Health Officers Council Endorses Stop the Violence BC

On December 22, 2011, the Health Officers Council of British Columbia endorsed Stop the Violence BC. Below is the text of their endorsement.

Dear Dr. Wood:

As previously communicated to you, this letter is to confirm that the Health Officers Council of British Columbia (HOC) supports the Stop the Violence initiative and is willing to be publicly identified as an endorser of the work of the coalition.

The work of Stop the Violence BC is important in bringing attention to the harms consequent to the prohibition of cannabis, and proposing solutions. This work is consistent with the work of HOC and we welcome that additional attention that Stop the Violence BC is bringing to these issues.

In particular HOC recognizes the contribution that Stop the Violence BC is making to advancing public dialogue on this issue. We appreciated being able to support that work by providing spokespeople as part of the recent release of the paper How Not to Protect Community Safety.

All the best in your work and please do not hesitate to contact us on your future initiatives.


Paul Hasselback, MD MSc FRCPC
Chair, Health Officers Council

Stop the Violence BC Panel in Kelowna

Rotary Centre for the Arts, Kelowna BC

Mary Irwin Theatre –  421 Cawston Avenue, Kelowna, BC, Canada  V1Y 6Z1

March 1, 2012 – Doors at 6:30pm, Panel at 7:00pm.

March 1, 2012 join Dr. Evan Wood, active police officer David Bratzer and retired physician Dr. David Kennedy for an evening panel discussion on the Stop the Violence BC campaign.

Stop the Violence BC coalition members Dr Evan Wood and David Bratzer will be in Kelowna on March 1st for an evening panel discussion on the Stop the Violence BC campaign, how gang violence and the illegal cannabis trade effects Kelowna and what you can do to get involved.

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

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.