Pubdate: Fri, 18 Oct 2013
Source: Goldstream Gazette (Victoria, CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 Black Press
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

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