Pubdate: Tue, 06 Oct 2015
Source: Daily Courier, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2015 The Okanagan Valley Group of Newspapers
Author: J. Adams
Page: A9


I'm writing you in regard to medical marijuana use, the general 
decriminalization of it, and its possible eventual legalization.

In this letter, I will be quoting directly from Stephen Harper, as 
well as from Sensible BC, a sympathetic marijuana user's organization 
based in Vancouver.

I will firstly quote from Harper and Sensible BC volunteers, who did 
some thorough investigations in response to some of the Prime 
Minister's misleading allegations.

Harper: "Most Canadians (when) you actually ask them, do not want 
full legalization of marijuana."

Sensible BC's response:" It's technically true that the majority of 
Canadians have not decided exclusively on legalization... (but) more 
than 70 per cent of Canadians are in favour of changing our marijuana laws."

Harper: "I think the statistics in places like Colorado are very 
clear (that) when you go that route,marijuana becomes more readily 
available to children."

Sensible BC's investigations revealed a different story: "This is 
simply not true. According to reports from 2014, teen usage rates 
have not changed since the state legalized marijuana in 2012. Also, 
after Colorado's Marijuana Enforcement Division investigated if 
dispensaries were selling to underage buyers, they found that all of 
the businesses were compliant with the law. (Conservatives) instead, 
are using this issue to score points with the socially conservative 
portion of their base, at the expense of Canadians from coast to coast."

Harper: "We have gone to so much effort, in our country, to 
discourage tobacco smoking over the past couple generations with 
great results - with really strong declines. Our government has run a 
very effective public campaign to lower tobacco consumption."

Sensible BC: "The Prime Minister is arguing that marijuana should 
remain illegal because anti-smoking campaigns have been so effective 
because they have been able to use a wide variety of tools such as: 
strict packaging laws, minimum age requirements, educational 
campaigns, etc. The irony here is that these policy tools are only 
available to lawmakers after the product has been legalized. If the 
Conservatives are truly concerned about young people, then they would 
be pushing reform so that they can regulate it like tobacco and alcohol."

Here I choose to interject. It is in truth, the harmful chemicals 
added to tobacco products that stunts the growth of new born babies 
and contributes to premature births if a mother is incapable of 
quitting smoking during pregnancy.

How long should we let the policy of an ignorant prime minister govern us?

J. Adams, Kelowna
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom