It’s High Time for Decriminalizing Marijuana

decriminalizing marijuanaPeter MacKay, Justice Minister in Vancouver reiterated that he will consider decriminalizing marijuana laws of Canada particularly, treating small-time ownership like a traffic violation instead a criminal matter. Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed openness to the position of the CACP (Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police) that also has declared that it is appropriate to ticket in some circumstances. Jim Prentice, who is a would-be Progressive Conservative leader of Alberta, said that people should not be jailed just because they try to smoke a joint.

In essence, Prentice, Harper and Messrs. MacKay all has declared themselves open to the idea to decriminalize marijuana laws, which the National Organization of United States for the Reform of Marijuana Laws describes as no criminal record or prison time for first-time ownership of a small amount of marijuana for personal consumption. This is essentially twice proposed by the Liberals last decade. However, at every opportunity, three of them insisted they are not open for decriminalizing marijuana.

Any of these gentlemen can possibly argue not to support the decriminalization, their arguments were bad ones. For instance, Mr. Prentice is thinking that police should decide themselves that whether to lay charges or not. However, that is quite much what’s happening these days. In 2012, more than 41.5 % of citizen in Canada reported that they have used marijuana in their lifetimes. In case Mr. Prentice does not think that small-time possessors of marijuana should go to jail, then why left it up to police?

This same question also applied to Harper and Messrs. MacKay in a narrower sense: They say that they are considering CACP proposal, which will give officers the option of pursuing criminal charges or writing a ticket as written currently. The Conservatives are not generally in the business to grant the justice system discretion. They were last seen to implement ludicrously harsh minimum sentences on the marijuana files, for instance, 6 months for growing 6 or more plants. Now, they say that they may be willing to leave it up to the police. Mr. Prentice said that he has raised his daughters in Alberta and he is in the view of decriminalizing marijuana.

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