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More support for ticketing pot users instead of arrests

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Former federal Health Minister and BC Premier Ujjal Dosanjh says the idea floated by the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs shows that attitudes toward marijuana are changing in this country.

“It’s a very significant announcement because these are the people who actually enforce the law on the street,” he says.

“What this does is it is actually sends a message to Canadians and the governments, particularly the federal government, that it is time for change. That those that actually enforce the law on the streets are saying to us that we are currently doing in terms of the law isn’t working.”

Jodie Emery — the wife of the Prince of Pot Marc Emery — calls this fantastic news and says it’s a move many Canadians support.

Emery says we shouldn’t be wasting our tax dollars arresting and charging people who are caught with small amounts of pot.

“Police chiefs agree that they hear from their officers, that this is a waste of time and resources. It’s definitely good news for the taxpayers.”

She says there is a possibility this could become a cash cow, but she says it all comes down to the way this would be enforced by officers.

“So it’s all about how they choose to enforce it. If they don’t ticket anybody the same way that they’re been trying to do to reduce, then that’s positive. But if they start ticketing everybody, then that’s going to be a negative.”

However, Dosanjh believes Canadians will have bigger issues on their minds when they choose a new government in the next federal election.

“I don’t know if people will vote on the basis of whether a leader supports decriminalization or legalization,” he says.

“I don’t think that’s going to be the ballot question. I think the ballot question is going to be the economy unless something else happens that is more major than the economy.”

Dosanjh and three other former BC Attorneys General – Colin Gabelmann, Graeme Bowbrick and Geoff Plant – came out in favour of legalizing marijuana.