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B.C. Experts Say: Legalize Marijuana


A coalition of prominent B.C. police officers, health professionals, legal experts and academics is calling for the legalization and regulated sale of marijuana. The group Stop the Violence, which includes former B.C. Supreme Court justice Ross Lander and B.C.’s former chief coroner Vince Cain, has launched a high-profile political campaign to “end the cannabis cash cow of organized crime.” Panel member Dr, Evan Wood, of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, says marijuana prohibition is fuelling gang warfare, and school children now have easier access to pot than either alcohol or cigarettes, because of the reach of organized crime.

“Instead of having a regulated market, we’ve turned things over to this extremely violent unregulated market controlled by organized crime,” said Wood.

“Cannabis is more available to young people than alcohol and tobacco, and what we’ve seen in a government-funded surveillance system is that the price of cannabis continues to go down and the potency of cannabis continues to go up.”

Wood said the group is calling for the regulated the sale of marijuana similar to cigarettes, so that it can be controlled, taxed and its use eventually reduced.


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