What if Stoners Ran the World
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Pot Crusader Says No To Marijuana Tickets

By Jamie1

Proposal from police signals shift toward cannabis reform, says SFU professor

A recommendation to let police treat simple marijuana possession as a ticketing offence is being opposed by the head of a provincial campaign to decriminalize pot.

Dana Larsen, whose group Sensible BC is set to kick off a petition campaign next month to force a referendum on marijuana policy, says the new resolution from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police is counter-productive.

The chiefs’ association argues the option of writing tickets to punish people caught with less than 30 grams of marijuana would be less costly and time-intensive than sending criminal charges through the courts.

“It’s a bad idea,” Larsen said.  “It’s actually going to result in more cannabis users being persecuted.”

He said police in B.C.  issue warnings or write reports on 18,000 people a year for use of marijuana without laying charges.

“They would all get tickets under that new system,” Larsen predicted.

He said the proposal could confuse B.C.  voters as canvassers prepare to ask them to sign a petition that would press for a referendum on a proposed law blocking use of B.C.  police resources for enforcing simple possession.

“Our solution does not involve fines or alternative penalties, it involves leaving people alone.”

If Ottawa embraced broader legislative reform, he added, it should simply legalize pot.

“I’d rather see revenue generated through legalization, regulation and taxation rather than fining the people who happen to be unlucky enough to get caught by police,” he said.

Larsen noted ticket-empowered police would still have the ability to charge some pot users, raising questions about potential selective enforcement.

The federal government, which would have to change federal legislation to enable marijuana ticketing, indicated it has no plans to legalize or decriminalize pot possession.

Vancouver Police Chief Const.  Jim Chu, president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, said the organization …read more

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CannabisNews-MedicalMarijuanaMarijuanaNewsHempCannabis/~3/1h51KzvNQNI/

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August 2013
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