Health officers back marijuana legalization in B.C.

Public-health physicians have added their voice to calls to end marijuana prohibition.

The Health Officers’ Council of B.C. is endorsing a regulatory approach to cannabis control that is similar to the way government deals with tobacco and alcohol.

The association includes medical health officers in B.C. and Yukon like Dr. John Carsley of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. According to Carsley, the group agrees with the analysis of the Stop the Violence B.C., a coalition of experts calling for alternative marijuana policies.

“We think that we have to look at other mechanisms to control its use,” Carsley told the Straight in a phone interview. “It certainly doesn’t make any sense that, for teenagers, cannabis is more easily available than alcohol. The position of Stop the Violence is congruent with our analysis about psychoactive drugs. And we support a regulatory approach based on public health principles that recognizes that people will use psychoactive substances, that blanket prohibition is not always the best solution, to making sure that the least amount of harm is done to people when they use psychoactive substances.”

Last month, four former mayors of Vancouver—Sam Sullivan, Larry Campbell, Philip Owen, and Mike Harcourt—released an open letter urging elected federal, provincial, and municipal officials to re-examine current policy on marijuana.

Stop the Violence B.C. released Thursday (December 22) its second report in a series evaluating the effectiveness of the law-enforcement approach against marijuana in Canada and in the U.S.

The report concludes that despite enormous increases in funding to combat marijuana, there hasn’t been a corresponding decrease in the rates of cannabis use and potency in North America. Marijuana remains readily available, and its price has even gone down over the years.

“In addition to not achieving its objectives, the prohibition of cannabis has created a lucrative opportunity for organized crime that in turn fuels other criminal activity and gang violence,” the report states.

Comments (12) Add New Comment
malcolm kyle
It's more than fairly evident, and especially to those of us whose survival doesn't depend on the continuation of Prohibition, that even if we could afford to put Narcs on every single corner, it is extremely likely that at least half of them would very soon become dealers themselves. So it begs the question: Why on God's green earth do we continue as a nation to foolishly shoot ourselves in both feet?

An appeal to all Prohibitionists:

Most of us are aware by now that individuals who use illegal drugs are going to get high, 'no matter what.' So why do you not prefer they acquire them in stores that check IDs and pay taxes? Gifting the market in narcotics to ruthless criminals, foreign terrorists and corrupt law enforcement officials is seriously compromising our future. If you remotely believe that people will one day quit using any of these 'at present' illegal drugs, then you are exhibiting a degree of naivety parallel only by those poor deluded wretches who voluntarily drank the poisoned Kool-Aid in Jonestown.

Even if you cannot stand the thought of people using drugs, there is absolutely nothing you, or any government, can do to stop them. We have spent 40 years and over a trillion dollars on this dangerous farce. Practically everybody is now aware that Prohibition will not suddenly and miraculously start showing different results. So why do you wish to continue with a policy that has proven itself to be a poison in the veins of our once so proud & free nation? Do you actually think you may have something to lose If we were to start basing drug policy on science & logic instead of ignorance, hate and lies?

Kindly allow us to forgo the next level of your sycophantic prohibition-engendered mayhem.

Prohibition Prevents Regulation : Legalize, Regulate and Tax!
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davis
Ironically, with Stephen Harper's CONservative ommnibus bill, he is in fact supporting organized crime.
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Hamish Winter
Sweden legalizes and regulates cannabis

http://justpaste.it/Sweden_Legalizes_Cannabis
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Duh
Hey Hamis ... you big dummy - do a simple Google search:
http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2011/12/sweden_legalizes_cannabis_story_is_...
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john smith
If Canada legalized it, the US would shut the border down overnight & we'd all be out of a job . Sad but true, the Canadian economy is almost totally dependent on US trade and the Canadian gov't is a total lackey to the US.
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Ken Steen
Our society doesn't want their children to be associated with drugs, quite naturally. But the children will all be exposed in one form or another during the course of growing up in this country, whether we like,...or not. Clearly, the parents will have ample opportunities to educate them on the dangers that lay in drugs, and there are many.

Somebody, in their wisdom, decided to include many different substances into the term called DRUGS,.....as if it is all the same. Well, that is simply not true. We see many different people taking drugs.....including pharmaceuticals and alcohol. While the liquor stores and beer stores are over flowing with business.....clearly, many people are getting stoned on alcohol. So before anyone turns up their nose at pot, they should at least be aware of what it is.

There are many thousands of articles about pot....pot was the main farmer's cash crop back in the old days. There are many positive uses for it, from fabrics to medicine.
You can do your own investigation on this because it is so easy. Just google "history of marijuana" or "Curing Cancer with Marijuana."
As was mentioned, the costs of all those officers, the cost of keeping all those people who had some pot on them in jail, and the cost of all the people who would be Cancer-free.
http://dotsub.com/media/fc4e051a-1709-4e63-8a2c-912b09486c9f/e/m

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Mike Hansen
First things first. To get the best results when 'lobbying' for change is to become better educated on the facts. Here's the 'fast facts'. In 1753 the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus gave the 'hemp' plant a new name, Cannabis sativa. In the late 1800s American prohibitionists took the Mexican colloquialism 'marijuana', (translation Mary Jane) to name this plant. One is the botanically correct name used in scientific, research, medicine, law and most of all, higher education. The other is a Spanish American colloquialism, street slang and used by prohibitionist and the uneducated. Thanks to Carolus Linnaeus and his research We sound educated using the proper name, Cannabis when addressing the courts, scientific, research, medicinal and educational communities. A firm foundation is the best place to start a project of this caliber.
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Point of Order
The only people getting anything out of the prohibition on Marijuana/Cannabis are the Drug Dealers (Criminals) and those that have to justify their annual budgets (The Police State) ... everyone else is paying for a project that is not being realized. Tax it, Regulate it, and Legalize it.
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ConservativeChristian
Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child or grandchild thrown in jail with the sexual predators over marijuana. None of us would want to see an older family member’s home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants for their aches and pains. It’s time to stop putting our own family members in jail over marijuana.
If ordinary Americans could grow a little marijuana in their own back yards, it would be about as valuable as home-grown tomatoes. Let's put the criminals out of business and get them out of our neighborhoods. It's time to let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards.
Americans cam contact their Congressperson and Senators at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml to discuss HR 2306, the proposed Federal law that will get the Federal government out of the marijuana business and let states make their own laws.
And a big THANK YOU to the courageous, freedom loving legislators, governors, and countless others who are working so hard to bring this through! You’re doing a great patriotic service for all of America!
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Mike Hansen
ConservativeCristain, we're talking Canada hear. So "fuck America" as your government has caused more "TERROR" in the Free World than any other terrorist group! Who terrorized, raped and murdered Americas First Nations People to steal their land for corporate greed? Who kidnapped Africans, made them into slaves, terrorized, raped and murdered them for free labor aka corporate greed? Who attacked Canada with military force, seven times for corporate greed? And the list goes on and on and on.
The biggest problem with Americans, other than their ignorance is they don't keep their nose out of others business!
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Alicia
Ken, marijuana was not a profitable crop back in the day used for cloth, paper, etc. That would be hemp. Though both in the Cannabis family, you can not get "high" by smoking or ingesting it. Please know your facts.
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Urban Earth Med
I think that people who require access to medical marijuana deserve a professional, safe, private environment. Medical marijuana is an essential medicine to a variety of individuals for treatment of a wide range of medical conditions. We just opened Urban Earth Med Cannabis Dispensary and are here to help those qualified individuals. urbanearthmed.com 3535 Kingsway Vancouver
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