We agree with editor Ian Jacques (Opinion, Coast Reporter, Feb. 1) that the time for a broader discussion on decriminalizing cannabis is now.
The Harper Conservatives in Ottawa are going in the other direction with mandatory minimum jail sentences for cannabis offences and changes to the medical marijuana access regulations, making it harder and more expensive for the sick and dying to get quality controlled legal cannabis medicine.
The Conservatives have also made it clear they govern ideologically with no regard for science or best practices from around the world such as Portugalís very successful decade-old drug decriminalization.
Sensible BC, if successful, will effectively direct police resources away from simple cannabis possession throughout B.C., and that is a very positive step forward.
While polls show support for the idea that any adult should be able to use cannabis, like alcohol, if they choose, it is the medical cannabis community that urgently needs some resolution to the question of how to obtain legal, quality controlled, affordable cannabis medicine, in many forms, some of which can be smoked.
Humans have an ancient relationship with cannabis, and before the war on drugs, cannabis had a prominent position in the pharmacopeia.
Last year more than 3,500 people in B.C. were charged with cannabis possession, costing the province between $15 and $29 million, while costing the unfortunate 3,500 people time, money and who knows what else.
While effectively decriminalizing cannabis possession in B.C., Sensible BC will also begin the process of moving toward a legal framework of cannabis regulation the same way that alcohol is regulated.
We think this is a good idea, and we hope many others do as well.
Judith and Paul Renaud, educators for Sensible Drug Policy, Gibsons