Stop the Violence BC has long argued that decriminalization is an insufficient policy response when it comes to addressing the range of public health and safety concerns associated with cannabis prohibition. That said, it is the position of the Stop the Violence BC steering committee that decriminalization stands to minimize a variety of pressing social and economic concerns.*
The legislation tabled by Sensible BC (described below) is designed as a first step towards taxation and regulation of cannabis for recreational use by adults and it is on that basis that Stop the Violence BC is pleased to endorse their campaign.
Stop the Violence BC encourages all of our supporters to consider working with the Sensible BC team to help people understand that the campaign does have a mechanism through which it is pushing for taxation and regulation and that decriminalization is just the first step.
For more information about Sensible BC or to participate in their campaign for a marijuana referendum, please visit www.sensiblebc.ca.
*PLEASE NOTE: Stop the Violence BC’s endorsement may not reflect the personal views of all our coalition members.
The following summary is taken from the Sensible BC website. To review the entire legislation, please click here.
PART ONE: Decriminalize marijuana possession
The first part of the Sensible Policing Act is an amendment to the BC Police Act, which redirects all police in the province from using any police resources, including member time, on investigations, searches, seizures, citations, arrests or detentions related solely to simple possession of cannabis.
This section applies to all police in the province, essentially decriminalizing the simple possession of cannabis in BC. It doesn’t impact on any of the laws around trafficking, possession for the purposes of trafficking, or cultivation.
To deal with minors, the Sensible Policing Act also adds cannabis to the section of the BC Liquor Control Act which covers minors in possession of alcohol. This will enable a police officer to confiscate cannabis from a minor, in exactly the same manner and with the same penalties as for alcohol.
PART TWO: Work towards legal regulation
The second part of the Sensible Policing Act formally calls upon the federal government to repeal cannabis prohibition by removing cannabis from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, or to give British Columbia a “Section 56” exemption, so that our province can start legally taxing and regulating cannabis, using lessons learned from alcohol and tobacco.
This section also mandates the provincial government to launch a public commission, which will hold hearings to study and recommend the specific rules needed for the province to implement a legally regulated cannabis system once the federal government allows it.