As a currently serving police officer, I must preface the following commentary with the proviso that the opinions expressed below are simply my own personal opinions and do not represent the position/thoughts/policy of my employer.
They say politics is the art of the possible.
Had someone suggested to me three months ago that a 35-plus-year Progressive Conservative would’ve switched federal political stripes at my age ( and profession ) I undoubtedly would’ve laughed it off. The hook was a proposed policy resolution ( #117 ) brought forward to the Liberal Party of Canada’s biennial convention in Ottawa recently.
Created by the Young Liberals of B.C., it amounts to a proposal for the party to endorse the legalization and regulation of marijuana as formal policy.
Following a good debate amongst a very large delegation of members from across this great country of ours, this resolution passed in an overwhelming majority of 77 per cent for versus 23 per cent against in a vote put to the floor.
As a new member and Parry Sound-Muskoka delegate, I had both the pleasure and privilege of being present for this historical vote as well as speaking in the debate for this resolution. I was provided with all of 60 seconds to convince my fellow delegates that it was high time for Liberals to support this measure in the primary interests of decriminalizing our youth, the future of our country.
While utilizing the age-old premise that future solutions can often be discovered through an honest reflection of the mistakes of the past, I reminded my fellow Liberals of the origin of marijuana prohibition.
In 1923, the Minister of Labour ( Liberal MP William Lyon Mackenzie King ) endorsed the addition of cannabis as a prohibited “narcotic” under the Opium and Narcotic Act, originally created in 1908. This measure was taken as a means to grant the RCMP wide-ranging search and seizure authorities in a concentrated, specifically targeted effort to eradicate via deportation what remained of the original 17,000 Chinese immigrants brought over to Canada during the latter part of the 18th century as a sacrificial labour force to complete our “National Dream.” They subsequently settled in the lower mainland of B.C. Four thousand of them perished during their labours on this country’s earliest mega-project.
Marijuana prohibition was born out of racism, pure and simple.
It was a shameful, despicable policy in 1923 and has done nothing but criminalize our youth since its inception.
The Liberal Party of Canada is determined to right this wrong.
Given that successive governments of various political thought since 1923 have failed to rectify this prohibition of a relatively benign ( and God-given ) plant which boasts an incredibly surprising number of positive, medical attributes ( Google “medical cannabis” ), we all must assume a degree of responsibility for the ongoing social, economical and criminal justice-related fallout from this wrongful prohibition.
News Hawk – 420 Warrior 420 MAGAZINE
Location: Ontario, Canada
Source: Bracebridge Examiner
Author: Dan Mulligan
Contact: [email protected]
Copyright: 2012 The Bracebridge Examiner Ltd.