Federal flexibility needed on marijuana

Re: Citizens rally over federal crime stance, Nov. 26, and Federal crime bill a step backward, Letters, Nov. 26.

To the Editor,

Re: Citizens rally over federal crime stance, Nov. 26, and Federal crime bill a step backward, Letters, Nov. 26.

I believe Barbara Kohlman’s comment “the public is not as knowledgeable on the crime bill as it should be”, including those doing the rallying.

I haven’t seen anything in the media that supports scare-mongering ideas like “sending teens to jail for shoplifting” or “jailing the mentally ill, addicted or poverty stricken”. Is this speculation or did I miss a government announcement?

I assume Bill C-10 is available on the government website, but perhaps newspapers across the country could run it in detail as well.

Because so much in our justice system needs changing, I’d rather see it done incrementally than with a cumbersome omnibus bill.

The same could apply to an overhaul of our dysfunctional health-care system, our even more dysfunctional Aboriginal industry, and a few other Ottawa bureaucracies we can do without.

One judicial area that needs re-thinking is marijuana laws. I totally agree with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and his four predecessors who have endorsed a coalition calling for an end to marijuana laws in Canada in order to reduce violent, gang-related crime.

Prohibition didn’t work in the past and is still failed policy today.

The revenue from legalization, regulation and taxation of pot would go far in providing rehabilitation for those addicted to harder and far more dangerous drugs and education for potential addicts.

It’s time our federal government displayed some flexibility.

Jim Corder

Nanaimo