Political pressure reversing on marijuana; time to legalize?

Cameron Orr ponders whether it's time to just decriminalize marijuana once and for all.

Our sister newspaper down the street in Terrace, the Terrace Standard, posted a story to their website last week, reporting that our MP Nathan Cullen supports a decriminalization of marijuana.

The discussion is interesting as talks about the legalization of the drug is starting to have more weight behind it.

The federal Liberal party recently voted to endorse marijuana legalization as they try to rebuild themselves.

The direction these political parties are taking is, perhaps, indicative of a new culture of politics on the horizon.

Whenever talk of marijuana comes up it’s easy to dismiss the arguments as coming from ‘potheads’ who have no other lot in life but to smoke up.

Now the NDP are after the official government, and our MP, a man going after the head post of the federal NDP, is talking about relaxing the pot laws. The Liberals, looking for new glory, are bringing up the issue as well.

And if these two parties have both decided that this is an issue that will help them gain seats, who’s to say the Conservatives won’t try to appease voters with similar concessions?

So is all this good? Yes, I think so.

I’ve heard the arguments for and against marijuana and I’ve never been convinced it’s worth our time to criminalize it. Regulated, absolutely; I would not want to have to walk my children passed clouds of pot smoke on a sidewalk, just as I wouldn’t want them to walk past drunk pedestrians.

If we can make laws that society has found acceptable for alcohol consumption and tobacco use, seems like we can make room for marijuana.

As well anything that cuts into crime profits is good in my books. On the safety front, BC Hydro is saying that their smart meters will help with the millions of dollars of power stolen for things like grow ops — of which no community is immune, by the way, meaning Smithers may be just as victimized by crime as any other.

Perhaps it’s time for society to get a little more progressive. We’ll just have to wait and see if the politicians are just blowing smoke.

Cameron Orr is the editor of The Interior News.