Re: Marijuana referendum misguided (B.C. Views, Oct. 8)
Imagine the current pot smoker in B.C. He is arrested for possession and acquires a criminal record. Then, if he is a teacher or other public employee, he loses his job. You can’t work in public service with a record. If he has a mortgage, he loses his house. If he is financing a car, bye-bye car. If he goes to find a new job, good luck. A long list of jobs require a criminal record check. If he wishes to visit American cousins to relieve his stress, he finds that he is permanently on the no-fly list, a condition that even an official pardon will not change.
If our arrestee is a youth, he is put through youth court, a process that traumatizes both him and his family, something that would never have happened had he been caught with a beer. Under Sensible B.C.’s amended police act, there would be none of the above. Youth would be dealt with in the same manner as youth caught drinking alcohol.
Is it enough? No. We want a legal system. But eliminating that trauma listed above is much more than a gesture, hip or otherwise. It would save millions of tax dollars, and countless personal lives from the legal shredder.
And as to the “criminal distributors,” of which you disapprove, well, some of them are pot farmers, aren’t they? Maybe if we decriminalized, we could all learn to call them something like that.