To the Editor:
You’ve all seen me on the street collecting signatures for Sensible BC in Keremeos and Cawston and also Osoyoos, Penticton, OK Falls and Oliver.
It has been interesting being on the front lines for the marijuana referendum.
I would like to tell you I am not a criminal or a pot head . I am a retired business owner and I have five adult children and 13 grandchildren.
It’s not necessary to finger me or call me names and interestingly, one could not smoke a joint if one was to shove it up one’s butt.
People who smoke pot are people from all walks of life lawyers, doctors and, yup, law enforcement, grandmothers and grandpas and possibly up to 70 per cent of 4.6 million citizens living in B.C.
Now Sensible BC has doctors and retired police officers canvassing for changing this law- can they be wrong also?
Alcohol at one time was “Satan’s drink, the work of the devil, etc. and after many years of prohibition it was evident that it was far cheaper to legalize alcohol.
After hundreds of millions of dollars arresting non-criminals for consuming alcohol and cigarettes, with prisons full and courts trying to process people the system was a complete failure.
Now we have the war on drugs that has been going on for over 70 years and guess what – drugs are as easy to get now as back 70 years ago.
Prescription drugs and alcohol kill more people than the war on drugs. Has Prohibition worked for drugs? Absolutely not. Drugs are getting stronger and prices are getting cheaper, but we continue to fight the futile war on drugs.
People who supply marijuana are getting richer and richer and paying not one cent in taxes. By law they are criminals but they are business people that simply supply a product to the consumer – simple supply and demand.
With sales estimated in the billions and taxes that adding up to zero its time for change.
RCMP spend $28,767,13 everyday and that is not factoring in court costs, judge’s wages, crown council and jail time, or the helicopters and all related equipment used to arrest and convict every day run of the mill citizens.
Now figure Harper’s government is building multi million dollar prisons with one right in our back yard in Oliver.
Is this a sensible way to be spending our hard earned tax dollars – housing non criminals?
I definitely say no – what a waste. I say put the money to better use in health care, or hospitals for upgrades like MRI and CT equipment, or to our pension plans or to helping our veterans.
We have governments in every province who are not listening to anyone about fracking or oil pipelines or climate change. Government is out of control.
Signing the petition is not about saying “yes” or “no,” its about change and getting government to listen to the citizens of Canada.
I personally don’t want one of my family members getting a criminal record because they got caught with marijuana or were in the company of a pot smoker.
The time is now for changing this poorly thought out law.
So when you see me outside in the cold and the wind I’m not the enemy. I am a person like you, but I have stepped up to the plate for change, not only for my family but for everyone, including you.
So please take the time to stop and sign and also educate yourself about the big picture please.
I am licenced by Elections BC for Sensible BC to collect signatures.
Thank you, Clancy Madden, Keremeos