Pubdate: Fri, 11 Oct 2013
Source: Maple Ridge News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 Maple Ridge News
Author: Dana Larsen
Page: 7
Cited: Sensible BC:


Re: B.C. marijuana referendum misguided (B.C. Views, Oct. 9)

Tom Fletcher's recent editorial misrepresented the Sensible B.C.
campaign, and could lead to confusion about our efforts for a
marijuana referendum.

The ultimate aim of Sensible B.C. is to have B.C.'s marijuana industry
regulated in a similar manner to wine.

Our proposed legislation, the Sensible Policing Act, is designed to
bring us closer to that goal.

The Sensible Policing Act has four components, all carefully designed
to be within provincial jurisdiction.

The first aspect is to redirect police resources away from being
wasted on simple possession of marijuana.

Last year, B.C. police made more than 16,500 arrests for marijuana
possession, draining $10.5 million in police and court time away from
the investigation of more serious criminal offences.

If Sensible B.C. is successful, then tens of thousands of police and
court hours would immediately be freed up to pursue real criminals.

This means safer communities for everyone, and less backlog in our

Secondly, our legislation treats a minor in possession of marijuana
exactly the same as if it were alcohol. Our proposal would allow
police to deal with a teenager smoking pot, but without the lifetime
criminal record that can restrict travel and employment.

Thirdly, the Sensible Policing Act act calls upon the federal
government to repeal marijuana prohibition, so that B.C. can regulate
and tax it in a manner similar to wine and beer.

This would send a powerful message of change to Ottawa, and give our
prime minister the mandate to legalize.

Finally, our legislation creates a B.C. commission to figure out rules
needed to implement it.

Like alcohol and tobacco, most of the regulation for legal marijuana
would be determined at the provincial level.

British Columbia cannot fully legalize marijuana without a change to
federal law, but we can take some sensible steps in the right direction.

We're now about a month into our three-month time-limit for gathering

Dana Larsen

Sensible B.C.
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MAP posted-by: Matt