple possession charges. This would create a loophole in the 
federal drug law.

So what would that do? It would protect otherwise innocent customers 
of the current illegal marijuana trade, while leaving the criminal 
distribution business in place.

For a closer look at that, I recommend reports from the Surrey Six 
murder trial now underway, or the upcoming case against three accused 
assassins of Red Scorpion gangster Jonathan Bacon in Kelowna.

Larsen's loony law would tie police hands when they are trying to 
hold someone on a lesser charge while they search for evidence of 
something nastier. This is a source of many simple possession charges today.

Police chiefs have a different idea, asking for the option of 
treating simple possession as a ticket offence to keep the court time 
to a minimum.

Both of these notions have the same obvious flaws. They don't deal 
with sales to minors and they divert no revenue to government, 
leaving most of that in the hands of criminal dealers who buy 
cocaine, guns and fancy cars.

Colorado and Washington have gone the legalization route, so far 
without interference from their federal government. These states need 
money, and they don't need more crime or ill-considered hippy gesture politics.

Meanwhile in Ottawa, Health Canada is trying to convert a poorly 
regulated mess of small-scale medical marijuana licences to a 
free-market system of commercial producers.

Local politicians tore a strip off Health Canada officials at their 
recent convention, after years of warnings that federal licences were 
scattered at unknown locations, often used as fronts for larger grow-ops.

Mission Coun. Dave Hensman predicted that when a grower gets a letter 
cancelling his licence, he's more likely to roll up a big joint with 
it than to shut down. Burnaby Coun. Nick Volkow suggested the 
response would echo an old Cheech and Chong routine: "Dave's not here, man."

Here's another reason not to support Larsen: the conduct of his organizers.

One fellow set up a petition table at, of all places, the Terry Fox 
Hometown Run in Port Coquitlam. After scrawling "pot cures cancer" on 
the table, he proceeded to interrupt speeches by cancer survivors and 
the run itself by yelling the same false slogan.

You can imagine how people with terminal cancer and their loved ones 
would react. Some would know that marijuana may alleviate side 
effects of chemotherapy, just as it can ease suffering for some 
multiple sclerosis patients. But the suggestion of a cure is as cruel 
as it is moronic.

Larsen's "cannibus" has been rolling around B.C., reaping uncritical 
media coverage. It even blundered into the recent Walk for 
Reconciliation in Vancouver, an event to mark the end of federal 
hearings into the effects of residential schools on aboriginal children.

I wouldn't support the Larsen bunch for anything, unless it involved 
them looking for jobs. Just say no.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom