Pubdate: Fri, 18 Oct 2013
Source: Maple Ridge News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 Maple Ridge News
Author: Craig Speirs


Editor, The News:

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

Tom Fletcher claims he has wanted to legalize and regulate cannabis
for the past 20 years, and when the only viable option to create a
path to legalization and regulation within two years is presented, he
reacts like someone called his bluff.

Seems he is willing to wait another 20 years.

Well, Mr. Fletcher, the rest of us aren't willing to wait.

The majority of Canadians - hell, the majority of Conservatives (62
per cent) - would like decriminalization or legalization to happen.

But it's not to be. Mr. Harper will have none of it.

We are down to a loophole that gives provinces control over what
police do. It will allow us to stop the madness of prohibition now.

Make no mistake; Sensible B.C.'s goal is legalization.

Cannabis and cancer? Early research shows there is great potential for
effective treatments that involve cannabis.

Is it a cure? For some it is, for others it provides immediate relief
from the pain and nausea without taking drugs that can get you
severely addicted and have nasty side effects.

Research is revealing more treatment protocols every day.

The new medical cannabis laws will cost the sick $160 million more per
year. But that's OK - they don't vote Conservative.

Most doctors have refused to get involved, Pharmacists have been let
off the hook and sick people have been hung out to dry.

Many medical professionals have let us down with their prejudice
against cannabis and addiction to the perks the pharmaceutical
industry brings to the table.

Every new cancer patient represents an average $300,000 cash flow
potential to the mainstream cancer industry.

They won't make room for cannabis unless it fits their model and
provides the cash flow they are used to.

Many cancer sufferers who use cannabis would be more than content to
grow their own, which means no cash flow and no tax dollars.

We need honest research to take place. But with Mr. Harper's
government fighting it tooth and nail, maybe private funds could pick
up the slack.

People think police just ignore possession now, but arrests have
dramatically risen and many more charges are laid.

Last year: 16,000 arrests, 3,800 charges and 1,600 convictions at a
$10.5 million cost.

By far the largest price is paid by the citizens (mainly youth) caught
up in this war and who are saddled with a criminal charge on their
record and the negative effect it has on their potential.

All for doing something that doesn't hurt them or anyone else.

Since when is saving taxes and human potential a bad thing?

Police using cannabis arrests to hold someone so they can search for
evidence speaks more of lazy police work. The hard working police
officers I have talked to (all ranks) would love to be able to ignore
possession and get on to serious crime.

Craig Speirs

Maple Ridge
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