Canadians against the drug war!

May 28, 2008

WHEREAS cannabis has a long history of social, religious and medicinal use in a wide variety of cultures around the world,

WHEREAS government figures estimate 3 million Canadians, or 14% of Canada’s population, are current cannabis users, and that about 45% of Canadians have used cannabis during their lifetime, and that virtually all of these people are otherwise law-abiding citizens,

WHEREAS numerous public opinion polls conducted since 2000 show that most Canadians support eliminating criminal penalties for cannabis,

WHEREAS the value of the Canadian cannabis industry is estimated at between 5 and 20 billion dollars, and that if taxed and regulated this industry would generate substantial revenues for provincial and federal governments,

WHEREAS over 20,000 Canadians are arrested each year just for cannabis possession, taking up a great deal of police and court time and resources,

WHEREAS the laws prohibiting cannabis are federal laws, yet the brunt of the costs of enforcing criminal sanctions against cannabis are borne by the provinces, in paying for the extra policing, court time and imprisonment,

WHEREAS studies into worldwide cannabis law have consistently shown that criminal prohibition of cannabis has little or no effect on the rate of use,

WHEREAS in 1971 the LeDain Commission on Non-Medical Use of Drugs, after exhaustive hearings and research, recommended allowing the cultivation and possession of cannabis for personal use,

WHEREAS the 1995 Report of the Task Force into Illicit Narcotic Overdose Deaths in British Columbia, written by BC’s Chief Coroner and commissioned by BC’s NDP government, after extensive hearings and research, recommended that the BC Attorney General pursue discussions with the federal government on legalization of cannabis possession,

WHEREAS in 2002 the Canadian Senate issued a comprehensive report on cannabis issues, after extensive research and hearings, which recommended that cannabis should be made legally available to adults and regulated by provincial governments in the same way that they operate the wine industry, plus that Canada’s 600,000 criminal records for cannabis possession should be erased, and that access to medical cannabis should be expanded,

WHEREAS in 2005 the City of Vancouver approved a plan called Preventing Harm from Psychoactive Drug Use, which recommends that the federal government end cannabis prohibition and instead create a “legal regulatory framework for cannabis,”

WHEREAS the criminal prohibition of cannabis use and personal cultivation is inconsistent with the principles of “full economic, political and religious liberty for all” and the creation of a legal system which “must not be based, as is the present one, upon vengeance and fear, but upon an understanding of human behaviour,” as enshrined in the 1933 Regina Manifesto.

WHEREAS the criminal prohibition of cannabis use is inconsistent with the creation of “a society in which the worth and dignity of every human being is recognized and respected, and in which differences of origin, of religion and of opinion will be not only tolerated but valued as desirable and necessary to the beauty and richness of the human mosaic,” as enshrined in the 1983 Statement of Principles adopted at the 12th Federal NDP Convention in Regina,

WHEREAS the policy of Canada’s federal NDP has long included a non-punitive, regulatory approach to cannabis, including a legally regulated and taxed cannabis supply, elimination of penalties for personal possession and cultivation, and amnesty for past possession convictions,

WHEREAS the policy of the Ontario NDP explicitly supports that of the federal party, and includes a non-punitive approach to cannabis, with a regulated and taxed legal cannabis supply,

WHEREAS previous leaders of some of the other Provincial NDP parties have made public statements concerning Canada’s cannabis laws which are inconsistent with the non-punitive cannabis policy of the federal party,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT every provincial NDP party formally establish an explicit cannabis policy based upon a non-punitive, regulatory approach, including support for a legal supply of cannabis, elimination of all penalties for personal cultivation and possession, and amnesty for past cannabis possession convictions.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: