The British Columbia provincial elections will be held on May 17, 2005. This will be the second set of elections for the British Columbia Marijuana Party. In 2001, the BCMP’s first year of existence, it made history by running candidates in every provincial riding (electoral districts) ? a total of 79 dedicated activists looking to make a difference! The BCMP was very successful and received more than three percent of the overall vote.
In 2005, the BCMP will strive to do even better. We have our work cut out for us. The top cop in British Columbia ? Solicitor General Rich Coleman ? is one of Canada’s most vocal prohibitionists. He wants to bring the US drug-war mentality to BC, complete with pre-conviction seizure of assets and harsh penalties for growers. And he will stop at nothing to achieve his prohibitionist goals. The BCMP intends to stop him.
The BCMP is committed to getting Coleman out of office, and exposing his persecution of the cannabis culture in British Columbia. In order to shine a spotlight on the issue, the BCMP will be running President Marc Emery against Coleman. We have challenged the Solicitor General to debate us about legalization anytime, anywhere. Let’s see if he takes up that challenge.
The BCMP platform emphasizes cannabis and justice. We call for an immediate end to marijuana prohibition. The BCMP believes that the federal government should give the provinces jurisdiction over marijuana. Each province, then, would design a non-criminal regulatory system that makes the most sense for that province.
The BCMP supports a regulated cultivation and distribution system that ensures the best possible cannabis, and the widest range of choice for the recreational, spiritual and medical user.
The BCMP model requires that commercial grows be licensed and operated only in industrial and farm regions, like any other business. Cultivation in your home for personal use, or for small-scale non-commercial distribution to friends and family, would be permitted after grow-operations are inspected and licensed for safety. Marijuana would be distributed in a variety of ways ? everything from non-profit compassion societies, to Amsterdam-style cafes, to the more traditional storefronts. No longer will the cannabis culture have to resort to the black market to obtain our favorite plant.
Of course, in the BCMP system, medical marijuana is covered by the provincial health plan. The BCMP will work with hospitals to ensure that patients are provided a variety of strains, as well as alternate methods of delivery, such as vaporizers and edible cannabis. And British Columbia will take its rightful place as the
world leader for research into cannabis therapeutics. We are only scratching the surface of the medical potential of the cannabis plant. Research into therapeutic uses is in its infancy because prohibition, and the “marijuana has no medical use” rhetoric coming from the United States, have presented significant obstacles to real research. The BCMP will remove these barriers and provide significant funding for continued research.
Instead of wasting taxpayer money investigating, arresting and prosecuting cannabis people, the BCMP will use those funds, plus the revenues generated by taxing the marijuana industry, to pay for that research, plus other important social programs. The BCMP will also boost funding for rehabilitation and vocational training for inmates, so that they have marketable skills when released from prison. This will reduce recidivism and the overall crime rate, further freeing up judicial and police resources.
More money for the provincial coffers will be generated by canna-tourism, already a large and growing industry in beautiful British Columbia. Every day at the BCMP Bookstore and Headquarters, people from all over the world stop by to check out the great products, sample some of the finest marijuana in the world and generally enjoy the atmosphere here in the heart of Vancouver. Other tourists relax on the coasts, or explore the incredible interior, with its bountiful harvests of fine outdoor cannabis. When marijuana is legalized, BC will surely see an influx of cannabis people seeking to share in the peaceful, friendly and safe atmosphere created by the end of prohibition.
The BCMP believes that it is time for rationality and common sense to guide our drug policy. For too long the marijuana debate in Canada and the United States has featured hysterical rhetoric from politicians and prohibitionists. Propaganda is promoted as the truth, while scientific research takes a back seat. The BCMP will force our politicians to own up to the failure of their pro-hibitionist policies.
As advocates of marijuana legalization, the BCMP issues a challenge to anyone that supports criminal prohibition. Prohibitionists need to be forced to tell us what the goal of their policy is. Is it to reduce the supply of marijuana? Is it to reduce the demand for marijuana? If so, in both cases, prohibition has completely failed to achieve these goals. The supply of marijuana has never been more plentiful. And tens of millions of people around the world continue to enjoy the marijuana plant for its medical, spiritual and recreational properties.
The bottom line is that the BCMP is here to stand up for the rights of the cannabis culture. We look forward to running an exciting, fun and educational campaign that will make our message of justice, freedom and legalization heard loud and clear. We are fortunate to have Marc Emery’s philanthropic support, but he can not do it alone. Anyone that cares about marijuana law reform in North America ? and particularly in Canada, which will lead the world into a new era of marijuana law ? should join the British Columbia Marijuana Party. Together we can end the persecution of our culture.
? If you want to join the BCMP and help end prohibition, please visit our website at: www.bcmarijuanaparty.com or call 604.684.7076.