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Ex Mayor Philip Owen Interview on Mayors for Marijuana

By admin | November 28, 2011

Four former Vancouver mayors have joined a growing coalition trying to legalize marijuana.

Sam Sullivan, Mike Harcourt, Larry Campbell and Philip Owen have co-signed a letter in support of Stop the Violence B.C., saying that prohibition of the drug has been an utter failure, has created a gang-fuelled $7-billion underground industry in B.C. and has done nothing to stop the availability of marijuana.

“Marijuana prohibition is — without question — a failed policy,” the letter reads. “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.”

Senator Campbell, a former police officer as well as mayor, said the coalition represents the most organized push to end pot prohibition in Canada.

“I’ve been advocating this for years — we’re losing out on $2 billion in taxes and instead have large cases of violence at the hands of sociopaths that call themselves gangs,” he said. “When you have a cross-section of people — (including) some ex-police officers like myself — come out, people will start to listen.”

Stop the Violence B.C. includes professionals from law enforcement, health care, universities and the justice system.

Its members include retired RCMP chief superintendent Vince Cain, medical health officer John Carsley, retired Supreme Court judge Ross Ladner, Four Pillars policy author Donald MacPherson and the director of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS Dr. Julio Montaner — among many others.

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