In spite of trail-blazing by several U.S. states, Solicitor General Mike Farnworth seems intent on turning B.C.’s journey to cannabis legalization — a bright future of jobs, tax windfalls and the end of pernicious prosecutions — from a good trip into a bummer.
The sprawling omnibus legislation the top cop tabled Thursday in the legislature continued the mishandling by both senior levels of government of the transition from nearly a century of enforcing a criminal prohibition to a marijuana-friendly economy.
Washington state pioneered legalized marijuana in Dec. 2012 and opened their first retail store in July 2014. It’s not exactly splitting the atom — how difficult was it for B.C. to call them up and ask how they did it? Why all this apparent head-scratching?
Where is there any grown-up discussion about nurturing this new green industry, promoting pot tourism, stimulating medical research, helping those involved in the black market come out of the shadows — isn’t that why we were doing this?
Instead, as Kyla Lee of Acumen Law, one of the leading lawyers on these issues has pointed out, we’ve got driving laws being proposed when there isn’t even proven technology to enforce them.
At the moment, we have no reliable saliva tests for cannabis consumption that tell us what we need to know — the level of impairment. Unlike alcohol, the science around defining and detecting pot impairment is in its infancy.
“It’s something we believe needs to be communicated with the provinces ASAP,” Farnworth said. “The feds have told us there is technology they are confident in, but we have yet to know what exactly it is.”
His claim that Ottawa knows best is worrying — the Supreme Court of Canada approved the Immediate Roadside Prohibition program for alcohol because properly maintained hand-held devices were deemed reliable after years of use.
Read the full Vancouver Sun article here.
Kyla Lee - Vancouver Criminal Lawyer
Vancouver Criminal Lawyer Kyla Lee is available to give interviews on all variety of criminal law topics, including drunk driving rulings and Immediate Roadside Prohibition legislation. Kyla Lee has appeared on Global BC, CBC, in the Vancouver Sun, and other media throughout BC. She is a leader in developments in drinking and driving law in British Columbia.