It’s hard to believe that it was only October of 2011 that Stop the Violence BC launched. 2012 was an exciting year for marijuana regulation and taxation advocates and we want to share with you some of our favourite moments.
1. Cannabis legalized in Washington and Colorado States
A look back at 2012 would be incomplete if we failed to mention the incredible successes in Washington and Colorado States. The work done by New Approach Washington and the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has set the stage for further legalization efforts in the United States and has fundamentally shifted the conversation here in Canada. We offer congratulations to everyone involved and hope 2013 brings similar successes in Canada.
2. Four former attorneys general join the call for a strictly regulated market for adult cannabis use.
Stop the Violence BC’s campaign kicked off 2012 with an exciting endorsement from four former Attorneys General from BC. We were honourd to receive support from former AGs Geoff Plant, Graeme Bowbrick, Colin Gabelmann and Ujjal Dosanjh, who continue to call on the provincial and federal governments to end cannabis prohibition.
Click here to read the full text of their endorsement.
3. Global leaders – including former Latin American presidents and business mogul Richard Branson – help Canadians fight mandatory minimum sentences.
On February 29 while the Canadian Senate was debating Bill C 10, the Safe Streets and Communities Act organizations and leaders from Canada, the US and international communities were calling on the Canadian government to rethink suggested mandatory minimum laws. Part of those calls included an endorsement by the Global Commission on Drug Policy of Stop the Violence BC. You can read the full endorsement from the GCDP, whose members include former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker, Sir Richard Branson, Former Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour, Former President of Switzerland Ruth Dreifuss and many more here.
4. BC municipal leaders signal support for legalization to Feds, loud and clear.
One of the main focuses this year for Stop the Violence BC has been to build support amongst municipalities across BC. This started when we were working with Victoria and mayors and councils in BC’s interior and culminated in an endorsement from the Union of BC Municipalities. Building this network not only has shown us the incredible support that exists for ending marijuana prohibition across BC, but also that politicians are ready for this change! You can read more on UBCM here.
5. First sitting MLA issues endorsement of Stop the Violence BC in compelling video statement.
This fall, Stop the Violence BC was thrilled to announce the support of sitting Member of the Legislative Assembly and former West Vancouver Police Chief Kash Heed.
In his compelling video (available here) Heed shares his experience as a cop on the streets and urges political leaders to take a stand and end cannabis prohibition.
6. Our coalition members put a number on the economic value of BC’s domestic cannabis industry.
A study by Stop the Violence BC coalition members, published November in the International Journal of Drug Policy, estimated retail expenditure on cannabis by British Columbians was approximately $443-million to $564-million annually. This was the first study of its kind to look at the domestic cannabis market in BC and has provided a sense of what tax revenue could be generated in the province. You can read the complete study here, on the International Journal of Drug Policy website.
7. You stuck with us through it all.
This year was a great success for the campaign and none of it would have been possible without the help of our supporters and donors. If you have been following the campaign but haven’t had a chanced to sign up, please click here to receive campaign announcements and information about upcoming events.
From everyone at Stop the Violence BC we thank you for your continued support and look forward to another great year.