Britsh Columbia Municipalities Show Support for Cannabis Regulation and Taxation

Over the last couple of months, Stop the Violence BC has been working closely with municipalities around BC to discuss and pass motions calling for the regulation and taxation of cannabis.

To date, four city councils, Enderby, North Vancouver, Vernon and Victoria have joined the call for a public health approach to cannabis regulation and taxation in British Columbia.

Please see below for full text of the suggested motion.

Enderby’s motion will be made available online here.

North Vancouver’s motion will be available shortly.

Vancouver’s motion can be downloaded here.

Vernon’s motion can be viewed here, on page 4 of the PDF.

Victoria’s motion can be viewed here.

 

Motion Supporting a Regulatory Approach to Cannabis Control:

WHEREAS cannabis prohibition efforts have failed to effectively limit the availability of cannabis, especially to our youth;

WHEREAS cannabis prohibition has created a large financial opportunity that has fueled an increasingly violent illegal market with expanding organized crime involvement;

WHEREAS academic, law enforcement and health experts, including the Health Officers Council of BC, believe that a strictly controlled public health oriented regulatory framework for cannabis control has the potential to reduce rates of cannabis use, raise substantial tax revenue, undermine organized crime and save law enforcement time and expenditures;

WHEREAS many BC municipalities are increasingly affected by the harms of cannabis prohibition (e.g. grow-ops, etc), which negatively impacts community health and safety;

WHEREAS BC municipalities are increasingly bearing the financial burden of failed policy approaches that emphasize enforcement of marijuana prohibition over evidence-based policies, consuming significant portions of municipal budgets and diverting law enforcement attention away from criminal activities where police involvement can better improve community safety;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Council XXX supports the taxation and regulation of cannabis to address the ineffectiveness and harms of cannabis prohibition, and write to the Southern Interior Local Government Association, Union of BC Municipalities, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and Provincial and Federal Ministers in the Justice and Health departments to inform them of our support.

Media Coverage: Stop the Violence BC Presents John McKay

April 18, 2012 Stop the Violence BC presented former US Attorney John McKay, former BC Attorney General Geoff Plant, coalition member Dr Evan Wood and Jodie Emery for a press conference on the failures of cannabis prohibition and the future of cannabis policy in the Pacific Northwest.

Please see below for listing of media coverage from the event:

Print and Online 

Mulgrew, I. (12/04/20). On marijuana day 4/20, man who jailed Prince of Pot calls for legalization, Calgary Herald.
(Editorial) Reefer madness. (12/04/20). Vancouver Courier.
(Editorial) Reefer madness. (12/04/20). North Shore News.
Vandermeer, J. (12/04/19). Prince of Pot prosecutor John McKay meets with Jodie Emery, calls for marijuana legalization, Cannabis Culture Magazine.
Stueck, W. (12/04/19). Prince of Pot foe favours legalization, Globe and Mail.
Mulgrew, I. (12/04/19). Emery’s prosecutor wants pot legalized, Vancouver Sun.
Mui, M. (12/04/19). Ex Prince of Pot prosecutor now wants to legalize it, Kingston Whig Standard.
Mui, M. (12/04/19). Prince of Pot prosecutor now pro pot, 24 Hours Vancouver.
McKay, J. (12/04/19). (Column) Pot ban fuels cross-border violence, Vancouver Sun.
McKay, J. (12/04/19). (Column) Pot ban fuels cross-border violence, Vancouver Sun.
Gurney, M. (12/04/19). (Column) If you break the law, you go to jail. This isn’t hard, National Post.
Emery, J. (12/04/19). (Column) Victims of the drug war, National Post.
Austin, I. (12/04/19). Prince of Pot Marc Emery’s prosecutor pushes to legalize marijuana, Victoria Times-Colonist.
(Editorial) Reefer madness. (12/04/19). North Shore News.
(12/04/19). Toronto Star.
Change of heart on pot laws. (12/04/19). Castanet.net.
US attorney who jailed Canada’s Prince of Pot calls for legalization. (12/04/19). Prince George Citizen.
Pot Prince prosecutor wants weed legalization. (12/04/19). The Daily Bulletin (Kimberly).
10 provocative quotes about legalization for global pot day. (12/04/19). CBC.
US attorney who jailed Canada’s Prince of Pot calls for legalization. (12/04/19). Toronto Star.
Webb, K. (12/04/18). Marc Emery’s US prosecutor for marijuana regulation and taxation, Metro News Vancouver.
Thomson, S. (12/04/18). Former US prosecutor of Marc Emery condemns pot prohibition in BC, Straight.
Stueck, W. (12/04/18). US prosecutor of Prince of Pot joins campaign to legalize marijuana, Globe and Mail.
Steigerwald, L. (12/04/18). Former US prosecutor who took down Marc Emery calls for legalization, but doesn’t regret prosecution of ‘Prince of Pot’, Reason Magazine.
Mulgrew, I. (12/04/18). Emery’s prosecutor wants pot legalized, Vancouver Sun.
Mui, M. (12/04/18). US attorney who prosecuted pot activist Marc Emery calls for legalization, 24 Hours Vancouver.
US attorney who jailed Canada’s Prince of Pot calls for legalization. (12/04/18). Metro.

US attorney who jailed Canada’s Prince of Pot calls for legalization. (12/04/18). News1130.
US attorney who jailed Canada’s Prince of Pot calls for legalization. (12/04/18). Brandon Sun.
US attorney who jailed Canada’s Prince of Pot calls for legalization. (12/04/18). Winnipeg Free Press.
Prince of Pot prosecutor John McKay calls for marijuana legalization. (12/04/18). Huffington Post.
Bigham, S. (12/04/18). Man who put BC pot activist in jail pushes to legalize it, News1130.
Baziuk, L. (12/04/18). US attorney changes tune on marijuana, CKNW.
Austin, I. (12/04/18). Prince of Pot’s nemesis takes new stand, The Province.
Austin, I. (12/04/18). Prince of Pot Marc Emery’s prosecutor pushes to legalize marijuana, Canada.com.
Marc Emery’s US prosecutor joins Jodie Emery to call for marijuana legalization. (12/04/18). Cannabis Culture Magazine.
Marc Emery’s US prosecutor urges pot legalization. (12/04/18). CBC.

Radio
The Bro Jake Show. (12/04/20). Rock 101.
The Bill Kelly Show. (12/04/20). CHML Hamilton.
Rob Breakenridge Show. (12/04/20). QR77.
(12/04/19). CBC Charlotttown.
(12/04/19). CBC Thunder Bay.
(12/04/19). CBC Calgary.
(12/04/19). CBC Kelowna.
(12/04/19). CBC White Horse.
(12/04/19). News 95.7 (Halifax).
(12/04/19). Rock107 (Belleville).
(12/04/19). 620 CKRM (Regina).
(12/04/19). Q104 (Sault Ste. Marie).
(12/04/19). EZ Rock 100.5 (Sault Ste. Marie).
(12/04/19). CFRA (Ottawa).
(12/04/19). Country 103.9 (Sarnia).
(12/04/19). AM980 (London).
(12/04/19). CIFM (Kamloops).
(12/04/19). Newstalk 610 (St. Catherines).
(12/04/19). CFTK (Terrace).
(12/04/19). Radio NL (Kamloops).
(12/04/19). CJBQ (Belleville).
(12/04/19). CBC Prince George.
(12/04/19). AM1150 (Kelowna).
(12/04/19). CBC Vancouver.
(12/04/19). CKNW.
(12/04/19). CFAX Victoria.
(12/04/18). Fairchild.
(12/04/18). Fairchild.
(12/04/18). CBC Victoria.
(12/04/18). CBC Kelowna.
(12/04/18). CBC Prince George.
(12/04/18). CBC Vancouver.
(12/04/18). Radio NL.
(12/04/18). CFAX Victoria.
(12/04/18). CHML Hamilton.
(12/04/18). CKNW.
(12/04/18). CKNW.
(12/04/18). News1130.
Forsythe, M. (12/04/18). B.C. Almanac, CBC.
Pot Prince prosecutor wants weed legalization. (12/04/18). NewsTalk 980 Regina.
Hopkins, A. (12/04/18). Change of views on legalized pot doesn’t mean change in law, News1130.
McComb, J. (12/04/18). World Today, CKNW.
Quinn, S. (12/04/18). On the Coast, CBC.

Television
(12/04/20). CTV News Channel.
News Hour Final. (12/04/19). Global BC.
(12/04/19). Global Okanagan.
(12/04/19). iNews 880 (Edmonton).
(12/04/19). CTV Two Victoria.
Morning Live. (12/04/19). CTV Vancouver.
Breakfast Television. (12/04/19). CityTV (Vancouver).
(12/04/18). Global Okanagan.
(12/04/18). Global BC.
(12/04/18). CTV Vancouver.
OMNI News. (12/04/18). OMNI BC.
(12/04/18). Global BC.
CBC News. (12/04/18). CBC Vancouver.
National News. (12/04/18). CTV.
Meiszner, P. (12/04/18). US attorney who jailed Canada’s Prince of Pot calls for legalization, Global.
Meiszner, P. (12/04/18). US Attorney who jailed Marc Emery calls for legalization of marijuana, Global BC.
Lindsay, B. (12/04/18). US prosecutor who jailed Emery calls for lega pot, CTV.

BC Mayors Call for Taxation and Regulation of Marijuana

April 26, 2012

To: Premier Christy Clark, Mr. Adrian Dix and Mr. John Cummins
From: James Baker, Chris Pieper, Derek Corrigan, John Ranns, Howie Cyr, Gregor Robertson, Darrell Mussatto and Robert Sawatzky

Re: Discussion required on marijuana policy

Dear Premier Clark, Mr. Dix and Mr. Cummins:

As mayors of BC municipalities, we are fully aware of the harms stemming from the province’s large illegal marijuana industry. Our communities have been deeply affected by the consequences of marijuana prohibition including large-scale grow-ops, increased organized crime and ongoing gang violence.  Increasing law enforcement costs also significantly impact municipal budgets.

We see a seemingly endless stream of anti-marijuana law enforcement initiatives in our communities, yet marijuana remains widely and easily available to our youth. Based on the evidence before us, we know that laws that aim to control the marijuana industry are ineffective and, like alcohol prohibition in the US in the 1920s, have led to violent unintended consequences.

The case against current marijuana laws is compelling. Despite major taxpayer investments in law enforcement activities, the marijuana market has not been suppressed. Furthermore, the province’s massive illegal marijuana trade drives organized crime in BC and throughout the Pacific Northwest. The Organized Crime Agency of BC estimates that organized crime groups control 85% of BC’s marijuana trade, which the Fraser Institute estimates is worth up to $7 billion annually. U.S. federal prosecutors have identified BC-based drug gangs that control the marijuana trade as “the dominant organized crime threat in the Northwest.”

Even though anti-marijuana law enforcement is active and growing, marijuana potency is increasing while price is decreasing. Rates of use remain high. Youth report easier access to marijuana than to tobacco while organized crime reaps massive marijuana-related profits. Given these facts, we conclude that a more effective, evidence-based approach to controlling marijuana is urgently needed.

As BC mayors, we support the Stop the Violence BC campaign. 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. According to public health experts, strict regulation of the marijuana market may also reduce marijuana use. In fact, the success in reducing rates of tobacco use has been achieved through public health regulation, not prohibition.

We are also concerned about the policing and related law enforcement costs that will be placed upon municipalities due to proposed federal mandatory minimum sentencing legislation related to marijuana. Such prescribed and inflexible policies have proven costly and ineffective in the US. We ask you to instead consider how a public health framework that calls for strict marijuana regulation and taxation can help address the intractable problems of gangs and gang violence in BC.

Stop the Violence BC is not alone in its call for a regulated, public health approach to adult marijuana use. The Fraser Institute and the Health Officers Council of BC, among others, have made similar recommendations and your BC public is onside. According to a recent Angus Reid poll, only 12% of British Columbians support the current approach of marijuana prohibition, with the vast majority supporting taxation and regulation.

We recognize and fully understand public dissatisfaction with today’s marijuana laws. Therefore, we will be recommending that the Union of BC Municipalities support a motion in favour of taxation and regulation of marijuana.  We also encourage politicians to speak their conscience, even if their views go beyond the silence coming from the political parties themselves.

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. We are asking you as provincial leaders to take a new approach to marijuana regulation. Our communities, our youth and our public finances will benefit from an evidence-based, public health approach to marijuana.

 

Signed,

 

James Baker, Mayor Lake Country
Chris Pieper, Mayor of Armstrong
Robert Sawatzky, Mayor of Vernon
Howie Cyr, Mayor of Enderby
John Ranns, Mayor of Metchosin
Darrell Mussatto, Mayor City of North Vancouver
Derek Corrigan, Mayor of Burnaby
Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver

[button link=”http://stoptheviolencebc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/2012Apr26-STVBC-Mayors-Endorsement-Letter.pdf” color=”orange”]Download the Letter Here[/button]

CC:Mr. Heath Slee, Director
Union of BC Municipalities
60-10551 Shellbridge Way
Richmond, BC V6X 2W9

B.C. mayors cite gang violence, crime, costs and community health and safety in drive to overturn marijuana prohibition

Municipal leaders call for Clark, Dix and Cummins to support regulating and taxing cannabis

April 26, 2012 [Vancouver, BC]—A coalition of B.C. mayors is urging provincial political leaders to support the regulation and taxation of cannabis to better protect communities, reduce crime and undercut gang activity resulting from the illegal marijuana trade.

In a letter addressed to Premier Christy Clark, Opposition leader Adrian Dix and BC Conservative Party leader John Cummins, mayors representing municipalities from the Interior, Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland asked provincial leaders to embrace a public health framework that calls for strict marijuana regulation and taxation.

“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 mayors write in their letter to B.C.’s three major political party leaders. “We are asking you as provincial leaders to take a new approach to marijuana regulation.”

The letter was sent following several recent motions passed by municipal councils across the province supporting a regulatory approach to cannabis policy. Most recently, City of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson announced today that a motion for Vancouver City Council to endorse the Stop the Violence BC campaign will be on the council agenda next week.

“This is not a partisan issue,” says Robertson. “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.”

“We see the detrimental effects of marijuana prohibition in our communities on a daily basis,” says 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.”

In their letter, the mayors cited say their constituents are ready for a new approach to marijuana policy. They point to an Angus Reid poll showing that a mere 12% of British Columbians support the current approach to controlling marijuana while the vast majority (66%) support taxation and regulation – the position championed by the Stop the Violence BC Coalition – rather than prohibition.

“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,” says City of North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto, whose council passed a motion supporting the regulation of cannabis on April 23, 2012.

The mayors have stepped forward in an effort to draw attention to the issues of crime and violence directly related to marijuana prohibition, asking their counterparts across the province to join them.

“We are all well aware of the human, social and financial costs of marijuana prohibition, and it does not make sense to bear them any longer,” says Robert Sawatzky, Mayor of Vernon. “We invite mayors from across B.C. 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.”

In their letter, the mayors’ endorsed Stop the Violence BC (STVBC), a coalition of academic, legal, law enforcement and health experts campaigning to reform cannabis laws to reduce the harms associated with the illegal cannabis trade, including gang violence. The mayors join a growing list of recent high-profile endorsements, including four former mayors of Vancouver, the Health Officers Council of BC and four former B.C. attorneys general.

“As B.C. mayors, we support the Stop the Violence BC campaign,” the letter states. “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.”

Dr. Evan Wood, founder of STVBC, welcomed the mayors’ support and noted the growing movement among municipal politicians to overturn cannabis prohibition. He noted that 75% of the 240 delegates at the annual conference for the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities recently supported a resolution that calls on Ottawa to change its marijuana laws.

“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,” says Wood. “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.”

  • For a copy of the letter please click here.
  • To join the STVBC conversation, please visit the STVBC Facebook page
  • Updates on the campaign are publicly available on Twitter
  • To read the coalition’s first two reports, discover more about the coalition and upcoming events, and learn how to support the effort, please visit www.stoptheviolencebc.org

Additional Mayors’ comments:

Armstrong
“The efforts of the Stop the Violence campaign seeks the support of all people to allow for the legal and regulated growth and regulated sale of Marijuana, and support the health agencies in the education and ultimate non-use of this drug.  The education and advertising relating to health concerns of smoking has driven down the use of cigarettes immensely in the past 20 years.” –Chris Pieper, Mayor of Armstrong

Lake Country
“Drug prohibition is a failed policy by any measures used with regard to public health and safety outcomes.  The cost of prohibition continues to rise in terms of criminal activity and associated social costs of enforcement. It is time for senior governments to implement controls, regulation and taxation of all drugs to do away with the violence of the illegal trade.” – James Baker, Mayor of Lake Country

Metchosin
“My council whole heartily agrees that we need to consider alternatives approaches to the current, failed system of cannabis prohibition.” – John Ranns, Mayor of the District of Metchosin

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Media: to interview the mayors, please contact:

James Baker, Mayor of Lake Country
250.766.6670
baker@lakecountry.bc.ca
Chris Pieper, Mayor of Armstrong
250.550.7239
cpieper@telus.net
Derek Corrigan, Mayor of Burnaby
Contact: Maryann Manuel
604-294-7342
maryann.manuel@burnaby.ca
John Ranns, Mayor of District of Metchosin
Contact: Tammie Van Swieten
250.474.3167
tvanswieten@metchosin.ca
Howie Cyr, Mayor of Enderby
250.517.0244
enderbymayor@shaw.ca
Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver
Contact: Braeden Caley
604.873.7490
braeden.caley@vancouver.ca
Darrell Mussatto, Mayor of City of North Vancouver
Contact: Alison Brookfield
604-998-3280
abrookfield@cnv.org
Robert Sawatsky, Mayor of Vernon
250.550.3508
mayor@vernon.ca

The city councils of four B.C. municipalities have already passed motions in support of STVBC, click here for more information.

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 visit www.stoptheviolencebc.org

For quotes from coalition members, photos and links to downloadable videos of coalition members speaking about the report, please visit www.stoptheviolencebc.org/coalition-members/

To interview Dr. Evan Wood, founder, Stop the Violence BC coalition, or another member of STVBC please contact:

Crystal Reinitz
Edelman
604 623 3007 ext. 301
crystal.reinitz@edelman.com

[button link=”http://stoptheviolencebc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/2012Apr26-STVBC-Mayors-Endorsement-Letter.pdff” color=”orange”]Download the Letter Here[/button]

Former United States Attorney calls on Canada to regulate and tax marijuana

John McKay, who prosecuted Vancouver’s Marc Emery, says cannabis prohibition is a threat to public safety on both sides of the border

[April 18, 2012, Vancouver, BC]¬¬—A high-profile former United States Attorney with a history of fighting the cross-border marijuana trade is urging Washington State lawmakers and Canadians to regulate and tax marijuana as a strategy to combat organized crime and improve public health and safety.

John McKay, who was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington State by President George W. Bush in 2001, says Canada and the U.S. should reject today’s ineffective and harmful anti-marijuana law enforcement strategies in favour of a regulated public health approach to marijuana control.

McKay, who served as U.S. Attorney until 2007, was the federal prosecutor who obtained indictments of Marc Emery, a B.C.-based marijuana activist who was sentenced to five years in U.S. prison for selling marijuana seeds to U.S. customers in 2010.

“The belief that we support public health and community safety through the enforcement of marijuana laws is misguided and destructive,” says McKay, who spoke at a Stop the Violence BC lecture in Vancouver, Canada today. “Marijuana prohibition in British Columbia and Washington State has fuelled a massive illegal industry that is profitable, exceptionally violent, and a proven threat to public safety and security on both sides of the border.”

McKay’s experience combating cross-border gangs and the drug trade – which sees B.C. marijuana head south in exchange for fire-arms and cocaine that head north – has convinced him to support Washington Initiative 502, which will be on the 2012 statewide ballot. If passed, the initiative will allow for the taxation and regulation of marijuana in Washington State, with revenues earmarked for substance-abuse prevention and education, and healthcare.

McKay joins a growing chorus of law enforcement and health officials – including the Health Officers Council of B.C. – who publicly support the regulation and taxation of marijuana. Recently, a total of eight former Vancouver mayors and provincial attorneys general have spoken in favour of taxation and regulation of marijuana to improve public safety.

“Cannabis prohibition is ineffective, expensive and, without question, contributes to the growth of organized crime,” says Geoff Plant, who served as B.C. attorney general from 2001 to 2005. “Widespread gang violence, easy access to illegal cannabis, significant costs to taxpayers and cross-border organized crime concerns all result from our failed approach to drug policy.”

McKay is adamant that a regulated cannabis market in Canada and/or the U.S. will not affect cross-border commerce and traffic, and calls politically motivated assertions to the contrary misleading.

“Rest assured, the U.S. would not take punitive action against Canada that would hinder billions in cross-border trade if Canadian marijuana laws were reformed,” he said. “Canada and the United States should reform and align marijuana laws. Both federal governments have fallen well behind many U.S. states in terms of enacting progressive marijuana policy reforms.”

Sixteen U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia, have passed laws allowing some degree of medical use of marijuana. Fourteen U.S. states have taken steps to decriminalize marijuana possession and 2012 will see ballot initiatives to overturn marijuana prohibition in Washington State and Colorado.

Despite McKay’s connection with prosecuting high-profile cannabis cases, his request to regulate and tax marijuana is welcomed by others making similar calls for changes to Canada’s legislation.

“It’s heartening to see such a diverse cross-section of law enforcement and public health experts come together and agree that an evidence-based approach to marijuana taxation and regulation makes sense at so many levels,” says Jodie Emery, wife of Marc Emery.

“Current policies towards marijuana are unnecessarily punitive, and serve to persecute ordinary citizens and ruin lives by hindering their ability to work and fully contribute to society.”

McKay, Jodie Emery and Geoff Plant have endorsed Stop the Violence BC (STVBC), a coalition of academic, legal, law enforcement and health experts, and its campaign to overturn marijuana prohibition and reduce the harms associated with the illegal marijuana trade, including gang violence. They appeared together on a panel hosted by STVBC on April 18 in Vancouver.

For a full replay of McKay’s lecture and the following media conference with Jodie Emery, please see http://stoptheviolencebc.org/2012/04/16/former-us-attorney-john-mckay-video/. The link will go live at 5 p.m., PDT, on April 18.

  • To join the STVBC conversation, please visit the STVBC Facebook page (www.facebook.com/StoptheViolenceBC).
  • Updates on the campaign are publicly available on Twitter (www.twitter.com/stvbc).
  • To read the coalition’s first two reports, discover more about the coalition and upcoming events, and learn how to support the effort, please visit www.stoptheviolencebc.org.

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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 visit www.stoptheviolencebc.org.

For quotes from coalition members, photos and links to downloadable videos of coalition members speaking about the report, please visit www.stoptheviolencebc.org/coalition-members/.

Media: To interview Dr. Evan Wood, founder, Stop the Violence BC coalition, please contact:

Mahafrine Petigara
Edelman
604 623 3007 ext. 297
mahafrine.petigara@edelman.com

Media Coverage: Health Officers Open Medicine Paper, “Improving community health and safety in Canada through evidence-based policies on illegal drugs “

On March 28, 2012 provincial health officers from British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, along with Stop the Violence BC coalition member Dr. Evan Wood released a paper in Open Medicine calling for the reevaluation of current drug law enforcement practices.

For complete media coverage listing, please see the links below.

Print and Online

Steigerwald, L. (12/03/29). Some Canadian health experts have noticed the drug war and tough on crime things are not working so well Reason Magazine.
Staff. (12/03/29). Decriminalize pot movement gathers steam 24 Hours. Vancouver.
Staff. (12/03/29). D’abord une question de sante Metro (Montreal). Montreal.
Staff. (12/03/29). Ottawa’s ideology based drug policies under fire CTV.ca.
Quan, D. (12/03/29). Provincial health officers call on feds to pull back from ‘War on Drugs’ Canada.com. National.

Pemberton, K. (12/03/29). B.C.’s chief medical officer latest to support legalizing pot Vancouver Sun. Vancouver.
Myles, B. (12/03/29). Des medecins s’en prennent a C 10 Le Devoir. Montreal.
McCulloch, S. (12/03/29). Government should rethink marijuana laws, health officer says Victoria Times Colonist. Victoria.
Dreisinger, A. (12/03/28). Vancouverites on pot CBC. Vancouver.

Dakin, S. P. (12/03/28). Tough drug laws harm health and safety, doctors say CBC.ca.
Connelly, J. (12/03/28). Top B.C. doc: Regulate pot like booze, tobacco Seattle Post Intelligencer. Seattle.
Branswell, H. (12/03/28). Public health leaders criticize Ottawa’s ideology based drug policies Truro News. Truro.
Branswell, H. (12/03/28). Public health leaders criticize Ottawa’s ideology based drug policies Cape Breton Post. Cape Breton.
Branswell, H. (12/03/28). Public health leaders criticize Ottawa’s ideology based drug policies Kelowna Daily News. Kelowna.
Branswell, H. (12/03/28). Public health leaders criticize Ottawa’s ideology based drug policies Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg
Branswell, H. (12/03/28). Public health leaders criticize Ottawa’s ideology based drug policies Huffington Post. National.
Branswell, H. (12/03/28). Public health leaders criticize Ottawa’s ideology based drug policies The Canadian Press.
Boivin, M. (12/03/28). Drogues: le Canada fait fausseroute, selon une etude Le Soleil. Montreal.
(12/03/28) 24 Heures. Montreal.
Experts slam Ottawa’s drug policy; Sentencing for minor offences ‘ineffective’. (12/03/28) Chronicle Herald. Halifax.
Drogues: les politiques d’Ottawa sont critiquees. (12/03/28) Metro (Montreal). Montreal.
Branswell, H. (12/03/28). Public health leaders criticize Ottawa’s ideology based drug policies Olds Albertan.
Strang critical of Ottawa’s war on drugs approach. (12/03/28) Chronicle Herald. Halifax.
McCulloch, S. (12/03/28). Government should rethink marijuana laws, health officer says Times Colonist

Pemberton, K. (12/03/28). B.C’s chief medical officer latest to support legalizing pot The Vancouver Sun.
Tough drug laws harm health and safety, doctors say. (12/03/28) CBC News.
Quan, D. (12/03/28). ‘War on drugs’ isn’t working, doctors say Edmonton Journal.
Quan, D. (12/03/28). Provincial health officers call on feds to pull back from ‘war on drugs’ Canada.com.
Branswell, H. (12/03/28). Public health leaders criticize Ottawa’s ideology-based drug policies Brandon Sun
Quan, D. (12/03/28). Provincial health officers call on feds to pull back from ‘War on Drugs’ Alaska Highway News. Anchorage.
Quan, D. (12/03/28). Provincial health officers call on feds to pull back from ‘War on Drugs’ Nanaimo Daily News. Nanaimo.
Quan, D. (12/03/28). Provincial health officers call on feds to pull back from ‘War on Drugs’ Cannabis Culture.
Quan, D. (12/03/28). Provincial health officers call on feds to pull back from ‘War on Drugs’ Vancouver Sun. Vancouver.
Quan, D. (12/03/28). Provincial health officers call on feds to pull back from ‘War on Drugs’ Montreal Gazette. Montreal.
Should marijuana be taxed and regulated in Canada? (12/03/28) CBC News.

Top BC doc: regulate pot like booze, tobacco. (12/03/28) Seattle PI.
Wood, E., McKinnon, M., Strang, R., Kendall, P. . (12/03/28). Improving community health and safety in Canada through evidence-based policies on illegal drugs Open Medicine.
Van Rassel, J. (12/03/28). BC coalition urges end to marijuana prohibition Edmonton Journal.
Vandermeer, J. (12/03/28). NDP deputy leader Libby Davies will continue to advocate drug law reform Cannabis Culture
Steigerwald, L. (12/03/28). Some Canadian health experts have noticed the drug war and “tough on crime” things not working so well reason.com.
Quan, D. (12/03/28). Doctors argue law ‘ineffective’ The Star Phoenix.
Branswell, H. (12/03/28). Public health leaders criticize Ottawa’s ideology based drug policies iPolitics.

Doctors call drug legislation ‘ineffective,’ demand reform. (12/03/28) Regina Leader Post. Regina.
Weeks, C. (12/03/28). Scrap minimum terms for drug crimes, two medical officers urge Globe and Mail. National.
Jones, K. (12/03/28). B.C.’s top doc weighs in on marijuana debate Metro (Vancouver). Vancouver.
Branswell, H. (12/03/28). Public health leaders criticize Ottawa’s ideology based drug policies Lethbridge Herald. Lethbridge.

Branswell, H. (12/03/28). Public health leaders criticize Ottawa’s ideology based drug policies CP24. Toronto.

Radio

Zandbergen, R. (12/03/29) CBC. Kelowna.
White, D. (12/03/29) CBC. Whitehorse.
Veinnotte, T. (12/03/29). The Todd Veinnotte Show News 95.7. Halifax.
Updike, L. (12/03/29) CBC. Winnipeg.
Turnbull, J. (12/03/29) CBC. Sudbury.
Sara, S. (12/03/29). Simi Sara Show CKNW. Vancouver.
Roberts, J. A. (12/03/29) CBC. Victoria.
Lederhouse, C. (12/03/29) CBC. Regina.
Castle, P. (12/03/28) CBC. New Brunswick.
Burris, D. (12/03/28) News1130. Vancouver.
Brown, P. (12/03/28) CBC. Edmonton.
Breakenridge, R. (12/03/28). The Rob Breakenridge Show QR77. Calgary.
Blades, T. (12/03/28) CBC. St. John’s.
Bains, M.  CBC. Vancouver.
(12/03/28) AM770. Calgary.
(12/03/28) AM640. Toronto.
(12/03/28) 660 News. Calgary.
(12/03/28) CKNW. Vancouver.
(12/03/28) News 91.9. Moncton.
(12/03/28) News 88.9. St. John’s.
(12/03/28) CFAX 1070. Victoria.
(12/03/28) Radio NL. Kamloops.
(12/03/28) Newstalk 980. Regina.
(12/03/28) Fairchild TV. Vancouver.
(12/03/28) NewsTalk650. Saskatoon.
CFAX Live. (12/03/28) CTV2. Victoria.
Hill, A. (12/03/28). Saskatoon doctor endorses call for evidence based drug policy News Talk 980 CJME.
(12/03/28)CBC Radio One
(12/03/28)CBC Radio One the Link
(12/03/28)CBC Radio One St. John’s
(12/03/28)CBC Radio One Regina,
(12/03/28)CBC News,
(12/03/28)CBC Radio One Edmonton,
(12/03/28)CBC Radio One Charlottetown,
(12/03/28)CBC Radio One Calgary.
(12/03/28) Radio Canada. National.
(12/03/28) Radio Canada. National.
On the Coast. (12/03/28) CBC. Vancouver.
(12/03/28) CBC. Montreal.
(12/03/28) CBC. Halifax.
(12/03/28) CBC. Victoria.
Early Edition. (12/03/28) CBC. Vancouver.
(12/03/28) CBC News Network. National.
(12/03/28) CBC. Winnipeg.
The National. (12/03/28) CBC. National.
Poll: Should marijuana be taxed and regulated in Canada? (12/03/28) CBC.ca.
Branswell, H. (12/03/28). Public health leaders criticize Ottawa’s ideology based drug policies 680News. Toronto.

Television

Karim, N. (12/03/29). Decriminalize pot, say docs CTV Morning Live. Vancouver.
House, T. (12/03/29). National News Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. National.
Hartland, L. (12/03/28) CTV. Victoria.
(12/03/28) CHEK. Victoria.
(12/03/28) Global Maritimes. Halifax.
(12/03/28) Global News. National.
(12/03/28) Global BC. Vancouver.
Question Period. (12/03/28) CPAC. National.
Rethinking Canada’s drug policy. (12/03/28) CTV Canada AM. National.
(12/03/28) V Tele. Montreal.
(12/03/28) CBC Maritimes. Halifax.
(12/03/28) OMNI News. Toronto.
(12/03/28) CTV Morning Live. Winnipeg.
(12/03/28) Global Saskatoon. Saskatoon.
(12/03/28) CTV2. London.
(12/03/28) CTV. Calgary.
DiBattista, L. (12/03/28) CBC. Toronto.
(12/03/28) CTV News Channel. National.
More calls for legal pot. (12/03/28) CTV. Vancouver.
(12/03/28) CTV. Halifax.
Call for ban of illicit drugs. (12/03/28) CTV. National.
Ottawa’s ideology-based drug policies under fire. (12/03/28) CTV News.
Pemberton, K. (12/03/28). B.C’s chief medical officer latest to support legalizing pot Global BC.

Branswell, H. (12/03/28). B.C.’s top medical officer wants pot decriminalized CTV News.
Ottawa’s drug policy under fire from health providers. (12/03/28) CTV News.
Branswell, H. (12/03/28). Public health leaders criticize Ottawa’s ideology based drug policies CityTV Toronto. Toronto.

Branswell, H. (12/03/28). Public health leaders criticize Ottawa’s ideology based drug policies Global Maritimes. Halifax.
Branswell, H. (12/03/28). Public health leaders criticize Ottawa’s ideology based drug policies Global Toronto. Toronto.
Branswell, H. (12/03/28). Public health leaders criticize Ottawa’s ideology based drug policies Global News.
Branswell, H. (12/03/28). Public health leaders criticize Ottawa’s ideology based drug policies Global Saskatoon. Saskatoon.
Ottawa’s ideology based drug policies under fire. (12/03/28) CTV. Montreal.

Canadian Public Health Physicians Join BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS in Calling for Evidence‐Based Drug Policy to Improve Community Health and Safety

Dr. Perry Kendall of British Columbia and Dr. Robert Strang of Nova Scotia call for evaluation of alternative strategies to reduce unwanted harms incurred by current approach to illicit drugs

Vancouver, British Columbia (March 28, 2012): Two Canadian chief provincial medical health officers have highlighted discordance between scientific evidence and drug policy decision‐making, and endorsed a discussion of new approaches, including the evaluation of taxation and regulation strategies as a more effective way to improve community health and safety in Canada.

The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC‐CfE) today published a paper in Open Medicine, an international, peer‐reviewed medical journal reviewing the evidence on the effectiveness of current illicit‐drug policies. The opinions expressed in the paper by the authors are their own professional opinions as public health physicians and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of their employers.

The paper focuses on cannabis and concludes: “In light of the persistently widespread availability and relative safety of cannabis in comparison to existing legal drugs, as well as the crime and violence that exist secondary to prohibition of this drug, there is a need for discussion about the optimal regulatory strategy to reduce the harms of cannabis use while also reducing unintended policy‐attributable consequences (e.g., the organized crime that has emerged under prohibition).”

The paper recommends that the Canadian government re‐evaluate strategies such as mandatory minimum sentences, which have proven costly and ineffective in other nations. It notes that a growing number of European countries, such as Portugal and Holland, have treated drug use as a health rather than a criminal justice issue and have seen lower rates of drug use, as well as lower rates of drug‐related harms such as HIV infections, overdose deaths, and crime.

“There is clear evidence to demonstrate that the so called war on drugs has not achieved its stated objectives of reducing rates of drug use or drug availability,” said Dr. Perry Kendall, chief provincial medical health officer for B.C. and co‐author of the paper. “There are alternative approaches that have proved more effective in protecting public heath while not enriching organized crime and driving gang violence.”
Dr. Evan Wood, co‐director, Urban Health Research Initiative at the BC‐CfE and one of the co‐authors of the paper said that in the face of overwhelming evidence that the war‐on‐drugs approach is ineffective, the status quo must change if we really want to effectively counter the harms of illicit drugs and work towards creating safer communities for our children.

There has been growing support for regulation and taxation of marijuana in B.C. and the debate for drug policy reform has been gaining momentum across Canada. Earlier this year, Canada’s Liberal party voted in favour of the resolution to tax and regulate marijuana citing the failure of the war‐on‐drugs strategy. Recently, in B.C., former Vancouver mayors, premiers and provincial attorneys general have spoken out in favour of taxation and regulation of marijuana.

“Canada needs to pause and re‐evaluate its current approach to drug policy and embrace evidence‐ based strategies that can meaningfully improve community health and safety,” said Dr. Robert Strang, chief provincial medical health officer for Nova Scotia and co‐author of the paper.

To read the full paper titled Improving community health and safety in Canada through evidence‐based policies on illegal drugs, please go to: http://www.openmedicine.ca/.

[button link=”http://www.openmedicine.ca/article/view/501/455/” color=”orange”]Click Here for Paper[/button]

About the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS

The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC‐CfE) (www.cfenet.ubc.ca) is Canada’s largest HIV/AIDS research, treatment and education facility and is internationally recognized as an innovative world leader in combating HIV/AIDS and related diseases. It is based at St. Paul’s Hospital, Providence Health Care, a teaching hospital of the University of British Columbia. The BC‐CfE works in close collaboration with key provincial stakeholders, including health authorities, health care providers, academics from other institutions, and the community to improve the health of British Columbians living with HIV through developing, monitoring and disseminating comprehensive research and treatment programs for HIV and related illnesses.

‐30‐

For additional information or to request an interview, please contact:

Mahafrine Petigara
Edelman (for BC‐CfE)
604‐623‐3007 ext. 297
mahafrine.petigara@edelman.com

Media Coverage: Global Commission on Drug Policy Endorsement

February 29, 2012 Virgin Group founder Richard Branson; former Presidents of Brazil, Colombia and Switzerland; and former Federal Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour called Bill C-10 a ‘grave mistake’ and publicly endorsed Stop the Violence BC.

Please see below for complete media listing.

Print and Online

Demande de marche arriere (12/02/29). Journal de Montreal
Tran, N. (12/02/29). The war on pot is ‘destructive’ and ‘ineffective’ says panel Examiner
Press, J. (12/02/29). Richard Branson urges Tories to change crime bill and legalize pot, Ottawa Citizen
Press, J. (12/02/29). Richard Branson urges Tories to change crime bill and legalize pot, Vancouver Sun.
Press, J. (12/02/29). Richard Branson urges Tories to change crime bill and legalize pot, The Provincs
Press, J. (12/02/29). Richard Branson urges Tories to change crime bill and legalize pot, Edmonton Journal
Press, J. (12/02/29). Richard Branson urges Tories to change crime bill and legalize pot, Windsor Star
Press, J. (12/02/29). Richard Branson urges Tories to change crime bill and legalize pot, Victoria Times Colonist
Press, J. (12/02/29). Richard Branson urges Tories to change crime bill and legalize pot, Calgary Herald
Cheadle, B. (12/02/29). Reconsider pot prohibition, international panel urges Harper, The Star Phoenix Cheadle, B. (12/02/29). Reconsider pot prohibition, international panel urges Harper, The Chronicle Herald
Cheadle, B. (12/02/29). Reconsider pot prohibition, international panel urges Harper, MSN News Canada
Cheadle, B. (12/02/29). Reconsider pot prohibition, international panel urges Harper, The Daily News.
Cheadle, B. (12/02/29). Reconsider pot prohibition, international panel urges Harper, The Daily Courier
Cheadle, B. (12/02/29). Reconsider pot prohibition, international panel urges Harper, Brandon Sun
Cheadle, B. (12/02/29). Reconsider pot prohibition, international panel urges Harper, Hamilton Spectator
Cheadle, B. (12/02/29). Reconsider pot prohibition, international panel urges Harper, Winnipeg Free Press.
Cheadle, B. (12/02/29). Reconsider pot prohibition, international panel urges Harper, Toronto Star
Cheadle, B. (12/02/29). Reconsider pot prohibition, international panel urges Harper, Global News
Cheadle, B. (12/02/29). Reconsider pot prohibition, international panel urges Harper, CTV.CA.
Cheadle, B. (12/02/29). Reconsider pot prohibition, international panel urges Harper, Huffington Post
Cheadle, B. (12/02/29). Reconsider pot prohibition, international panel urges Harper, Metro News Montreal
Cheadle, B. (12/02/29). Reconsider pot prohibition, international panel urges Harper, Metro News Toronto
Cheadle, B. (12/02/29). Reconsider pot prohibition, international panel urges Harper, Globe and Mail
Kieltyka, M. (12/03/01). Luminaries lambast C-10’s approach to pot, Metro News Halifax
Kieltyka, M. (12/03/01). Luminaries lambast C-10’s approach to pot, Metro News Ottawa
Kieltyka, M. (12/03/01). Luminaries lambast C-10’s approach to pot, Metro News London 
Kieltyka, M. (12/03/01). Luminaries lambast C-10’s approach to pot, Metro News Edmonton 
Kieltyka, M. (12/03/01). Luminaries lambast C-10’s approach to pot, Metro News Calgary
Kieltyka, M. (12/03/01). Luminaries lambast C-10’s approach to pot, Metro News Vancouver
Mulgrew, I. (12/03/02). Cal to legalize pot goes beyond wanting a puff, The Vancouver Sun.
Canada News: Stephen Harper repeating same old mistakes with tougher pot laws, global group says (12/02/29). Toronto Star
Payne, E. (12/02/29). Plenty of blame for the drug crisis, Ottawa Citizen.
Alter crime bill: world thinkers. (12/02/29). The Windsor Star.
Press, J. (12/02/29). Richard Branson urges Tories to change crime bill and legalize pot, Montreal Gazette.
Press, J. (12/02/29). Richard Branson urges Tories to change crime bill and legalize pot, Canada.com.
‘Building more prisons ony deepens the drug problems’. (12/02/29). iPolitics.
Cheadle, B. (12/02/29). International panel urges Harper to reconsider Canadian pot problems, Winnipeg Free Press.
MacPherson, D. (12/02/29). The Global Commission on Drug Policy salutes Stop the Violence BC and sends message to the Senate Canadian Drug Policy Coalition
Press, J. (12/02/29). Kofi Annan and Sir Richard Branson urge Tories to change crime bill, Canada.com.
Easton, M. (11/11/17). Why is it only ‘formers’ who want to talk about drugs?, BBC.

Radio

CBC Radio One – National
Newstalk 980 CJME – Regina
680 News – Toronto
AM 770 – Calgary
AM 900 CHML – Hamilton
iNews 880 – Edmonton
News 95.7 – Halifax
News 88.9 – Saint John
News 91.1 – Moncton
News 88.9 – Saint John
Newstalk 610 CKTB – St. Catherines
Newstalk 800 CJAD – Montreal
AM 770 – Calgary
600 CKAT – North Bay
CFAX 1070 – Victoria
News 1130 – Vancouver
CFRA 580 – Ottawa
600 CKAT – North Bay
570 News – Kitchener
AM 980 – London
630 CHED – Edmonton
660 News – Calgary
CKNW 980 – Vancouver
Radio NL – Kamloops
(12/02/29). CTV News St John
(12/02/29). CHCH Hamilton –News Now
(12/02/29). CTV News National
(12/02/29). CBC News Now National
(12/02/29). CKNW Vancouver.
(12/02/29). 660 News Calgary.
(12/02/29). 630 CHED Edmonton.
(12/02/29). AM 980 London.
(12/02/29). CFRA 580 Ottawa.
(12/02/29). News 1130 Vancouver.
(12/02/29). 570 News Kitchner
(12/02/29). CFAX 1070 Victoria.
(12/02/29). 600 CKAT North Bay.
(12/02/29). A770 Calgary
(12/02/29). Newstalk 800 CJAD Montreal.
(12/02/29). Newstalk 610 CkTB St Catherines.
News 91.1 Moncton.
(12/02/29). News 88.9 St John.
(12/02/29). News 95.7 Halifax.
(12/02/29). iNews880 Edmonton.
(12/02/29). AM 900 CHML Hamilton.
(12/02/29). AM770 Calgary
News. (12/02/29). 680 Toronto.
CJME. (12/02/29). Newstalk 980.
National. (12/02/29). CBC.
Tremonti, A. M. (12/02/29). The Current, CBC.

Television
Fitzpatrick, M. (12/03/12). Tories’ crime bill clears Parliament, CBC News.
Fitzpatrick, M. (12/03/07). Crime bill vote pushed back to Monday, CBC.
End ‘destructive’ war on pot, panel urges Harper. (12/02/29). CBC News.

 

 

Thanks to your help, City of Victoria cannabis motion debated and passed

On Thursday March 15th, Victoria City Council Governance and Planning Committee debated and passed a motion on the regulation and taxation of cannabis. The text of the motion can be found here.

Thanks to your support, the motion passed.

You will be able to find minutes from the March 15th meeting and the agenda for the March 22nd meeting here, on the city of Victoria website.

 

Media Coverage
March 23, 2012, Murray Langdon Show, CFAX 1070
Gardner, S. March 22, 2012. Council Unanimously passes motion to support regulatory approach to cannabis control. CFAX1070.