A recommendation to let police treat simple marijuana possession as a ticketing offence is being opposed by the head of a provincial campaign to decriminalize pot.
Dana Larsen, whose group Sensible BC is set to kick off a petition campaign next month to force a referendum on marijuana policy, says the new resolution from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police is counter-productive.
The chiefs’ association argues the option of writing tickets to punish people caught with less than 30 grams of marijuana would be less costly and time-intensive than sending criminal charges through the courts.
“It’s a bad idea,” Larsen said. “It’s actually going to result in more cannabis users being persecuted.”
He said police in B.C. issue warnings or write reports on 18,000 people a year for use of marijuana without laying charges.
“They would all get tickets under that new system,” Larsen predicted.
He said the proposal could confuse B.C. voters as canvassers prepare to ask them to sign a petition that would press for a referendum on a proposed law blocking u. . . . . READ MORE
The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, meeting in Winnipeg this week, wants officers to have the ability to ticket people found with 30 grams of marijuana or less.
Kentville, N.S., police Chief Mark Mander, chair of the association’s drug-abuse committee, said Tuesday officers currently have only two choices: turn a blind eye or lay down the law.
Mander said officers could “either to caution the offender or lay formal charges resulting in [a] lengthy, difficult process, which results in a criminal charge if proven, a criminal conviction, and a criminal record.”
Mander said ticketing the offender would be far less onerous and expensive.
However, federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay said there are no plans in the works to legalize or decriminalize marijuana. Though McKay had no follow up on the chiefs’ recommendation, he said he appreciates their input.
“We don’t support legalization or decriminalization,” Mander said.
“Clearly there are circumstances where a formal charge for simple pos. . . . . READ MORE