B.C. Mayors Want Marijuana Legalized

Eight British Columbia mayors are calling on the provincial Liberal provincial government to legalize cannabis in an effort to reduce crime associated with the marijuana trade.

The mayors, including Vancouver’s Gregor Robertson, sent a letter Thursday to Premier Christy Clark and opposition party leaders urging them to support the regulation and taxation of cannabis.

“As mayors of BC municipalities, we are fully aware of the harms stemming from the province’s large illegal marijuana industry,” the letter stated. “Our communities have been deeply affected by the consequences of marijuana prohibition including large-scale grow-ops, increased organized crime and ongoing gang violence.

“It is time to tax and strictly regulate marijuana under a public health framework; regulating marijuana would allow the government to rationally address the health concerns of marijuana, raise government tax revenue and eliminate the huge profits from the marijuana industry that flow directly to organized crime.”

The mayor’s letter comes after a similar plea from four former B.C. Attorneys General. Colin Gabelmann, Ujjal Dosanjh, Graeme Bowbrick and Geoff Plant also signed a letter to Clark and provincial NDP Leader Adrian Dix, calling on the politicians to endorse legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana.

The mayors’ letter was sent following several recent motions passed by municipal councils supporting a regulatory approach to cannabis policy. Most recently, Robertson announced Thursday a motion for Vancouver City Council to endorse the Stop the Violence BC campaign would be on the council agenda next week.

“Widespread access to marijuana for our youth, grow-ops that provide funds for organized crime, and significant costs to taxpayers for enforcement are all compelling reasons to re-examine our failed approach to prohibition,” Robertson stated in a news release.

In their letter, the mayors say their residents are ready for a new approach to marijuana policy. They noted that according to Angus Reid, 12 per cent of British Columbians support the current approach to controlling marijuana compared to 66 per cent who support taxation and regulation, the position championed by the Stop the Violence B.C. Coalition.

Stop the Violence B.C. is a coalition of law enforcement officials, legal experts, public health officials and academic experts from the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria and the University of Northern British Columbia.

“We stand together as B.C. mayors because we think our communities will be safer and our children better protected from criminal elements if we overturn marijuana prohibition and implement policies that strictly regulate the adult use of cannabis,” said City of North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto, whose council passed a motion supporting the regulation of cannabis on April 23.

Robert Sawatzky, Mayor of Vernon, urged all B.C. mayors to consider the escalating costs of prohibition, and “join our efforts to implement evidence-based cannabis policies that reflect our commitment as municipal leaders to community health and safety.”

- Article from Toronto Star.


More B.C. mayors join campaign to regulate and tax marijuana

by The Vancouver Sun

A coalition fighting for the legalization of marijuana has added the voices of eight B.C. mayors to their campaign to regulate and tax pot.

The Stop the Violence coalition released a letter Thursday from Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan and six others from the interior and Vancouver Island to Premier Christy Clark, NDP leader Adrian Dix and Conservative leader John Cummins.

"Given the ongoing gang activity, widespread availability of marijuana and high costs associated with enforcement, leaders at all levels of government must take responsibility for marijuana policy," the letter said. "We are asking you as provincial leaders to take a new approach to marijuana regulation."

Several municipal councils in B.C. have passed motions supporting the decriminalization of marijuana.

Robertson said Thursday that a motion to endorse the Stop the Violence BC campaign will be on the agenda of Vancouver City Council next week.

"This is not a partisan issue," Robertson said in a news release. "Widespread access to marijuana for our youth, grow-ops that provide funds for organized crime, and significant costs to taxpayers for enforcement are all compelling reasons to re-examine our failed approach to prohibition."

Corrigan, the long-time Burnaby mayor said the detrimental effects of marijuana prohibition are visible across the Lower Mainland on a daily basis.

"Huge profits for organized crime and widespread gang violence in our cities are the result of this failed policy. We put our citizens and communities at risk by not taking action now," he said.

North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto also signed the letter, saying: "We stand together as B.C. mayors because we think our communities will be safer and our children better protected from criminal elements if we overturn marijuana prohibition and implement policies that strictly regulate the adult use of cannabis."

The others who signed the letter are Vernon Mayor Robert Sawatzky, Armstrong Mayor Chris Pieper, Metchosin Mayor John Ranns, Enderby Mayor Howie Cyr and Lake Country Mayor James Baker.

The coalition has released polls in recent months showing a majority of B.C. residents support regulation and taxation over the current marijuana laws.

And the group has garnered the public endorsement of four former Vancouver mayors and four former B.C. attorneys general for its position.

Coalition founder, Dr. Evan Wood, said there is growing support among municipal politicians to overturn pot prohibition.

"We are seeing community leaders around the province take charge and decisively call for action from senior levels of government to change the status quo regarding marijuana policy," Wood said. "It is time for our provincial and federal leaders to listen to what the public is saying, engage in discussion, and come to a resolution that better reflects the wishes of their constituents."

- Article from The Vancouver Sun.


Mayors ask B.C. leaders to join call to end pot ban

by Canadian Press

A coalition of British Columbia mayors wants the province's political leaders to join forces to end marijuana prohibition and tax the drug so their communities are safer from gang violence linked to illegal grow-ops.

Mayors from Vancouver, Burnaby, North Vancouver City, Vernon, Armstrong, Enderby, Lake Country and Metchosin make the call in a joint letter to B.C.'s premier, Opposition NDP leader and BC Conservative party leader.

The mayors said strict regulation and taxation are key to a new marijuana policy.

"Given the ongoing gang activity, widespread availability of marijuana and high costs associated with enforcement, leaders at all levels of government must take responsibility for marijuana policy," they said in the letter.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said the joint letter to Christy Clark, Adrian Dix and John Cummins reflects the need to remove partisan politics from marijuana regulation.

Several of the mayors lead communities that have already adopted motions supporting Stop the Violence BC, a coalition of academic, legal, law enforcement and health experts seeking changes to cannabis laws.

"We see the detrimental effects of marijuana prohibition in our communities on a daily basis," said Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan.

"Huge profits for organized crime and widespread gang violence in our cities are the result of this failed policy. We put our citizens and communities at risk by not taking action now."

A Stop the Violence spokesman said provincial and federal leaders must develop laws that address the health concerns of marijuana while raising tax revenues and wiping out the huge profits pocketed by gangs involved in the marijuana trade.

Last year, four former Vancouver mayors also endorsed the Stop the Violence BC coalition with an open letter to B.C. politicians.

Larry Campbell, Mike Harcourt, Sam Sullivan and Philip Owen said a change in Canada's laws to end pot prohibition will reduce gang violence.

- Article from CTV News.


B.C. mayors want marijuana legalized

Eight British Columbia mayors are calling on the provincial Liberal provincial government to legalize cannabis in an effort to reduce crime associated with the marijuana trade.

The mayors, including Vancouver’s Gregor Robertson, sent a letter Thursday to Premier Christy Clark and opposition party leaders urging them to support the regulation and taxation of cannabis.

“As mayors of BC municipalities, we are fully aware of the harms stemming from the province’s large illegal marijuana industry,” the letter stated. “Our communities have been deeply affected by the consequences of marijuana prohibition including large-scale grow-ops, increased organized crime and ongoing gang violence.

“It is time to tax and strictly regulate marijuana under a public health framework; regulating marijuana would allow the government to rationally address the health concerns of marijuana, raise government tax revenue and eliminate the huge profits from the marijuana industry that flow directly to organized crime.”

The mayor’s letter comes after a similar plea from four former B.C. Attorneys General. Colin Gabelmann, Ujjal Dosanjh, Graeme Bowbrick and Geoff Plant also signed a letter to Clark and provincial NDP Leader Adrian Dix, calling on the politicians to endorse legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana.

The mayors’ letter was sent following several recent motions passed by municipal councils supporting a regulatory approach to cannabis policy. Most recently, Robertson announced Thursday a motion for Vancouver City Council to endorse the Stop the Violence BC campaign would be on the council agenda next week.

“Widespread access to marijuana for our youth, grow-ops that provide funds for organized crime, and significant costs to taxpayers for enforcement are all compelling reasons to re-examine our failed approach to prohibition,” Robertson stated in a news release.

In their letter, the mayors say their residents are ready for a new approach to marijuana policy. They noted that according to Angus Reid, 12 per cent of British Columbians support the current approach to controlling marijuana compared to 66 per cent who support taxation and regulation, the position championed by the Stop the Violence B.C. Coalition.

Stop the Violence B.C. is a coalition of law enforcement officials, legal experts, public health officials and academic experts from the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria and the University of Northern British Columbia.

“We stand together as B.C. mayors because we think our communities will be safer and our children better protected from criminal elements if we overturn marijuana prohibition and implement policies that strictly regulate the adult use of cannabis,” said City of North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto, whose council passed a motion supporting the regulation of cannabis on April 23.

Robert Sawatzky, Mayor of Vernon, urged all B.C. mayors to consider the escalating costs of prohibition, and “join our efforts to implement evidence-based cannabis policies that reflect our commitment as municipal leaders to community health and safety.”

- Article from Metro.

Comments

No tax on pot

I would never pay tax on my weed. People who want legalization for that reason are dumb.

So happy for Canadian residents!

Its great to see a country stand up and do what is right for the people!
I am proud that these mayors have stood up to protect their citizen's rights and while still in office too. Too many times police, judges, prosecutors, and politicians say this with a passion but only after retiring from their post.

You should be proud of these people and your country for doing the right thing and standing up against international crime. Don't let the USA or anyone else tell you what to do either with treaties and other nonsense. You can not be told what you can do with your country and what is right for your people.

If Canada makes it legal for its citizens then it must spread to all of North America and then and only then will we be rid of the violence and corruption that comes with it.

As for tax, I would hope that with legalization comes the option to grow it in your yard and that tax would be the alternative to making your own just as alcohol is. If your lazy, pay the tax.

they already do tax you for

they already do tax you for pot

It would just be more tax.

Personally I don't see a lot of people distilling beer to save a few dollars in taxes.

Adding the cost of inflated prices you probably could pay taxes and get a 40% discount.
Unless of course your sick and need it. (only legal form)

I dont know if 8 mayors of

I dont know if 8 mayors of BC are blind,deaf and dumb but they certainly dont seem to have received the message of the prime minister of Canada Stephen Harper who said in plain English and French that marijuana legalization is not going to happen under his term. Can people once and for all understand that it is NO and turn the page to something else rather than constantly create false hopes in the population.And if there is one person who want marijuana to be legalized it is me but when you are told no,no and no and this has been going on for more than 50 years of my life at some point you just throw the towel and say to hell with all of you.F.....society

well if you dont harper in

well if you dont harper in power then dont vote for him. harper is practically the only person in canada who is against it. if the people want marijuana legalized band togethor and vote harper out.

You make a great point: Not

You make a great point: Not while he's in power. Don't worry: next election, that crazy bugger will not be voted in again. :)

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