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BCCLA hosts May 8 conference on legal cannabis

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The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association is pleased to announce that “Beyond Prohibition: Legal Cannabis in Canada” will be held on Saturday May 8, 2004 at the Wosk Centre for Dialogue in Vancouver. The conference features speakers from around the world discussing the ramifications of a post-prohibition cannabis environment. Featuring Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell as the kickoff speaker and the Honourable Senator Pierre Claude Nolin as keynote, the conference approaches legalized and regulated cannabis from a variety of disciplines including medicine, law enforcement, public health, organic cultivation and economics.

“This conference is an exciting opportunity to engage in real dialogue about cannabis policy in Canada,” said Kirk Tousaw, the BCCLA’s Policy Director and the organizer of the conference. “We have people coming in from the Netherlands, the US and across Canada for a day of discussion, debate and dialogue. Three levels of government – municipal, provincial and federal – will be represented and we invite the public to come and get a real sense of the issues.”

With cannabis policy reform a major item on Parliament Hill, and an election upcoming, the conference comes at a critical point in Canada’s prohibition of cannabis. “The goal of the conference is not to criticize prohibition and all the harms it creates, though that is easy to do,” continued Tousaw, “Instead, we are painting a comprehensive picture of what Canada would look if we didn’t prohibit cannabis use and cultivation. And it is a picture that is far more socially beneficial than our current, failed, prohibitionist policies.”

Other speakers include Euguene Oscapella, Professor Jeffrey Miron, Professor Peter Cohen, Hilary Black, Rielle Capler, Eric Nash, Wendy Little, Philippe Lucas, Walter McKay, Dr. Brian Emerson, Steph Sherer and Keith Stroup. Conference topics include:

  • Models for a Regulatory Environment
  • Research and Access to Medicine
  • Law Enforcement Resource Allocation
  • Economic and Budgetary Impacts
  • Public Health Perspectives
  • International Treaty Obligations
  • Safe Cannabis Cultivation

Tickets to “Beyond Prohibition” are $20 each and are available from the BCCLA. Contact Kirk Tousaw for ticket information and to discuss interviews with the conference participants.