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News (Media Awareness Project) - CN ON: PUB LTE: Liberal Party Gets It Right With Promise To
Title:CN ON: PUB LTE: Liberal Party Gets It Right With Promise To
Published On:2012-02-01
Source:Bracebridge Examiner (CN ON)
Fetched On:2012-02-04 06:00:21
LIBERAL PARTY GETS IT RIGHT WITH PROMISE TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA

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.

Dan Mulligan

Bracebridge
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