Although we can all agree that marijuana prohibition has failed, there is not full agreement on how exactly to legalize and regulate it. We still have to answer some important questions. Should people be allowed to grow their own marijuana? If so, how much? Should marijuana be sold in stores? What kinds of taxes should there be? Should there be taxes on medical marijuana products? What about extracts and foods? What is the best age limit? Before we can put a legalized system in place, we need to have the answers to these kinds of questions.
Did you know that B.C. can decriminalize marijuana? Indeed, any Canadian province could decriminalize marijuana possession at any time. Provinces have all kinds of legal options when it comes to dealing with possession of marijuana. We know what the RCMP's preferred option is: more arrests and more charges for marijuana possession. The RCMP have increased marijuana possession charges across Canada by about 30 per cent since Harper came to power. In B.C. the increase has been the greatest: there was a 211 per cent increase in pot possession charges between 2005 and 2011.
In 1920, marijuana was legal in British Columbia, but alcohol was not. What if that was still the law today? Can we imagine a parallel world where alcohol prohibition never ended, and marijuana prohibition never began? In that world, provincial politicians promote B.C.'s vibrant marijuana industry, posing with brand-name joints of B.C. bud, while also calling for longer sentences against brew-ops and wine dealers, to protect youth against the dangers of liquor.
All bongs, pipes and vaporizers have been banned in Canada by the Conservative government. Selling these items is punishable with jail terms and some of the highest fines in the Criminal Code.Books that describe how to grow marijuana are also banned, as is any other written or video material used to "promote, encourage or advocate, the production, preparation or consumption of illicit drugs." Surprised about this harsh law? Don't be, it's 25 years old.
Marijuana has become an important issue in this provincial election. Questions about marijuana policy have been raised by the public over and over again, at all-candidates meetings across the province, and even during the televised debate.Together with the replies we received from candidates, and other comments about marijuana made in the media, we have compiled this Sensible BC Voters Guide, to help you better understand where B.C. parties and candidates stand on the question of marijuana policy and decriminalization in our province.
Common political views on cannabis control have always painted as a federal responsibility, but it can be resolved at the provincial level. A moratorium on the enforcement of simple possession of cannabis would be an entirely reasonable initiative, clearly supported by a majority of the province's citizens.