B.C. Green party leader Jane Sterk envisions marijuana being sold in establishments resembling liquor stores.
In a post-prohibition era, Sterk also sees pot being grown by co-operatives.
During an April 20 interview at the Georgia Straight offices, Sterk addressed her party’s election-platform promise to support an end to drug prohibition and to work toward the regulation of the production and distribution of psychoactive substances.
“The vast majority of people who use these substances use them in such a way that it causes no harm to themselves or anyone else,” said Sterk, who is the Green candidate in Esquimalt-Royal Roads. “Fundamentally, we believe that, if it’s not causing harm, why would we need to criminalize behaviour which is done by responsible adults.”
When asked if she saw marijuana being sold in liquor-store-style outlets in the future, Sterk said, “Yes. Or Compassion clubs or cooperatives.”
Sterk hinted that the legalization of marijuana would help fight gang violence.
“We’re already giving over our land to all kinds of criminal elements, who are growing cannabis on land and in buildings that make it less than desirable, including the watershed in Greater Victoria,” Sterk said. “They found grow-ops there, so we need to get a handle of that and make it a legitimate agricultural activity.
“So, that’s one way to do it, and then it would be controlled and regulated just like we do tobacco and alcohol, so that we keep it out of the hands of youngsters and out of the hands of the criminal elements that are destroying our communities,” she added.
Sterk said that the Greens are focusing their efforts on marijuana at this time but that ultimately the province needs to end the prohibition of other drugs.
“The war on drugs is a futile endeavour,” she said. “It’s a failure, and it doesn’t make sense to continue to do something that’s failing, and we should approach this problem differently.”
– Article from The Georgia Straight on April 23, 2009.