BC has the power to set police priorities and direct resources

Canadian provinces have jurisdiction over policing and the administration of justice. BC has the responsibility of funding the police, and setting police priorities.

All police in BC are under the authority of the Police Act, an act of the BC Legislature. This includes both RCMP and municipal police.

Sensible BC proposes an amendment to the Police Act, instructing police not to spend any time, money or resources on cases of simple possession of cannabis.

This simple change, called the Sensible Policing Act, would effectively decriminalize the possession of cannabis in BC, while leaving the rest of the laws in place.

This would be similar to how BC joined with seven other provinces in refusing to expend any resources enforcing the federal Firearms Act, because they did not support the Long Gun Registry.

Find out more about the Sensible Policing Act here.

Decriminalization will save money and increase public safety

Decriminalizing the simple possession of cannabis in this manner will save taxpayers money, help unclog our justice system and stop young people from having their lives ruined over a joint. This is the first step towards a more sensible cannabis policy.

Cost savings: BC is spending more and more every year to charge people for simple possession of cannabis. The number of possession charges laid in BC more than doubled between 2005 and 2010. In this time of fiscal uncertainty, we should be spending taxpayer dollars more carefully.

Public safety: Arresting and charging people for simple possession of cannabis wastes police resources which could be better spent dealing with real crime. Let’s ensure police are empowered to direct their time and resources dealing with serious criminals, and not bothering about someone peacefully smoking a joint.

Public opinion: The latest polls show that the vast majority of British Columbians agree with Sensible BC that possession of cannabis should not lead to a criminal record, and that over two-thirds support marijuana being legally taxed and regulated. These views are consistent in all regions of the province and among voters for all parties.


There is a growing consensus that the prohibition of marijuana causes harm and is not the best way to deal with the issues around marijuana use.

Law enforcement officials, academics, public health officials and political leaders from across the spectrum have all been speaking out against marijuana prohibition.

Union of BC Municipalities

Many BC Municipalities

Public Health Organizations

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Academics and Researchers

BC Newspapers and Media

Four former BC Attorneys General

BC Liberal Finance Minister Kevin Falcon

BC New Democratic Party Policy

Federal Liberal Party Policy

Federal New Democratic Party Policy

Sensible BC in the media
Sensible BC should celebrate success, Times Colonist, Dec 20, 2013
One day, pot prohibition will be a thing of the past , Nanaimo News Bulletin, Dec 19, 2013
Sensible BC reaches goal for South Peace, Tumbler Ridge News, Dec 18, 2013
North Coast riding meets Sensible BC referendum goal, The Northern View, Dec 18, 2013
Time for Cowardly Politicians to Act on Pot, The Province, Dec 9, 2013
Pot Petition Succeeds in Penticton, Penticton Western News, Dec 10, 2013
Sensible BC Canvassers Vow to Carry On, Castanet, Dec 10, 2013
BC's referendum system designed to fail?, CTV News, Dec 2, 2013
Sensible BC hits target in Premiers riding, Huffington Post, Nov 29, 2013
Sensible BC reaches goal in Penticton, Castanet News, Nov 29, 2013
Sensible BC reaches goal in Alberni, Castanet News, Nov 29, 2013
Sensible BC hits target in Comox, Castanet News, Nov 28, 2013
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