Why do you support the legalization of marijuana

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Friday, 19 September 2008

NDP's Policy on the Drug War

A while ago I emailed the NDP asking what their stand was on the legalization of marijuana, and this was the answer:

Thank you for your message inquiring the Jack Layton's New Democrat's position on the failed war on drugs.

Canada's New Democrats are the only major national party that actually has a resolution and a policy for decriminalization of marijuana. And, in advocating that position, we understand that we need a drug policy that does not rely primarily on our legal system. This policy must be part of a broader drug strategy that focuses on a health based approach, as recommended by a 2002 Special Committee on the Non-Medical Use of Drugs on which NDP MP Libby Davies played an important role.

We want Canada to take steps that reflect a more intelligent and compassionate direction on marijuana use. Not only have our courts ruled differently on medical marijuana and our government responded accordingly but also there is a growing chorus of established opinion for a different approach to the possession of marijuana for personal use. Decriminalization, we believe, is a first step, but it is not the only step. It is a first step to what needs to be an open debate about the failure of the current practices and the need to focus on the real issues such as: avoiding needless criminalization of citizens; and working with youth on health and social effects - particularly impaired driving.

As well, we have been very supportive of harm reduction programs such as Insite in Vancouver. This is an issue that New Democrat MP Libby Davies has strongly raised in Parliament. Recently, Libby challenged Harper to accept the evidence of Insite's effectiveness. http://www.libbydavies.ca/mpupdate/media.html#evidence

New Democrats have also been seeking other alternatives to the Conservative government's heavy-handed war-on-drugs approach. For more information on our position and efforts, we encourage you to read an article from last fall by Ms. Davies at: http://www.rabble.ca/news_full_story.shtml?x=64925.

We appreciate hearing from you on this important matter and hope that we can count on your support moving forward. Please check our website at www.ndp.ca to learn the latest about our team of New Democrats and the campaign.

Sincerely,

Jack Layton’s New Democrats
Putting you and your family first.
Jack Layton et le NPD
Mettre vos priorit├ęs et celles de votre famille au premier plan.

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