Federal Liberal Council of Riding Association Presidents Endorse Resolution to Legalize Cannabis

British Columbia’s Federal Liberal Council of Riding Association Presidents endorsed a policy resolution to legalize and regulate cannabis in Canada, as approved by Liberal Party delegates from across Canada at the Party’s 2012 Biennial Policy Conference in Ottawa.

The Council held their quarterly meeting Saturday in West Vancouver where they also discussed the Party’s upcoming leadership race, the provincial policy convention in November and preparations for the upcoming Victoria by-election.

“We are very pleased the riding presidents from all corners of the province have endorsed this important policy,” said Brian Rice, President of the Liberal Party of Canada – British Columbia (LPC-BC). “As witnessed at last week’s Union of British Columbia Municipalities meeting, more and more Canadians are realizing the current laws, supported by the Harper government, are doing more harm than good and protecting the profits and lifestyle of gangsters.”

In January 2012, close to 80% of delegates attending the Liberal Party of Canada’s Biennial Policy convention voted in favour of a policy resolution co-sponsored by the LPC-BC and the Young Liberals of Canada to:

  • legalize marijuana and ensure the regulation and taxation of its production, distribution, and use, while enacting strict penalties for illegal trafficking, illegal importation and exportation, and impaired driving 
  • invest significant resources in prevention and education programs designed to promote awareness of the health risks and consequences of marijuana use and dependency, especially amongst youth
  • extend amnesty to all Canadians previously convicted of simple and minimal marijuana possession, and ensure the elimination of all criminal records related thereto
  • work with the provinces and local governments of Canada on a coordinated regulatory approach to marijuana which maintains significant federal responsibility for marijuana control while respecting provincial health jurisdiction and particular regional concerns and practices

In a recent survey, Liberal Party members and supporters were invited to answer a number of questions about how a system of legalized marijuana could function. When asked how new revenue from cannabis legalization should be reallocated, close to 1000 respondents identified health care, health promotion, addiction treatment and prevention as their top priorities – followed by education and general revenue.

The LPC-BC Biennial Policy Convention will take place November 24-25 in Surrey. In addition to a review of previously approved resolutions in favour of a national housing strategy and legalizing cannabis, the Convention will focus on policies related to improving the BC economy, strengthening public health care and protecting the environment. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.

– Press release from The Liberal Party of Canada

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