Editorial: Time for a change to B.C. pot laws

Marijuana reform advocates in B.C. hope Washington and Colorado states’ vote to legalize and tax marijuana will add momentum to their push.

Marijuana reform advocates hope Washington and Colorado states’ vote Tuesday to legalize and tax marijuana sales will add momentum to their push for change in B.C.

While it’s not yet clear if the U.S. federal government will allow state-by-state legalization of recreational marijuana use – other states already allow medical marijuana sales – the vote has huge implications here.

Washington state estimates it would collect $560 million in the first year from a planned 25-per-cent tax on the sale of licensed, regulated marijuana through authorized stores.

If enacted, this could also cause a partial collapse of B.C.’s estimated $7-billion-a-year illegal pot industry, as growers relocate to the U.S. to avoid the need to smuggle.

Recently, the Union of B.C. Municipalities passed a resolution calling for marijuana to be decriminalized. They’d rather pot be regulated and taxed instead, much like alcohol.

The U.S. votes are a progressive move toward responsible marijuana use. It’s time for B.C. to take a similar step toward decriminalization, if not legalization of marijuana. The potential tax revenue and the opportunity to reduce law enforcement costs, and help unclog our court system is too much to pass up.

The poll results south of the border sent a message that U.S. drug policies are not working. As Canada’s drug policies follow the U.S. closely, it means ours aren’t working either – it’s time for a change.

Sensible B.C., a campaign headed by B.C. marijuana activist and medical pot dispenser Dana Larsen, wants to follow in the footsteps of both Washington campaigners and B.C.’s successful anti-HST drive. The group aims to get enough signatures on a petition to force a provincial referendum on marijuana decriminalization, through B.C.’s Recall and Initiative Act. The proposed Sensible Policing Act would block B.C. police from spending time or resources on searches, seizures or arrests for simple cannabis possession.

It’s time we take our antiquated marijuana laws and follow the lead of our neighbours to the south and let the people decide if it’s time for a change.

Just Posted

West Shore residents hold forum to voice frustration with Goldstream Park homeless camp

Some 200 residents fill local pub pointing fingers, claiming crime on the rise, safety at risk

Saanich ‘inside cat’ comes home two weeks later, two pounds lighter

The only one not excited about the return of Arthur, is the… Continue reading

City stamps rezoning approval for Merridale Cidery expansion in Victoria

Owner expects doors open by fall 2019 in Dockside Green neighbourhood

North Island Tour De Rock rider Benjamin Leah leads team to Port Hardy

“You don’t have issues and problems when you look at these kids and how much they’re going through.”

Two to hospital after University of Victoria sailing mishap

Wind gusts capsize boat of recreational club sailors

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Victoria resident barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Most Read