Liberal Leadership Candidate Calls for Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana

George Takach joins Stop the Violence BC

Vancouver, BC [January 14, 2013] — Liberal Party leadership candidate George Takach today called for the regulation and taxation of cannabis for adults to reduce related organized crime activity and make our communities safer.

“I commend Mr. Takach for urging change to a policy that has failed to protect the health and safety of our communities,” said Dr. Evan Wood, founder of Stop the Violence BC and Canada Research Chair in Inner City Medicine at UBC. “It is time for all politicians, regardless of party, or level of government to recognize that marijuana prohibition has been a failure.”

Recently, Washington and Colorado approved the legalization of cannabis for adult use under a strictly regulated system. In November, Stop the Violence BC (STVBC) released an Angus Reid poll showing 75% support taxation and regulation of cannabis.

“It is clear the public supports ending cannabis prohibition,” said Neil Boyd, Professor, School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University. “Canada’s marijuana laws fuel gang violence, organized crime and easy access to cannabis for youth.”

At a news conference today, Takach announced he is joining Stop the Violence BC (STVBC), a coalition of academic, legal, law enforcement and health experts, and its campaign to reform cannabis laws to reduce the harms associated with the illegal cannabis trade, including gang violence. He joins a growing list of endorsements that includes a coalition of B.C. mayors, the Health Officers Council of B.C., four former mayors of Vancouver and former B.C. attorneys general.

- 30 -

About Stop the Violence BC

Stop the Violence BC 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 BC. Coalition members have come together to engage all British Columbians in a discussion aimed at developing and implementing marijuana-related policies that improve public health while reducing social harms, including violent crime.

For a full listing of coalition members and to learn more about the coalition, please click here.

For more information about Stop the Violence BC or to interview a coalition member, please contact:

Kevin Hollett

604 682 2344 ext 66536
khollett@cfenet.ubc.ca