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Civil Rights Group Speaks Out Against Pot Prohibition: Calls New Law Smoke and Mirrors

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association is set to continue its 30 year long battle to legalize pot in Canada when BCCLA Policy Director Kirk Tousaw addresses a Parliamentary committee studying Bill C-38, the so-called marijuana “decriminalization” legislation on Wednesday October 29, 2003.

The BCCLA will argue that the proposed legislation does not adequately deal with the problems caused by the criminal prohibition of cannabis. In fact, it may make the current problems even worse.

Kirk Tousaw: “Because tickets are easier to issue than it is to arrest someone, we fear that more people will likely get caught up in the criminal justice system than currently,” said Tousaw, “In a society that values freedom, no person should be sanctioned for using, cultivating or possessing cannabis.”

“Every major study, from the Le Dain Commission in the early 70’s through the Senate Report recommending legalization in 2002, agrees that the system of criminal prohibition is wrong. This Bill, unfortunately, fails to deliver effective reform. What the country needs from Parliament is true leadership on this issue. It is far past time for a discussion of the proper means of legalizing and regulating the cannabis industry. Using the criminal law is a waste of resources and an affront to the millions of peaceful, productive citizens being criminalized by an archaic and unsupportable prohibition.”