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.

 

 

World leaders urge Canada to avoid mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana

World leaders urge Canada to avoid mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson; former Presidents of Brazil, Colombia and Switzerland; and former Federal Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour call Bill C-10 a ‘grave mistake’

former Federal Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour call Bill C-10 a ‘grave mistake’

[Vancouver, BC – February 29, 2012]¬¬—World business, legal and political leaders with the influential Global Commission on Drug Policy are calling on Canada to reject the statute for mandatory minimum sentences for minor marijuana offenses proposed in Bill C-10, which is now before the Canadian Senate.

In addition, they are recommending Canadians evaluate possibilities around taxing and regulating marijuana as an alternative strategy to undermine organized crime and improve community health and safety.

In an open letter addressed to Canadian Senators, leaders such as Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso assert that the illegality of marijuana, coupled with huge demand for the drug in the U.S., has led to increased organized crime and violence in Canada and Mexico.

Commission members strongly argue that policies that adhere to the failed war on drugs – such as the mandatory minimum sentencing provisions included in the federal government’s Bill C-10 – will not address the issues of gang violence and organized crime. Instead, they favour a public health approach to cannabis policy, including considering a regime of regulation and taxation.

“Tougher drug law enforcement tactics such as mandatory minimum sentencing for minor drug law offences will put a huge strain on Canadian taxpayers,” the letter states. “[They] will not have the intended effect of creating safer communities, and will instead further entrench the marijuana industry in the hands of organized crime groups.”

“With the proposed implementation of mandatory prison sentences for minor cannabis-related offences under Bill C-10, Canada is at the threshold of continuing to repeat the same grave mistakes as other countries.”

The Commission, which includes leaders from countries such as Mexico and Colombia that are hard hit by the war on drugs, called on Canadian lawmakers to adopt an evidence-based approach to controlling cannabis. Commission members referred to the overwhelming evidence that stricter law enforcement policies for minor drug law offenses are destructive, expensive, and ineffective.

“Adopting the mandatory sentencing for minor cannabis offenses would send Canada down a tragic path, likely costing your taxpayers billions and doing nothing to tackle drug violence or drug dependency. Canada should explore policies that treat drugs as a health issue, not a criminal issue, and help lead the way to end the failed war on drugs,” said Mr. Branson.

The Commission further argues that Canada’s national law enforcement policies will have an international impact, with the unintended consequences of a ‘tough on crime’ approach reaching other countries. U.S. law enforcement, for instance, has already described how organized crime groups from British Columbia are active in Washington State.

“The U.S. war on drugs has only deepened the drug problem, with drug prohibition causing violence in countries across the Americas, including Canada,” said Mr. Cardoso, who is also Commission Chair. “Fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed. We should start by treating cannabis use as a health issue and undermine organized crime by legally regulating the drug’s use rather than promoting prohibition policies which actually fuel gang violence.”

Stricter sentencing fails to reduce crime

The Commission argues that increasing anti-cannabis law enforcement policies like those proposed in Bill C-10 fails to address root causes of organized crime and gang violence, which are natural consequences of drug prohibition. In Canada, such crime and violence are primarily driven by marijuana prohibition.

“The war on drugs, as it has been fought for decades, cannot be won,” said Louise Arbour, former Canadian Supreme Court Justice and current head of the International Crisis Group, which is committed to preventing and resolving conflict. “In countries of production, transit and consumption, it has done much more harm than good. We must implement policies that place community health and safety at the forefront of our efforts, and consider drug use a public health issue rather than a criminal justice issue.”

In their letter, the Commission endorses 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. The Commission joins a growing list of recent endorsements including four former mayors of Vancouver, the Health Officers Council of B.C., four former B.C. attorneys general, and a group of high-profile current and former law enforcement officials.

“The Global Commission supports Stop the Violence BC’s suggested approach of regulating marijuana under a public health framework,” said Ilona Szabo, spokesperson for the Secretariat of the Global Commission on Drug Policy. “Mandatory minimum sentences and further reinforcement of prohibition are not rational or prudent solutions.”

For a copy of the Global Commission on Drug Policy 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 two major reports, discover more about the coalition and upcoming events, and learn how to support the effort, please visit Stop the Violence BC’s website
For a short video address from President Cardoso on the war on drugs, please click here

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About The Global Commission on Drug Policy

The Commission is the most distinguished group of high-level leaders to ever call for such far-reaching changes on failed drug prohibition policies across the world. Its main recommendations can be summarized as follows:

  • End the criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but who do no harm to others.
  • Encourage experimentation by governments with models of legal regulation of drugs (especially cannabis) to undermine the power of organized crime and safeguard the health and security of their citizens.
  • Ensure that a variety of treatment modalities are available – including not just methadone and buprenorphine treatment but also the heroin-assisted treatment programs that have proven successful in many European countries and Canada.
  • Apply human rights and harm reduction principles and policies both to people who use drugs as well as those involved in the lower ends of illegal drug markets such as farmers, couriers and petty sellers.
  • To learn more about the Commission and read its first report, visit: www.globalcommissionondrugs.org

COMMISSIONERS
Asma Jahangir, human rights activist, former UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary, Extrajudicial and Summary Executions, Pakistan
Carlos Fuentes, writer and public intellectual, Mexico
César Gaviria, former President of Colombia
Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico
Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former President of Brazil (chair)
George Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece
George P. Shultz, former Secretary of State, United States (honorary chair)
Javier Solana, former European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Spain
John Whitehead, banker and civil servant, chair of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, United States
Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, Ghana
Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, President of the International Crisis Group, Canada
Maria Cattaui, Petroplus Holdings Board member, former Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce, Switzerland
Mario Vargas Llosa, writer and public intellectual, Peru
Marion Caspers-Merk, former State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Health
Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, France
Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve and of the Economic Recovery Board
Richard Branson, entrepreneur, advocate for social causes, founder of the Virgin Group, co-founder of The Elders, United Kingdom
Ruth Dreifuss, former President of Switzerland and Minister of Home Affairs
Thorvald Stoltenberg, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Norway

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 a spokesperson from the Secretariat of the Global Commission on Drug Policy or Dr. Evan Wood, founder, Stop the Violence BC Coalition, please contact:

Crystal Reinitz
Edelman
604.623.3007 ext. 301
crystal.reinitz@edelman.com

[button link=”http://stoptheviolencebc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Stop-the-Violence-BC-Global-Commission-on-Drug-Policy-letter-Bill-C-10-Letter.pdf” color=”orange”]Download a copy of the letter here[/button]

Media Coverage: Attorneys General Endorsement

For more on the November 2011 announcement of support from four former BC Attorneys General, please see the links below.

Print and Online

Matas, R. (12/02/16). Why Christy Clark’s position on pot is political, The Globe and Mail.
McMartin, P. (12/02/16). Opinion: when four were in office, stand on marijuana was different, The Vancouver Sun.  
Mason, G. (12/02/16). Legalize weed, yes, but the demon’s in the details, Globe and Mail. 
Peebles, F. (12/02/15). Top cops avoid sides in pot debate, The Prince George Citizen 
Four ex-attorneys general calling BC politicians for pot regulation”. (12/02/15). Sudbury Star.
Four ex-attorneys general calling BC politicians for pot regulation”. (12/02/15). Calgary Sun
Four ex-attorneys general calling BC politicians for pot regulation”. (12/02/15). 24 Hours Ottawa
Four ex-attorneys general calling BC politicians for pot regulation”. (12/02/15). 24 Hours.
Four former BC attorneys general call for end to marijuana prohibition. (12/02/15). Daily Courier (Vernon).
Four former BC attorneys general call for end to marijuana prohibition. (12/02/15). Hamilton Spectator
Four former BC attorneys general call for end to marijuana prohibition. (12/02/15). Penticton Herald.
Four former BC attorneys general call for end to marijuana prohibition (12/02/15). Toronto Star.
Four former B.C. attorneys general call for end to marijuana prohibition (12/02/15). Winnipeg Free Press.
Pot-ential change. (12/02/15). North Shore News. 
Thomson, S. (12/02/14). Former B.C. attorneys general condemn marijuana prohibition Georgia Straight
Stueck, W. (12/02/14). Former B.C. Attorneys General call for legalization of pot, Globe and Mail.
Shaw, R. (12/02/14). Four ex-attorneys general urge legalization of pot, Times Colonist  
Raptis, M. (12/02/14). Marijuana decriminalization supported by former B.C. attorneys-general, The Province. 
Nagel, J. (12/02/14). Former BC AGs join push to legalize marijuana Surrey Leader. 
Mulgrew, I. (12/02/14). Former BC attorneys general call for legalization of marijuana Vancouver Sun
Mui, M. (12/02/14). Four ex-attorneys general calling BC politicians for pot regulation, 24 Hr.
Kieltyka, M. (12/02/14). Attorneys general light up pot debate. Metro
Hutchinson, B. (12/02/14). Campaign to legalize pot gets four new out-of-office adherents, National Post.
FULLER-EVANS, J. (12/02/14). Former BC attorneys general add voices to Stop the Violence BC campaign, Burnaby Now
Aynsley, M. (12/02/14). Four former B.C. attorneys general support legalizing marijuana, OpenFile 
Four former BC attorneys general call for end to marijuana prohibition. (12/02/14). The Star.
Former BC Attorneys General: Pot prohibition only fuels gang violence. (12/02/14). Huffington Post 
Pot laws a boon to gangs – ex BC AGs. (12/02/14). Seattle PI.
F4 – ex-British Columbia attorneys general: legalize marijuana. (12/02/14). Grand Forks Herald.
Smith, M. (12/02/16). It’s time we talked about legalizing pot, The Province.

Radio

(12/02/15). Evolution 107.9.
(12/02/15). AM 1150.
(12/02/15). CFAX.
Bill Good. (12/02/15). CKNW.
Leslie, S. (12/02/14). Premier leaving marijuana debate to federal government, CKNW  
Former attorneys general want pot legalized. (12/02/14). News1130.

Television

Marijuana Debate. (12/02/15). Global BC Morning News. 
CTV Morning News. (12/02/14). CTV.
More support for pot legalization. (12/02/14). Global TV evening news.
4 former attorneys general call for end to pot ban (12/02/14). CTVNews.
Former B.C. attorneys general call to legalize pot. (12/02/14). CBC News 

Former Attorneys General Call on BC Leaders to End Cannabis Prohibition

Former Attorneys General Call on BC Leaders to End Cannabis Prohibition

Colin Gabelmann, Ujjal Dosanjh, Graeme Bowbrick and Geoff Plant Say Legalized, Regulated System Will Reduce Gang Activity, Ease Burden on Court System

[Vancouver, BC] – Four former British Columbian attorneys general are calling on Premier Christy Clark and NDP opposition leader Adrian Dix to endorse legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana to help stop gang activity associated with the illegal marijuana trade, raise tax revenue and ease strain on the province’s overburdened court system.

The letter to the political leaders – signed by Colin Gabelmann, Ujjal Dosanjh, Graeme Bowbrick, and Geoff Plant – was released in the aftermath of escalating gang violence in the Lower Mainland that resulted in multiple public shootings in Vancouver and Surrey in recent weeks.

“The case demonstrating the failure and harms of marijuana prohibition is airtight,” write the attorneys general to BC’s political leaders. “Massive profits for organized crime, widespread gang violence, easy access to illegal cannabis for our youth, reduced community safety and significant—and escalating—costs to taxpayers.”

The AGs’ letter urges provincial politicians to lead the change in marijuana drug policy and encourage the federal government to abandon mandatory minimum sentences for minor and non-violent marijuana-related offences. The former AGs – who were responsible for BC’s criminal justice system and addressing gang crime and violence – want BC and Canada to pursue a regulation and taxation strategy to better protect community health and safety while at the same time undermining gang profits.

“It’s time for our political leaders to accept and act on the overwhelming evidence linking marijuana prohibition to organized crime and gang violence,” said Geoff Plant, who served as attorney general from 2001 to 2005. “Punitive laws such as mandatory minimum sentences are clearly not the solution. Instead, taxation and regulation under a public health framework is the best way forward.”

Former AGs join growing list calling for politicians to end cannabis prohibition

In their letter, the former attorneys general 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.

The former AGs, who represent more than a dozen years of experience as attorney general, join four former Vancouver mayors and the Health Officers Council of BC in their endorsement of STVBC’s call to legally regulate the sale of marijuana under a public health framework. Citing the mounting evidence reinforcing the harms and futility of cannabis prohibition and overwhelming support from the public, the former AGs called overturning marijuana prohibition a “major opportunity for leadership from the provincial government.”

A recent Angus Reid poll commissioned by STVBC found that 77% of British Columbians disagreed that marijuana possession should be a criminal offence and that 78% are dissatisfied with the way politicians at the provincial level are responding to the problems stemming from the illegal marijuana industry in B.C.

“British Columbians have lost faith in the ability of their elected representatives to enact cannabis laws that are in the public’s best interest,” said Ujjal Dosanjh, BC’s attorney general from 1995 to 2000 and premier from 2000 to 2001. “Our politicians must take a leadership role in the development of new policies that will end gang violence and create safer communities.”

To provincial and federal politicians who do not support taxation and regulation of marijuana, the former AGs asked that they outline their plan to:

  • Reduce gang violence related to the illegal marijuana trade
  • Ensure the judicial system works effectively in the face of escalating convictions
  • Pay for increased prison and court system costs while the BC government runs deficits
  • Prevent criminal enterprises from targeting BC’s youth for cannabis sales

“Laws that more aggressively enforce prohibition are obviously not the solution,” said Graeme Bowbrick, attorney general from 2000 to 2001. “It’s time for our politicians to listen to their constituents and reconsider our failed approach to cannabis policy.”

“Alcohol prohibition did not work in the 1920s and 1930s and marijuana prohibition does not work today,” said Colin Gabelmann, attorney general from 1991 to 1995. “It’s past time we overturned prohibition and addressed the related problems of gang violence, clogged court systems and the constant drain on the public purse.”

Neil Boyd, Professor, School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University said that the criminal justice system risks failing to deal with serious crimes because of the overburdened criminal justice system and questioned the wisdom of pursuing nonviolent marijuana users and cultivators.

“Politicians should be looking at every responsible means to improve the effectiveness of the criminal justice system and undermine organized crime. Marijuana laws are not only ineffective, but are also a key driver of gang violence in communities throughout B.C.”, said Boyd. ” I hope that Premier Christy Clark’s review of efficiencies in the B.C. justice system will acknowledge that marijuana prohibition creates an endlessly counter-productive stream of charges against peaceful and otherwise law-abiding citizens, and wastes both limited and costly criminal justice resources.”

  • For a copy of the attorneys general letter, please visit http://stoptheviolencebc.org/2012/02/07/former-attorneys-general-endorse-stop-the-violence-bc/
  • 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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[button link=”http://stoptheviolencebc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/STVBC-Attorneys-General-Endorsement-Letter.pdf” color=”orange”]Download a copy of the letter here[/button]

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 the attorneys general or Dr. Evan Wood, founder, Stop the Violence BC Coalition, please contact:
Mahafrine Petigara
Edelman
604 623 3007 ext. 297
mahafrine.petigara@edelman.com

Stop the Violence BC responds to the Liberal Party of Canada’s support for legalizing cannabis

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.
To arrange media interviews with Dr. Evan Wood, contact:
Crystal Reinitz
604.340.4541
crystal.reinitz@edelman.com

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.



Media coverage: Report Two

December 2011

11/12/30  Health Officers back legal marijuana Surrey Leader
11/12/30 Editorial: time to talk about pot Prince George Free Press
C. Poon 11/12/29 Treat marijuana sales like alcohol and cigarettes: Martiquet  Whistler Question
11/12/29 It’s time to talk pot Prince George Free Press
11/12/28 Phil Johnson Show AM1150
J. Nagel 11/12/28 Health Officers back legal marijuana Surrey Leader
11/12/26 Opinion: Legalizing pot not that easy Vernon Daily Courier
11/12/25 Legalizing pot not that easy Kelowna Daily Courier
11/12/24 Northern politicians sounded out on pot  Prince George Citizen
11/12/23 Global News
11/12/23 Health Officers among group calling for legalized pot  Kamloops Daily News
11/12/23 Pot trade thrives, BC study finds Vernon Daily Courier
11/12/23 Pot trade thrives, BC study finds Pentiction Herald
11/12/23 Pot trade thrives, BC study finds Prince George Daily Citizen
11/12/23 Pot trade thrives, BC study finds Trail Daily Times
11/12/23 Pot trade thrives, BC study finds Castanet.net
11/12/23  Dave Dickson Show CFAX 1070
D. Pilon  11/12/23 Decriminalization of marijuana called for Prince George Free Press
A. Hopkins,  11/12/22, The Health Officers’ Council joins the fight against marijuana laws News1130
P. Torrevillas, 11/12/22, Weed war up in smoke Metronews.ca
C. Pablo 11/12/22 Health officers back marijuana legalization in BC  Georgia Straight

11/12/22 Marijuana is cheaper and easier to get than ever  CTV News
C. Olivier 11/12/22  BC medical group recommends pot legalization Montreal Gazette

C. Olivier 11/12/22  Plenty of prominent pot supporters in BC The Province
A. Hopkins 11/12/22  Legalize marijuana camp adds allies News 1130
C. Olivier 11/12/22 B.C. medical group recommends legalizing pot The Province
11/12/22  Is marijuana more or less dangerous than alcohol?  CBC

T. Burgmann  11/12/22 Marijuana trends grow despite intense police funding: report CTVBC 
D. Bellaart 11/12/22 Coalition pushes for pot to be regulated Canada.com
C. Olivier 11/12/22 Health officers back pot The Province

11/12/22 B.C. medical health officers join call to legalize pot CBCNews
T. Orton 11/12/22 Health officers back pot reform 24 Hours
11/12/22 More calls to legalize CTV BC
11/12/22 Morning News Update 5:30 AM Global BC
T. Burgmann 11/12/22 Marijuana trends grow against the grain of intense police funding: report
T. Carman 11/12/22 Increased enforcement not curtailing marijuana use, report finds The Vancouver Sun
P. Torrevillas 11/12/22 Weed war up in smoke Metro News Vancouver
P. Torrevillas 11/12/22 British Colombians take the high road Metro News Vancouver

C. Olivier 11/12/22 BC medical group recommends pot legalization Montreal Gazette
C. Olivier 11/12/22 BC medical group urges legalization of marijuana Times Colonist
C. Olivier 11/12/22 Plenty of prominent pot supporters in BC The Province

 A. Hopkins 11/12/22 Legalize marijuana camp adds allies News 1130
11/12/22 New call to legalize pot CFJC TV7
11/12/22 Do you consider marijuana riskier than alcohol or tobacco CBC News
11/12/22 BC medical health officers join call to legalize pot Huffington Post
D. Bellaart 11/12/22 Coalition pushes for pot to be regulated Canada.com

C. Pablo 11/12/22 Health Officers back marijuana legalization in BC Georgia Straight
T. Burgmann 11/12/22 Pot stronger, cheaper despite police efforts CTV BC
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Expert audit of government data proves failure of cannabis prohibition

B.C.’s top public health doctors join call for ending marijuana prohibition
Polling results show most British Columbians believe alcohol more harmful than cannabis

December 22, 2011 [Vancouver, Canada] – Following Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent rejection of marijuana law reform, Stop the Violence BC has released a new report that audits government funded surveillance systems and concludes that increased funding for anti‐marijuana law enforcement does not meet its objectives of decreasing marijuana supply, potency, or cannabis use.

Coinciding with the report’s release, the Health Officers’ Council of BC (HOC), a registered society in British Columbia of public health physicians who advise and advocate for public policies and programs directed to improving the health of populations, has unanimously passed a resolution to support Stop the Violence BC. This follows the HOC’s release of their own report last month calling for the public health‐oriented regulation of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal substances to better reduce the harms that result both from substance use and the unintended consequences of government policies.

Stop the Violence BC’s new report, entitled How not to protect community health and safety: What the government’s own data say about the effects of cannabis prohibition, advocates for a strict regulatory framework and public health approach to legal cannabis sales, using 20 years of data collected by surveillance systems funded by the Canadian and U.S. governments to highlight the failure of cannabis prohibition in North America.

“If you look at the data that governments themselves have collected, it is clear beyond a reasonable doubt that marijuana prohibition has failed to achieve its intended objectives and has actually contributed to a range of serious unintended consequences in terms of organized crime and gang violence,” said Dr. Evan Wood, a physician and founder of Stop the Violence BC.

Added Dr. John Carsley, a medical health officer based in Vancouver: “From a scientific and public health perspective, we urgently need to pursue alternatives to the blanket prohibition of marijuana which are based on evidence. Strict regulation, guided by a public health framework, is clearly the logical way forward.”

Despite dramatically increased law enforcement funding and mandatory minimum sentences for cannabis offenses, U.S. government data demonstrates that cannabis prohibition has not resulted in a decrease in cannabis availability or accessibility. According to the US Office of National Drug Control Policy, federal anti‐drug expenditures in the U.S. increased 600% from $1.5 billion in 1981 to over $18 billion in 2002. However, during this same period, the potency of cannabis actually increased by 145% and the price of cannabis decreased by a dramatic 58%.

While not all of the US anti‐drug budget‐funded programs are specific to the enforcement of cannabis prohibition, increased funding for anti‐drug initiatives coincided with a 160% increase in cannabis‐ related arrests and a 420% increase in cannabis‐related seizures between 1990 and 2009. Similarly, Canada has seen a 70% increase in the annual number of cannabis arrests, from roughly 39,000 in 1990 to more than 65,000 in 2009.

However, the increase in enforcement expenditures and arrests is not keeping marijuana out of the hands of teenagers and young adults in British Columbia. The 2009 Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey reported that 27% of youth in B.C. aged 15‐24 used cannabis at least once in the previous year, while data collected by the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey demonstrate that annual cannabis use among Ontario high school students has doubled since the early 1990s, from under 10% in 1991 to over 20% in 2009.

“The unmistakable interpretation of government surveillance data is that increased funding for anti‐ cannabis law enforcement does increase cannabis seizures and arrests, but the assumption that this approach reduces cannabis potency, increases price or meaningfully reduces cannabis availability and use is inconsistent with virtually all available data,” concludes the report.

New poll: Most British Columbians disagree that cannabis is more harmful than alcohol

Accompanying the report, Stop the Violence BC released polling data from Angus Reid that demonstrates that the majority of British Columbians:

  • disagree that regular marijuana use is more harmful than regular alcohol use (59%)
  • disagree with the statement that marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug (54%)
  • do not believe that marijuana is a “gateway” drug that can lead to the use of more dangerous drugs like heroin (51%)

“It is notable that a majority of British Columbians understand that alcohol is in many ways more dangerous than marijuana. At the same time, there are still incorrect beliefs that cannabis is a ‘gateway’ to other dangerous drug consumption,” said Dr. Paul Hasselback, Chair of the Health Officer’s Council of BC and a medical health officer from Vancouver Island. “The Health Officer’s Council and other experts are not saying that marijuana should be legalized and taxed because it is safe. We are saying that proven public health approaches should be used to constrain its use. There is now more danger to the public’s health in perpetuating a market driven by criminal activity.”

A call for response from politicians

“This report should ring alarm bells for political leaders who have been unwilling to acknowledge what the vast majority of British Columbians already understand – cannabis prohibition is a costly failure,” said Dr. Thomas Kerr, a coalition member and Director of the Urban Health Research Initiative at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and St. Paul’s Hospital. “With ongoing gang warfare over massive profits from the illegal cannabis trade and government data clearly showing the easy availability of cannabis despite decades of prohibition, our elected officials must revisit prohibition and tell us what they plan to do to decrease gang violence and protect the health of young British Columbians.”

With the launch of their new report, Stop the Violence BC wants politicians at all levels of government to address the following questions when it comes to B.C.’s marijuana trade:

1. Do you acknowledge the causal link between cannabis prohibition and the growth of organized crime and gang violence? If yes, what do you propose to do about it, especially in light of the evidence showing that the mandatory minimum sentences being considered for Canada have proven to be extremely costly and ineffective in the U.S.?

2. Do you support the Health Officer’s Council of BC’s recommendation that the province examine ways that adult marijuana use be legally regulated under a public health framework that can shift profit from organized crime groups to tax revenue for governments?

3. Do you believe that marijuana prohibition is effectively reducing the availability of cannabis? Research demonstrates that cannabis is more available to young people than alcohol and tobacco – what do you propose and intend to do about it?

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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/about‐us/

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

About the Health Officer’s Council of British Columbia

The Health Officers Council (HOC) of BC is a registered society in British Columbia of public health physicians who, among other activities, advise and advocate for public policies and programs directed to improving the health of populations. The HOC provides recommendations to and works with a wide range of government and non‐government agencies, both in and outside of BC.

Physicians involved in HOC include medical health officers in BC and the Yukon, physicians at the BC Centre for Disease Control, Ministry of Health, First Nations and Inuit Health and university departments as well as private consultants. The HOC is independent from these organizations and as such positions taken by HOC do not necessarily represent positions of the organization for which the members work.

About Angus Reid Public Opinion

Angus Reid Public Opinion is the Public Affairs practice of Vision Critical headed by Dr. Angus Reid: an industry visionary who has spent more than four decades asking questions to figure out what people feel, how they think and who they will vote for.

Media: To receive polling results and talk to Medical Health Officers, or members of the Stop the Violence BC Coalition, please contact:

Crystal Reinitz Edelman 604.623.3007 ext. 301

crystal.reinitz@edelman.com

Former Vancouver Mayors Urge Politicians to Reconsider Marijuana Laws and Stop Gang Violence

Larry Campbell, Michael Harcourt, Sam Sullivan and Philip Owen Endorse Bipartisan Effort to Overturn Prohibition and Reduce Related Crime

November 23, 2011 [Vancouver, Canada] – Four former Vancouver mayors have endorsed the Stop the Violence BC (STVBC) coalition and its call to overturn marijuana prohibition and reduce the harms associated with the illegal marijuana trade, including gang violence.

Larry Campbell, Michael Harcourt, Sam Sullivan and Philip Owen signed and released an open letter to MPs, MLAs, and municipal mayors and councilors in British Columbia today. The letter notes the gang-related violence stemming from marijuana prohibition, and challenges politicians to consider alternative proposals – including legalization and regulation – that would increase taxes to government, remove the illicit profits and market incentives that lead to gang violence, and eliminate costly jail and criminal sanctions against non-violent citizens.

“Marijuana prohibition is – without question – a failed policy,” write the mayors. “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, and must develop and deliver alternative marijuana policies that avoid the social and criminal harms that stem directly from cannabis prohibition.”

The mayors’ letter calls for politicians to open and help drive debate on new marijuana policies, identifying this as an important step in engaging British Columbians in a policy discussion recent polling data show they are ready for.

“It is unconscionable, unacceptable and unreasonable that the criminal element in B.C. is allowed to grow and thrive in B.C. due to inaction on the part of the politicians,” said Sam Sullivan, who served 12 years as a city councilor before being elected mayor of Vancouver in 2005. “Politicians must play a key role the development of new policies that can really provide safer, stronger communities.”

Poll results reflect political inaction, voter skepticism

Although politicians are elected to lead, a new poll shows that British Columbians have little faith that politicians can design policies that effectively reduce criminal, health and social harms stemming from the illegal marijuana trade. The Angus Reid poll shows that just 32% of British Columbians trust municipal politicians to develop effective marijuana policy. Trust in federal and provincial politicians is even lower – at 28% (federal) and 27% (provincial).

Meanwhile, far more British Columbians say they distrust municipal (62%), provincial (69%), or federal (68%) politicians to design policies to effectively reduce harms stemming from the illegal marijuana trade.

“Although British Columbians do not trust their politicians to lead the way on effective marijuana policy, politicians must prove the public wrong,” said Larry Campbell. “Politicians have tremendous access to information, expertise and the levers of power, and must use all of the tools at their disposal to fight gang violence by implementing rational marijuana policies.”

The Angus Reid poll was commissioned by STVBC, a new coalition of academic, legal, law enforcement and health experts. Last month, STVBC released the first of a series of reports and polling results aimed at pressuring politicians to legally regulate marijuana sales under a public health framework.

“These poll results reinforce the fact that British Columbians are way ahead of those they have elected in recognizing the destructive outcomes from marijuana prohibition,” said Dr. Evan Wood, a member of the STVBC coalition and Director of the Urban Health Research Initiative at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. “It’s time politicians of all stripes consider the gang violence and criminal activity resulting from marijuana prohibition, and enact policies that reflect the desire of British Columbians for change.”

Polling results released today show that British Columbians have much more trust in scientists and the police than politicians to design constructive policies to deal with harms related to the illegal marijuana trade. Sixty-eight percent of British Columbians trust scientists to design such policies and have similarly high trust in their local police forces (66%) and the RCMP (65%).

“Constituents in British Columbia are demanding change on marijuana policy but don’t trust their politicians to positively enact it,” said Mario Canseco, Vice President, Angus Reid Public Opinion. “The lack of trust in politicians on this issue cuts across the voting spectrum and includes voters for all political parties, including those who supported the Conservatives in the last federal election.”

In fact, 55% of those polled who voted Conservative in the last federal election say they distrust the ability of federal politicians to design effective policies. In addition, a significant majority of British Columbians stated they are dissatisfied with the way politicians—at the federal (78%), provincial (78%) and municipal (73%) levels—are responding to the problems stemming from the illegal marijuana industry in British Columbia.

British Columbians also want their politicians to open a dialogue around reducing the harms of marijuana prohibition. Fifty-six percent of British Columbians polled said they would have a more favourable opinion of a politician who promised to have experts and interested citizens design and evaluate a new marijuana strategy for British Columbia aimed at reducing harms of marijuana prohibition, and 29% said it would make no difference. Only 6% said this promise would lead to a less favourable opinion.

Angus Reid polling results released last month showed a mere 12% of British Columbians support keeping current marijuana laws in place and 77% of British Columbians disagreed that marijuana possession should be a criminal offense.

“Unfortunately, developing an alternative to marijuana prohibition is an issue in search of political leadership even though British Columbians clearly say that prohibition does not work and new policies have the potential to generate widespread public support,” said Michael Harcourt.

Philip Owen agreed. “It’s time politicians listened to their constituents and woke up to the possible benefits of a new legalization, regulation and taxation regime.”

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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/about-us/

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

About Angus Reid Public Opinion

Angus Reid Public Opinion is the Public Affairs practice of Vision Critical headed by Dr. Angus Reid: an industry visionary who has spent more than four decades asking questions to figure out what people feel, how they think and who they will vote for.

Media: to receive polling results and talk to Mario Canseco, Dr. Evan Wood, other members of the Stop the Violence BC Coalition, or the former mayors please contact:

Crystal Reinitz
Edelman
604.623.3007 ext. 301
crystal.reinitz@edelman.com

[button link=”http://stoptheviolencebc.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Letter-from-Mayors-Nov-23-2011.pdf” color=”orange”]Download Letter[/button] [button link=”http://stoptheviolencebc.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Stop-the-Violence-BC-Poll-Summary-Nov-23-FINAL1.pdf” color=”orange”]Download Poll Results[/button]

Coalition of BC Law Enforcement, Health and Academic Experts Call for Marijuana Legalization and Regulation to Reduce Gang Violence

New Polls Shows 87% of British Columbians Link Gang Violence to Organized Crime’s Control of Marijuana Trade

October 27, 2011 [Vancouver, Canada] – In the wake of high-profile gang violence related to the illegal marijuana industry in BC, a new coalition of academic, legal and health experts has released the first of a series of reports and polling results aimed at pressuring politicians to legally regulate marijuana sales under a public health framework.

The Angus Reid poll says 87% of BC respondents link gang violence to organized crime’s efforts to control the province’s massive illegal cannabis trade while the report, called Breaking the Silence, clearly demonstrates that cannabis prohibition in BC has been ineffective and caused significant social harms and public safety issues.

“From a scientific and public health perspective we know that making marijuana illegal has not achieved its stated objectives of limiting marijuana supply or rates of use,” said Dr. Evan Wood, a coalition member and Director of the Urban Health Research Initiative at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. “Given that marijuana prohibition has created a massive financial windfall for violent organized crime groups in BC, we must discuss alternatives to today’s failed laws with a focus on how to decrease violence, remove the illicit industry’s profit motive and improve public health and safety.”

The new coalition, Stop the Violence BC, released the report in tandem with results from an Angus Reid poll that overwhelmingly demonstrates that lawmakers lag far behind public opinion on revamping marijuana laws in BC.

Key Angus Reid Poll Data:

  • A mere 12% of British Columbians support keeping current marijuana laws in place
  • 81% of British Columbians are concerned about increasing gang violence in BC
  • 87% of British Columbians attribute gang violence to drug trafficking groups fighting over profits from the illegal marijuana trade
  • 69% state that arresting marijuana producers and sellers is ineffective, and that BC would be better off taxing and regulating the use of marijuana
  • More than 75% reject the notion that possession of marijuana should lead to a criminal record
  • Only 39% of British Columbians support instituting mandatory minimum prison sentences for marijuana-trade related crime, including possession of six or more marijuana plants.

“These results reveal that British Columbians are clearly dissatisfied with the status quo and recognize the unintended harmful consequences of marijuana prohibition in terms of promoting organized crime and violence,” said Mario Canseco, Vice President, Angus Reid Public Opinion. “The majority of British Columbians are ready for new regulations related to marijuana use and possession, and reject the notion that tough-on-crime measures will be effective.”

Retired RCMP Chief Superintendent Supports Stop the Violence BC

Support for the Stop the Violence BC coalition has been widespread and includes leading experts and professionals from many fields. Vince Cain, retired RCMP Chief Superintendent and former Chief Coroner for British Columbia, has witnessed the devastating human consequences and social and economic costs attributable to marijuana prohibition.

“In BC, organized crime is reaping billions from the illegal marijuana industry and increasingly consolidating its hold through violence,” said Cain. “Stiffer sanctions will not reverse these trends, but legally regulating marijuana in BC would eliminate a primary source of revenue for these criminal groups, reduce gang violence, and generate tax revenue.”

Police Officer: “Prohibition Has Failed”

Police officers are at the front-lines of the futile efforts to control the illegal marijuana trade and the resulting gang violence.

“Marijuana prohibition may be well-intentioned, but my personal opinion is that it has failed in BC and around the world,” said David Bratzer, a police officer who resides in Victoria, BC. “Prohibition has created a huge and violent criminal enterprise that is becoming more dangerous with each passing day, and I strongly support controlled marijuana legalization as an effective way to fight crime and protect our communities.”

A Call for Public Discussion

Over the coming months, Stop the Violence BC will encourage the public, media, politicians, academics and law enforcement to begin an open dialogue about this pressing public safety issue. Public forums with academic and law enforcement experts will be held and further poll results and scientific research will be released. In addition, prominent British Columbians – including politicians – will be asked to support the call to effectively end the marijuana cash cow for organized crime, employ a public health approach for the legal regulation of marijuana, and reduce gang-related violence in BC communities.

“The time has come for all politicians – municipal, provincial and federal – to say whether they agree with public opinion, support reducing gang violence and changing these ineffective and harmful marijuana laws,” said Wood. “The violence is taking place in their communities, so all politicians owe it to their constituents to show real leadership and acknowledge the fact that marijuana prohibition is a key source of crime and gang violence in this province.”

With Vancouver under a police warning regarding the potential for increased gang violence, members of the public wanting to reduce violence and criminal activity can get involved in the coalition’s efforts by attending the public forums and making their voices heard. They can also write to media and their mayors, councilors, MLAs and MPs to let them know that they support the coalition and its efforts.

To join the conversation, please visit our Facebook page. Updates on the campaign are publicly available on our Twitter feed.

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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.

Click here for a full listing of coalition members and to learn more about the coalition.

About Angus Reid Public Opinion

Angus Reid Public Opinion is the Public Affairs practice of Vision Critical headed by Dr. Angus Reid: an industry visionary who has spent more than four decades asking questions to figure out what people feel, how they think and who they will vote for.

 

Media: to receive polling results and talk to a member of the Stop the Violence BC Coalition, please contact:

Crystal Reinitz
Edelman
604.623.3007 ext. 301
crystal.reinitz@edelman.com

[button link=”http://stoptheviolencebc.org/2011/10/26/poll-british-columbians-link-gang-violence-to-illegal-cannabis-market/” style=”download” color=”orange”]Click here to download poll results[/button]