VANCOUVER — A new coalition of high-profile health, academic and justice experts is mounting a campaign to legalize and regulate marijuana in British Columbia, arguing the policy change would reduce gang violence and convert criminal profits into new tax revenues.
The push comes as the federal Conservative government moves to pass polar opposite legislation, an omnibus crime bill aiming to toughen penalties for drug traffickers along with other law-and-order measures.
Calling itself Stop the Violence BC, the group released it first report Thursday and is pledging to issue further scientific research, poll results and hold public forums in an effort to pressure politicians towards its cause.
“To continue the criminalization of marijuana is, I think, completely out of tune with what’s going on in society today,” Ross Lander, a former B.C. Supreme Court judge for decades, said in an interview.
“The coalition’s objects meet what I would personally want, that is stop the useless killings and the violence that attends this drug trade.”
The activist efforts are emerging from a province that’s well-known for its underground marijuana-based economy. The coalition noted a recent estimate by the right-wing Fraser Institute that puts the value of the illegal cannabis market at upwards of $7 billion.
"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this." Albert Einstein, "My First Impression of the USA," 1921
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North Coast Journal, 03 Nov 2016 - Editor: Decades of cannabis prohibitionist lies, half-truths and propaganda ("Vote No for a Safer Community," Oct. 20, 2016), today, is one of the reasons cannabis (marijuana) prohibition is about to end. Colorado voters heard it all before and voted.
Press-Enterprise, 01 Nov 2016 - There are only a few days left before voters' last chance to stop California's spiraling plunge into the marijuana morass now plaguing several states by voting no on Prop. 64. Supporters point out that responsible people can use marijuana without ill effect while ignoring it's the irresponsible that pose the thr […]
The Chico News & Review, 27 Oct 2016 - I was pleased to read the CN&R's endorsement of Prop. 64, legalizing cannabis (marijuana). While polls predicting election results regarding cannabis seem to indicate it will pass, one poll is spot-on that voters can count on. In Colorado, every subsequent poll indicates citizens continue supporting the end […]
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The Press Democrat, 06 Sep 2016 - EDITOR: Thank you so much for the informative and appreciated column by Paul Gullixson in Sunday's Press Democrat ("Do we really want to become the mecca for marijuana?"). I too think Santa Rosa getting on the "weed train" is a terrible mistake, and I'm ashamed of our city leaders wanting to get […]
The Orange County Register, 05 Sep 2016 - Re "DEA marijuana reclassification behind schedule" [Opinion, Sept. 2]: Being screwed by the Drug Enforcement Agency is sort of like being stung by a scorpion. The scorpion can't really be blamed too much for its actions since its mindless and predictable behavior is largely motivated by instincts. Wit […]
The Press Democrat, 04 Sep 2016 - EDITOR: Thank you for Paul Gullixson's astute editorial on Santa Rosa's marijuana mecca ("Do we really want to become the mecca for marijuana?" Aug. 28). I had begun to think The Press Democrat was promoting legalization with the three headline stories in August, so it is refreshing to read Gullixson […]
Chico Enterprise-Record, 04 Sep 2016 - It's 2017. A little boy is walking down a street in downtown Chico with his grandmother. The little boy looks up and ask, : "Grandma, what's that smell?" Grandma looks down and replies, "That's the smell of marijuana growing in back yards throughout the city. Smells like skunks doesn't […]