The Sensible Policing Act will decriminalize marijuana possession in British Columbia.
Elections BC has confirmed that the Sensible Policing Act is within BC jurisdiction and suitable for a referendum.
The Sensible Policing Act has two main parts.
1 – Decriminalize marijuana possession
2 – Work towards legalization
PART ONE – Decriminalize marijuana possession
The first part of the Sensible Policing Act is an amendment to the BC Police Act, which redirects all police in the province from using any police resources, including member time, on investigations, searches, seizures, citations, arrests or detentions related solely to simple possession of cannabis.
This section applies to all police in the province, essentially decriminalizing the simple possession of cannabis in BC. It doesn’t impact on any of the laws around trafficking, possession for the purposes of trafficking, or cultivation.
To deal with minors, the Sensible Policing Act also adds cannabis to the section of the BC Liquor Control Act which covers minors in possession of alcohol. This will enable a police officer to confiscate cannabis from a minor, in exactly the same manner and with the same penalties as for alcohol.
PART TWO – Work towards legal regulation
The second part of the Sensible Policing Act formally calls upon the federal government to repeal cannabis prohibition by removing cannabis from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, or to give British Columbia a “Section 56” exemption, so that our province can start legally taxing and regulating cannabis, using lessons learned from alcohol and tobacco.
This section also mandates the provincial government to launch a public commission, which will hold hearings to study and recommend the specific rules needed for the province to implement a legally regulated cannabis system once the federal government allows it.