Pubdate: Fri, 15 Feb 2013
Source: Coast Reporter (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 Coast Reporter
Authors: Judith Renaud and Paul Renaud
Cited: Sensible BC:



We agree with editor Ian Jacques (Opinion, Coast Reporter, Feb. 1) 
that the time for a broader discussion on decriminalizing cannabis is now.

The Harper Conservatives in Ottawa are going in the other direction 
with mandatory minimum jail sentences for cannabis offences and 
changes to the medical marijuana access regulations, making it harder 
and more expensive for the sick and dying to get quality controlled 
legal cannabis medicine.

The Conservatives have also made it clear they govern ideologically 
with no regard for science or best practices from around the world 
such as Portugal's very successful decade-old drug decriminalization.

Sensible BC, if successful, will effectively direct police resources 
away from simple cannabis possession throughout B.C., and that is a 
very positive step forward.

While polls show support for the idea that any adult should be able 
to use cannabis, like alcohol, if they choose, it is the medical 
cannabis community that urgently needs some resolution to the 
question of how to obtain legal, quality controlled, affordable 
cannabis medicine, in many forms, some of which can be smoked.

Humans have an ancient relationship with cannabis, and before the war 
on drugs, cannabis had a prominent position in the pharmacopeia.

Last year more than 3,500 people in B.C. were charged with cannabis 
possession, costing the province between $15 and $29 million, while 
costing the unfortunate 3,500 people time, money and who knows what else.

While effectively decriminalizing cannabis possession in B.C., 
Sensible BC will also begin the process of moving toward a legal 
framework of cannabis regulation the same way that alcohol is regulated.

We think this is a good idea, and we hope many others do as well.

Judith and Paul Renaud, educators for Sensible Drug Policy, Gibsons
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