Pubdate: Tue, 15 Oct 2013
Source: Nanaimo News Bulletin (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013, BC Newspaper Group
Author: Dana Larsen


To the Editor,

Re: B.C. marijuana referendum misguided, Oct. 10

Fletcher's column misrepresented the Sensible B.C. campaign and could
lead to confusion about our efforts for a marijuana referendum.

The ultimate aim of Sensible B.C. is to have B.C.'s marijuana industry
regulated in a similar manner to wine. Our proposed legislation, the
Sensible Policing Act, is designed to bring us closer to that goal.

The act has four components, all designed to be within provincial

The first aspect is to redirect police resources away from being
wasted on simple possession of marijuana. Last year, B.C. police made
over 16,500 arrests for possession, draining $10.5 million in police
and court time away from more serious criminal offences.

Second, our legislation treats a minor in possession of marijuana the
same as if it were alcohol. The allows police to deal with a teenager
smoking pot, but without the lifetime criminal record that can
restrict travel and employment.

Third, the act calls upon the federal government to repeal marijuana
prohibition, so that B.C. can regulate and tax it in a manner similar
to wine and beer. This would send a powerful message of change to Ottawa.

Finally, our legislation creates a B.C. commission to figure out the
rules needed to implement legalization. Like alcohol and tobacco, most
of the regulation for legal marijuana would be determined at the
provincial level.

B.C. cannot fully legalize marijuana without a change to federal law,
but we can take some sensible steps in the right direction.

Dana Larsen director, Sensible B.C.