CANNABIS CULTURE – Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has joined the chorus of former city mayors calling for an end to pot prohibition.
“Good to see 4 Vancouver ex-mayors calling for end of cannabis prohibition. I agree, we need to be smart and tax/regulate” Robertson posted to his Twitter account last night.
Robertson was referring to a recent letter from four former Vancouver mayors, Larry Campbell, Mike Harcourt, Sam Sullivan and Philip Owen, asking “all elected leaders in British Columbia to speak out about the ineffectiveness and harms of cannabis prohibition.”
“Marijuana prohibition is – without question – a failed policy,” the letter states. “It is creating violent, gang-related crime in our communities and fear among our citizens, and adding financial costs for all levels of government at a time when we can least afford them. Politicians cannot ignore the status quo any longer; they must develop and deliver alternative marijuana policies that avoid the social and criminal harms that stem directly from cannabis prohibition.”
The letter also voices support for Stop the Violence BC, a group of professionals and experts calling for cannabis law reform.
This is Robertson’s second statement on the issue of marijuana legalization in recent weeks.
A Vancouver Province “Q&A with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson” on November 15 played host to this interaction:
A recent Angus Reid survey commissioned by Stop the Violence found 69 per cent of respondents in favour of taxing and regulating cannabis. With so many adults in favour of legalization do you see Vancouver leading then way in sensible policy by examining the possibility of setting up a legal framework for adult sales of cannabis from licensed and regulated establishments or at the very least adopting an official policy of lowest police priority similar to what Seattle has had for years?
GR: I do support taxing and regulating as a more effective strategy to take the windfall from cannabis away from gangs and put it to use for public services. This is a federal jurisdiction and the Canadian, U.S. and Mexican governments are all grappling with more effective drug policy than the war on drugs, which clearly is not working. Vancouver has had a fairly tolerant approach to cannabis historically, and that continues.
Watch coverage of the call by four former mayors from CTV: