No solutions to prohibition problems offered

Letter writer says the cost of prohibiting cannabis far outweighs its effect on society.

Editor, The News:

Re: Ridge council not pro pot (Letters, Nov. 13).

Coun. Mike Morden says he thinks readers can’t tell that someone is speaking as a citizen when they sign a petition.

I can tell you that the only way you can sign any petition is as a citizen.

I can also tell you that signing this particular petition doesn’t mean you’re for or against any side of this issue.

His letter wasn’t just about insulting your readers, it was about his political future.

More on that later.

I have asked both local mayors if they would sign the SensibleBC petition.

Pitt Meadows Mayor Deb Walters said she would think about it, but didn’t sign petition.

When Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin signed the petition, he signed as a citizen asking his provincial government to have a referendum about something that isn’t working.

It might have seemed odd for Mayor Daykin to take such a principled but controversial stance when someone might try to take political advantage of such a position.

It wasn’t a surprise to me at all as I have seen him struggle with this issue and try hard to understand all sides.

Both mayors made their decisions as citizens and according to their own principles.

I respect both decisions.

The cost of prohibiting cannabis far outweighs its effect on society. It also blocks the many benefits that this industry could bring to society.

Coun. Morden mentions $9 billion in economic activity that already exists within our economy. This isn’t an economy on another planet, it’s money that exists and provides benefits to most communities in B.C.

It also provides in excess of 200,000 well-paying jobs. The industry isn’t going away and we had better learn how to benefit from it.

Coun. Morden would apply “corrective measures and appropriate resources” to deal with this industry. Sounds expensive and a complete waste of time and tax dollars.

Coun. Morden hasn’t offered any solutions. All he has done is list the problems within the present system – the violence, unsafe neighbourhoods, noxious odours, housing decay, waste of resources and so on. All have all occurred under prohibition.

He seems to want more prohibition to fix the failures of prohibition, so more courts, jails and bigger government, more tax dollars.

The referendum process identifies some obvious solutions, and since it’s an open process, it allows the government to further define and refine those solutions so we can get on with building our economy instead of tearing it down.

 

Coun. Morden did offer one solution. Actually, it was more of a dream: “If I was mayor …”

Sounds more like a nightmare.

Craig Speirs

Maple Ridge

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