Pubdate: Wed, 20 Jun 2012
Source: Nelson Star (CN BC)
Copyright: 2012 Black Press
Author: Philip McMillan
Cited: Stop the Violence BC:


I would like to take this opportunity to respond to the comments made 
at last Monday's city council meeting on the motion to support the 
Stop the Violence campaign, put forward by councillor Donna Macdonald.

Local cannabis activists first heard about this motion when we read 
about it in the May 25 edition of the Star. It was implied that we 
were the ones behind the motion. We were not involved in bringing 
this motion forward. We do applaud this campaign and especially 
applaud the politicians that have put their support behind it while 
still in office.

It was suggested that this issue should be sent to the Union of BC 
Municipalities for additional policy research. This is completely 
unnecessary. This year is the 40th anniversary of the LeDain 
Commission and the 10 year anniversary of the 2002 Senate Report on 
Cannabis. These reports concluded that prohibition laws cause more 
harm than the plant itself and recommended legalization, regulation 
and taxation.

Now, I would like to address specific comments made by the 
councillors and the mayor.

Councillor Bob Adams: "I am opposed to smoking, period. And that 
includes marijuana. I know a person who got into it and went on to 
the next one and the next one and I'm sorry I am totally opposed to 
this. And I have talked to a couple of police officers in Nelson and 
I think this is not going to work at all. I can't give a lot of detail."

Well, after running the Nelson Cannabis Compassion Club for the last 
13 years, I have talked to tens of thousands of people about cannabis 
and I have the complete opposite view of cannabis. I see cannabis as 
a miracle plant.

Mayor Dooley: "I won't be signing this. If it asked of me to sign it, 
I won't, based on the mountain of information I have come up with 
myself. I did take time to read that on the website and the reality 
of the situation is that 80 per cent of the dope that is grown in BC 
is for export and legalizing marijuana will not eliminate the 
underground economy and it will not eliminate organized crime. That 
comes from several police chiefs that I have spoken to and numerous 
debates I have had and conversations and at the BC municipal police 
board meetings."

Well, I have spent over 13 years exposing police propaganda around 
cannabis. I don't know where the mayor got these false numbers but 
the last numbers I saw said that 80 per cent of the cannabis consumed 
in the US was domestically grown.

Fifteen per cent was imported from Mexico, five per cent was imported 
from Canada and one per cent of that five per cent was from BC. Think 
about it. If 80 per cent of the cannabis produced in BC represents 
one per cent of the cannabis Americans smoke, then the United Nations 
is wrong about Canada being the country with the most cannabis use.

Here are just a couple of reports refuting the statement that Canada 
is a major exporter of cannabis to the United States:

* Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Criminal Intelligence Directorate, 
Marihuana Cultivation in Canada: Evolution and Current Trends.

* United States-Canada Border Drug Threat Assessment (October 2004).

Mayor Dooley's comment that he represents the community in opposing 
this motion. The last Ipsos Reid poll showed that a majority in every 
province of Canada was for the regulation and taxation of cannabis. 
BC had the largest support of 73 per cent. I can tell you that you 
don't represent the sentiments of me or my 540 members, their 
spouses, their children, their grandchildren, or their close family friends.

Four councillors supported this motion and only two voted against. If 
one person represents more of this community than the majority of 
council, why have a council at all?

I implore the people of Nelson and area that don't feel Mayor Dooley 
represents them on this issue to write a letter to the editor of the 
local paper or to the mayor himself.

Finally, I would like to voice my disgust with the lack of decorum in 
session that day. I would recommend that the mayor and council read a 
copy of Robert's Rules of Order, and immediately make it the standard 
in which future council meetings are run.

Philip McMillan

Nelson Cannabis Compassion Club
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