Pubdate: Sat, 28 Feb 2009
Source: Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Nanaimo Daily News
Author: Glenda Allard Barr


I think it is an appropriate time to address an issue that causes
distress to our economy and our citizens, especially those already
afflicted with various serious health concerns.

This is the use and production of cannabis in this

Currently this industry is producing huge gains for the underground
economy and financing gangs and organized crime.

As a non-user who is married to a federally licensed medical marijuana
user, I have become increasingly aware of the issues of the use of
this valuable plant.

I propose that we completely change our approach to this plant.
Legalization would have many benefits.

This is a herb with far fewer negative effects than alcohol. The
economic benefits of legalization would be tremendous.

Our finances would no longer be drained by expensive enforcement
operations. Marijuana could be taxed and sold to adults in a similar
fashion as is alcohol. Patients with a doctor's prescription should be
exempt from the taxes.

Those with medical needs would no longer have to deal with the
cumbersome licensing process through Health Canada. A small number of
plants could be grown by users much as wine is legally made at home.

In these times of economic crisis, legalization of what is often cited
as the second largest industry in B.C. would be a significant aid to
recovery. It would also take away from criminals and illegal gangs
which profit enormously from prohibition. We would not be
criminalizing citizens who use marijuana medicinally without a
license, or those who use it for relaxation, causing no harm to others.

I ask you to consider the many positive aspects of legalization of
marijuana, and to advocate for the reduction of harm to our society by
changing our approach to this issue.

Glenda Allard Barr

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