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Marijuana Legalization – Answering Questions and Developing a Framework

Posted on January 18, 2013

Vancouver (January 18, 2013) – The Liberal Party of Canada (BC) today released a draft policy paper on the legalization of marijuana that will be presented at this weekend’s provincial policy conference in Surrey.

The paper has been prepared in partnership with the Young Liberals of Canada since federal delegates from across the country voted one year ago this week at the Party’s Biennial Policy Convention in favour of a policy resolution to:

  • legalize marijuana, regulate and tax its production, distribution and use
  • invest in prevention and education programs to promote awareness of the health risks and consequences of marijuana use and dependency – especially amongst youth
  • extend amnesty to Canadians convicted of simple and minimal marijuana possession
  • work with provinces and municipalities on a coordinated regulatory approach

In addition to capturing progress over the past year, the LPC-BC paper (https://bc.liberal.ca/files/2013/01/DRAFT-Marijuana-Policy-Paper-Jan-13.pdf) answers a list of legitimate questions Canadians have regarding the impact of implementing this policy. Some are answered in one sentence. Others are more complex and require ongoing dialogue. 36 questions are been identified in five categories:

  • Policy
  • International Response
  • Legal
  • Public Health
  • Logistics

Emerging from the answers to these questions is the foundation for a new legal framework that responds to the approved resolution and includes specific recommendations for discussion.

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  1. Avatar of Bruce Ryan Bruce Ryan said on

    Cannabis is an herb ~ not a pharmaceutical. Three dozen scientific studies show that cannabis cures cancer. Other medical studies prove benefits for Alzheimer’s, epilepsy and other serious diseases. Three studies done in Canada, Holland and the U.S. show little or no “impairment” while driving – unlike alcohol & pharmaceuticals.
    Cannabis also creates food, clothing and shelter.
    It cleans the soil & air…. naturally.
    Prohibition creates corruption at all levels of government. Prohibition is a “failure of good governance”. Prohibition creates ‘crime’ out of thin air.
    Mandatory minimums for cannabis to be served with violent thieves and pedophiles; compliments of Con’s who have their own money invested in the private Prisons for Profit complex…. on your tax dollars. An expensive failed policy.
    Prohibition puts your children in prison.

  2. Avatar of Geeta Shinde Geeta Shinde said on

    I have to say that I do not support the legalization of marijuana, and here is why:
    1.) Marijuana is a drug. Legalizing the sale of marijuana means legalizing a market which encourages consumers to become drug addicts. Alcohol and cigarettes are good case examples of how the use of addictive substances cannot be controlled. The legalization of marijuana would legalize a form of drug addiction. This means that society would have to finance additional programs and services to treat and serve consumers of marijuana. Can Canadian tax payers across the country afford to pay for additional mental health and addictions services to take care of a new market of drug addicts? It would be very expensive. I would think that most Canadians would be opposed to legalizing a market of drug addicts for these reasons.

    2.) Drug additions result in other social costs to society, such as:
    • Increased crime
    • Increased need for government subsidized housing
    • Increased unemployment
    • Increased need for social welfare programs
    Each of these social costs decreases the standard of living for all Canadian citizens. Each of these social costs places a huge burden on society and is expensive for all Canadian tax payers. Marijuana is a substance which hurts the welfare of all Canadians, and their ability to live and lead a fulfilling life. For these reasons legalizing marijuana does not serve the interests, and wellbeing of all Canadians.
    3.) Marijuana use would also have a huge impact on the health care system in Canada. Legalizing marijuana use would compromise the quality of health for all Canadians, and it would become even more difficult for Canadians all over the country to receive equal access to health care. Health care is a global human right. Legalizing the use and sale of marijuana compromises the Canadian health care system and its ability to deliver the kind of health care services Canadians really need.

    4.) The industry and trade of marijuana would inevitably become manufactured, which will impose a huge cost to the environment. The tobacco industry is a good example of how a marijuana industry will add to the social-economic-political costs I have outlined thus far. Tobacco industries are known to be huge polluters to the environment, and for being a serious health hazard to local residents who reside near tobacco plants. Law suits and government regulations have not deterred the tobacco industry from being huge environmental polluters and from compromising the quality of life of neighbouring residents. A marijuana industry would also become a huge environmental polluter and a serious health hazard to all Canadians.

    5.) It would be expensive to teach young Canadians what the side effects of marijuana use are, and how it would compromise the quality of their future and their potential to live a fulfilling life. How can young Canadians believe in our legal system and how can we as adults encourage young Canadians to abide by the law, if we choose to legalize marijuana, which is currently an illegal substance?

    6.) If the government of Canada legalizes marijuana use, it is like telling all Canadians that it is okay to use marijuana. The Canadian legal system must uphold a system of values, for all Canadians to respect. Marijuana is currently an illegal substance for good reasons, and if we change these reasons, we compromise the Canadian justice system in Canada.
    Don’t support the legalization of marijuana, it will hurt all Canadians!

    • Avatar of Mark B Mark B said on

      You are a total moron, you must be a cop or maybe Conservative Wei Young… marijuana is medicine that can be used and abused recreationally, however unlike tobacco, marijuana does not need to be sprayed with toxic chemicals like
      acephate (Orthene)
      aldicarb (Temik)
      carbaryl (Sevin)
      carbofuran (Furadan)
      chlorpyrifos (Lorsban)
      diazinon (Diazinon)
      disulfoton (Di-Syston)
      endosulfan (Iodan)
      ethyl parathion (Parathion)
      fenamiphos (Nemacur)
      fonofos (Dyfonate)
      malathion
      methidathion (Supracide)
      methomyl (Lannate)
      methyl parathion (Penncap-M)
      oxamyl (Vydate)
      and Marijuana actually reduces soil erosion, replenishes the soil with nutrients if grown outdoors, and marijuana is NOT addictive…if anyone claims to be addicted they clearly have other issues or they are lying.
      Each of the points you make in section 2 make me believe you are a dumb, and ignorant (not informed on any of the socioeconimic issues involving pot use)
      Only lazy cops and IGNORANT MP’s like Wei Young think everyone on welfare is a pot smoking lying cheating scum, which is what you are suggesting.
      And the only cost to health care would be actually lowered by over 100% of its current cost.
      I have had my L5 disc removed 20 yrs ago, and 15 months ago was involved in an accident where 6 discs herniated, 2 need surgery, 2 broken vertebrae, a knee that needs surgery, and shoulder is messed up, may need surgery, and the medication “Doctors” give me are opiates…well its like putting a bandaid on a cut artery. a disc will impinge on a nerve, and the muscles around the nerve clamp down to protect the nerve, however if the nerve is not cut off from blood supply, Canadian Doctors dont operate to relieve pain, which would make sense, no they want the spasms and cramps and pain to remain and addict you to opiates. Medicinal Marijuana when eaten reduces inflamation, spasms and cramps to the point where you can move without pain, it doesnt fix the issue either, however, oxycodone and its buffering agents will kill your liver in a short time…marijuana heals, protects, and restores your health…It will decrease Canadas health care costs period.
      Do you council children on alcohol abuse which happens to kill thousands yearly in canada, not just from physical health issues, but thousands die from drunk drivers, and young people, then over 46,000 people die directly from tobacco use…that shows those two substances are in need of re classification to schedule one…as marijuana is not nor has ever been responsible for one single death…it has no toxic level, you could never consume enouth pot to cause death…but I dare you to chug a 26 of vodka, or maybe gobble 30 – 20mg oxycodone pills…the coroner will be the last doctor visit should you try that…
      and the only reason marijuana is illegal is because of racist greedy men in the united states…your opinion does not reflect the current views on marijuana in canada and you need to go crawl back into the cave you came from…try google…it will teach you how totally stupid your opinions are, as there was not 1 fact that you used was true ….all you are doing is repeating lies and old stereotypes of reefer maddness the racist politicians back in the 1920′s and 1930′s spread to push the addictive substances they had invested heavily in…tobacco and booze…
      Putting someone in jail for a joint is a crime on humanity.

  3. Avatar of James Schulz James Schulz said on

    They should just put a sales tax on the seeds and allow people to grow and sell them for distribution with a licence. They could set an age for purchasing the seeds. Require stores that desire to sell the seeds to request permission from the city. Allow anyone to grow a certain amount of plants inside of a residence, I imagine it would be difficult for a 15 year old to grow any amount of plants while living at home. Removing all criminal penalties from growing a plant in the house is also a huge benefit because it gives more power to parents to decide what is acceptable for their children.

    People need to be allowed to grow an amount in their own living space, doing so would allow the lower income marijuana users to avoid paying high taxes and this could help them to save their money.

    The Liberal Party needs to stand up for individual liberty. The Party will always have its longtime supporters. The youth tend to be pro liberty. A center right approach would very likely draw in many of the old progressive conservative voters and those in the libertarian branch. Respecting peoples liberties will also help to take the youth (who are increasingly more pro NDP) away from the NDP.

    Respecting the rights of the individual provinces would score huge in Quebec and the West. Perhaps when it is legalized allow the provinces or even municpalities to have some say in how they themselves distribute.

    Electoral Reform is crucial, we really do need proportional representation. Immigration Reform is needed aswell and the provinces should be given more power when it comes to immigration.

  4. Avatar of Kit Spence Kit Spence said on

    Re: Impaired driving & marijuana.

    The Olympic Committee accused Ross Rebagliati with using a performance enhancing drug when they detected marijuana in his system, which seems to be a contradiction.

    Are you impaired or is your performance enhanced while under the influence?

    just asking….

  5. Avatar of Alan Avis Alan Avis said on

    Marijuana laws
    If marijuana had been legal in Canada (BC) and the police forces in BC didn’t need to waste so much of their time on marijuana related laws, perhaps, just maybe they could have caught Robert Pickton (BC serial killer that murdered nearly 50 women in BC) that much sooner. The time and money lost and wasted in, court, policing, and prison in the pursuit of marijuana prohibition is insane. There is no longer any reasonable or logical argument to continue along this path of prohibition. Large money would be available to government in regulating and taxing marijuana like alcohol, making marijuana safer and much harder for those under 19 to get their hands on. (Not to mention taking that much or more money away from the gangs, criminals and organized crime across the country, also making Canada that much safer). Those that still want to continue down this road of prohibition are truly dinosaurs and Canadians need to exterminate them, we can no longer wait for them to become extinct. Leaders like Steven Harpers and his new laws will only further to cause our country, more full courts, more full prisons and more unnecessary financial hardship. We cannot afford any more leaders that continue to take this old and unwarranted stance. Marijuana users are not social problem people and marijuana medical benefits are many and well documented. Now is the time to talk to your family, friends and neighbors and help end this prohibition of marijuana for good.
    Please copy this letter and pass it on.

  6. Avatar of Frank Mills Frank Mills said on

    I think Justin hasn’t made his mind up on much, yet, but he said decriminalization, which is not the solution nor the party policy.

    The liberal policy is regulation.

  7. Avatar of Anasty Boy Anasty Boy said on

    establish zero-tolerance on import/export

    Do not agree with this one either….how will we get better quality with out cross breeding strains from other counties like Netherlands and Israel .This whole plan sounds like another way to control us. What quality we can get, where we can get it and who will profit the most. Once people start really seeing your plan they will not support it.

  8. Avatar of Anasty Boy Anasty Boy said on

    Do not agree with your 1st point.
    (LEGALIZE marijuana and ensure the regulation and taxation of its production,
    distribution, and use, while enacting strict penalties for illegal trafficking, illegal
    importation and exportation, and impaired driving)

    Why if it is legal can’t anyone grow their own? Just set an age of 19. Also to this day there is no test for impaired driving after smoking Marijuana, not to mention the fact that Marijuana stays in your system for several days.

  9. Avatar of Bruce Ryan Bruce Ryan said on

    This, finally, is the right move. We’ve been waiting all these decades since the LeDain Commission and over a decade since the Senate Report.

    I would suggest the MMPR framework might serve to create the basis of a legal environment, provided new legal “CPR” (Cannabis Production Regulations) allows citizens to grow and store their own supply ~ much as beer & wine making is allowed.
    Those with the greatest knowledge and experience are already working in the industry. It is also important to enable those with this expertise to work in a legal environment ie: including cultivators who may have received a criminal record for growing the herb. Correspondingly, criminal records should be expunged for all cannabis offenses unless a known criminal organization is involved.

    I sincerely hope that this progress is indeed real and substantial. Every year millions of Canadians are subjected to prohibitionist policies, practices and propaganda; not to mention the tens of thousands of citizens subjected to arrest, prosecution and incarceration. It is time to end this travesty.
    ~ Reverend Ryan

  10. Avatar of David Merner David Merner said on

    Great work everyone! Which leadership candidates support BC’s resolution?

    Joyce Murray does.

    I believe David Bertschi, George Takach, and Justin Trudeau do not, as they prefer regulation to legalization. Where do the others stand.

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