The following is a statement from Stop the Violence BC, a coalition of leading British Columbians from law enforcement and public health.
Stop the Violence BC applauds the federal Liberal party for voting in favour of taxing and regulating marijuana. Marijuana prohibition has failed to achieve its intended objectives of reducing marijuana use and has instead contributed to a range of serious unintended consequences in terms of organized crime, gang violence and the widespread availability of marijuana to youth in Canada.
We hope that today’s Liberal vote becomes a key milestone in the process to replace marijuana prohibition with an evidence-based public health framework, and that the policy is included in the party’s platform for the next federal election. The 77 per cent of delegates at the Liberals’ biennial convention who voted in favour of ending marijuana prohibition reflect public opinion on the issue. A recent Angus Reid poll, commissioned by Stop the Violence BC, shows that a mere 12% of British Columbians support keeping the current marijuana laws in place.
Stop the Violence BC’s call to regulate marijuana under a public health framework continues to gain momentum, and has been endorsed by former Vancouver mayors Sam Sullivan, Mike Harcourt, Larry Campbell and Philip Owen and the Health Officers Council of BC. It is time to enact an evidence-based approach to marijuana policy in BC and across Canada, and stop the violence related to marijuana prohibition in our communities.
For more information about Stop the Violence BC, visit our website and our facebook page.
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About Stop the Violence BC
Stop the Violence BC is a coalition of academics, past/present members of law enforcement, and the general public concerned about the links between cannabis prohibition in BC and the growth of organized crime and related violence in the province.
What is Stop the Violence BC’s objective?
Stop the Violence BC has launched an educational campaign seeking to improve community safety by broadening the public’s understanding of the link between cannabis prohibition and gang violence. Guided by the best available scientific evidence, Stop the Violence BC is calling for cannabis to be governed by a strict regulatory framework aimed at limiting use while also starving organized crime of the profits they currently reap as a result of prohibition.
Why are you calling for the regulation of cannabis?
Using regulatory tools proven effective at reducing tobacco use will undercut the huge profits cannabis driving violent organized crime in BC. Not only that, cannabis regulation may also improve community health by making cannabis harder for young people to access, lessening cannabis grow-op associated property damage, and freeing up law enforcement resources to focus on criminal activity where law enforcement can reduce harm.