Pot-ential change

FOUR former attorneys general of British Columbia have coauthored a letter asking Premier Christy Clark and Opposition leader Adrian Dix to endorse an end to marijuana prohibition.

Colin Gabelmann, Ujjal Dosanjh, Graeme Bowbrick and Geoff Plant represent an unusual alignment of former senior cabinet ministers: three NDP politicians, one a premier, and one B.C. Liberal. Old-timers here will remember that North VancouverSeymour was an NDP riding in the early 1970s, represented by Gabelmann.

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What makes their letter politically compelling is that they all used to be responsible for law enforcement in this province. The laws their police forces upheld continue to give thousands of - mostly young - British Columbians a criminal record every year. Now they are out of government, they are calling for political leadership to change marijuana drug policy.

Better late than never, perhaps, but they add their voices to the growing sentiment that something has to change - if only for financial reasons. "Punitive laws such as mandatory minimum sentences are clearly not the solution," they wrote, calling for taxation and regulation "under a public health framework" as a way forward.

The former attorneys general join four former Vancouver mayors and the Health Officers Council of B.C. in recent high-profile endorsements of Stop the Violence B.C., an organization dedicated to reducing social harms and violent crime.

According to Angus Reid, 78 per cent of the B.C. public agrees with their stance. Perhaps change is in the air.

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