Referendum Needed on Policing of Marijuana in BC

At this point, no one needs to be told that the war on marijuana has been a dismal failure. Or almost no one.

After all, there is abundant evidence from around the world, and from right here in British Columbia, that marijuana prohibition has failed to achieve any of its stated objectives. Indeed, as governments spent trillions — yes, trillions — of dollars prosecuting the war on drugs, marijuana use rates increased, with the potency of the drug increasing and its price decreasing.

And while failing to solve any problems, marijuana prohibition generated entirely new ones.

British Columbians are all too familiar with one of those problems: Gang warfare, as gangs compete for control of the extraordinarily lucrative marijuana market.

The evidence of the failure of marijuana prohibition is therefore abundant and compelling. So compelling, in fact, that an amazing array of individuals and organizations has called for an end to this failed experiment.

Illustrious individuals who support ending the war on marijuana include former B.C. Attorneys General Geoff Plant, Ujjal Dosanjh, Graeme Bowbrick and Colin Gabelmann, and former Vancouver mayors Sam Sullivan, Larry Campbell, Philip Owen and Mike Harcourt, and current mayor Gregor Robertson.

And organizations that have registered their support for ending the war include the Union of BC Municipalities, the Health Officers Council of BC and Perry Kendall, B.C.’s Chief Medical Officer, the Canadian Public Health Association, academics and researchers with Stop the Violence BC, the law enforcement group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, the federal Liberal and New Democratic parties, the B.C. New Democratic Party and many newspapers, including The Vancouver Sun.

Perhaps most important of all, the public has got the message: According to a survey conducted at the end of October, 75 per cent of B.C. respondents said they favour taxation and regulation of marijuana instead of prosecuting marijuana users. And only 14 per cent believe possession of marijuana should lead to a criminal record.

You could say, then, that ending marijuana prohibition is a no brainer.

– Read the entire article at The Vancouver Sun.