B.C. Green leader Jane Sterk said if cannabis was legalized, there might not be a gang war going on around the Lower Mainland. Sterk was speaking with The Province after the release of her party’s platform for the May 12 provincial election, which calls for the legalization of cannabis, among its 500 ideas.
“The war on drugs is a colossal failure,” Sterk said Friday. “It’s illogical to do something that has been such a failure.”
The current gang violence is an offshoot of failed prohibition policies, she said.
“It’s over the control of controlled substances that are now deemed to be illegal,” she said.
Government should take over the production and distribution of marijuana, she said, and take the money-making incentive away from the criminals.
“There should not be any money to be made for the gangs in this whole production and distribution end,” she said.
Sterk said addiction should be treated as a public health issue, and doctors given the power to prescribe drug substitutes.
The B.C. Greens also want a ban on Tasers.
“These devices are lethal,” she said. “The [Robert] Dziekanski video was the first real evidence that people would see this is what a Taser does.
“We are spending taxpayers’ money to purchase a weapon that most Canadians do not want.”
Sterk said the Greens want to stimulate the B.C. economy, with energy production and better social infrastructure.
“We would localize economies,” she said. “We believe that things need to be done differently.”
The Greens support the energy-retrofit of buildings and homes, changing the building code to make buildings net energy-producers, and better transit.
Sterk, who will run in Esquimalt-Royal Roads, said the upcoming provincial
election should be about the future of B.C., not a choice between the leaders of the two big parties.
“I think that is quite tragic,” she said.
“The Green Party wants to talk about issues.”
– Article from The Province on March 22, 2009.
B.C. Green Party’s Platform Promises To End Drug Prohibition, Strip Police of Tasers
by Carlito Pablo, The Georgia Straight
The Green Party of B.C. will work to end drug prohibition, and would kick the RCMP out of the province. These policy positions are contained in the party’s platform released yesterday (March 19).
The party stated in its “Green Book” that it is “prepared to support an end to prohibition on psychoactive substances and begin regulating and controlling modes of production and access”.
The BC Greens also promised to bring back a provincial police force, which British Columbia had until 1950, when the RCMP was brought in to do contract police work for many jurisdictions.
The party stated that its “Green Strategy for Substance Use” will “take away power from organized crime without criminalizing those who struggle with addictions”.
The provincial Greens also pledged that they will work toward “regulation and control of the production and distribution of cannabis through licensed outlets” as well as support “regulated access to currently illegal drugs through a physician’s recommendation”.
“We believe that enforcement can and should play a role in a public health approach to substance use,” the Green Book read. “However, it should be focused on protecting the public from serious crime, rather than on personal substance use.”
B.C. Marijuana Party leader Marc Emery has said that his group is throwing its support behind the Greens in this year’s provincial election.
His wife Jodie Emery is running as the Green candidate in Vancouver-Fraserview.
In the area of law enforcement, the Greens said that aside from bringing in a provincial police force, they would also appoint an “independent Provincial Police Commissioner to oversee investigations of police conduct and process for all jurisdictions”.
Under the present setup, RCMP officers are not subject to provincial oversight processes.
In their platform, the B.C. Greens also stated that they would remove tasers “from all law enforcement agencies” in the province.
– Article from The Georgia Straight on March 20, 2009.