I don't know what they've been smoking in Victoria... but I wish they'd roll some more and pass it around a bit more freely.
Our very own outgoing MLA, Joan McIntyre, has, belatedly, come out in favour of legalizing British Columbia's unofficial herb, marijuana.
Tempting as it may be to make a joke about deathbed conversions, I'll gladly take any support this common sense movement can garner. Funny though, why is it that when Joan was actively holding office her lips were sealed and the only thing she was inhaling was the stale air of Liberal doublespeak?
Joan says she's felt this way for a long time and was moved to speak out after former Solicitor General, Kash Heed, joined forces with Stop the Violence BC to urge legalization last week. Unfortunately, she wasn't as moved, or perhaps suffered short-term memory loss, when Gregor Robertson, Mike Harcourt, Ujjal Dosanjh and Geoff Plant urged the government to legalize pot about a year ago. At that time, Cristy Clark, Premier — insert quacking sound of lame duck here — of B.C. shrugged her shoulders, put on her best Sgt. Schultz face and said it was a federal issue, nothing to see here, folks. At that opportunity, Joan said, " ."
Whatever, I don't expect my sitting politicians to have the stones to take Quixotic positions, regardless of how persuasively correct they may be.
Which was why I was pleasantly surprised when the Union of British Columbia Municipalities passed their resolution earlier this fall urging the decriminalization and regulation of marijuana. Admittedly, the UBCM is the most junior of the three levels of government and their resolutions are often — okay, always — ignored by senior levels, their resolution nonetheless represents a watershed moment in the decades long fight to bring some intelligence to the war on drugs.
And in case you've been sleeping for the past few decades, let me bring you up to speed on that skirmish. Drugs won.
Short and to the point, the UBCM resolution acknowledges the obvious, that pot prohibition is a "failed policy which has cost millions (should read hundreds of millions and probably billions) of dollars in police, court, jail and social costs." It goes on to say decriminalization and regulation would provide tax dollars. I think that's the carrot part.
It then says UBCM should call on the appropriate government to decriminalize pot and research the regulation and taxation thereof.
Okay, you lost me there.
While I might long for an ideal world, one where some amount of common sense occasionally won out, one where tough decisions were not swayed by antiquated, moralistic arguments, where fact-based models carried the day, where self-interest was relegated to the common good, I grudgingly understand the need to compromise.
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