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Robertson tweets support of legal marijuana 0

STEPHANIE IP, 24 HOURS

Vancouver is one step closer to reaching its goal of becoming the greenest city.

The newly re-elected Mayor Gregor Robertson threw his support behind marijuana legalization this week after four former Vancouver mayors wrote an open letter, linking gang crime to the pot trade.

"Good to see 4 Vancouver ex-mayors calling for end of cannabis prohibition. I agree, we need to be smart and tax/regulate," Robertson tweeted Thursday night.

The letter, signed by Sam Sullivan, Larry Campbell, Philip Owen, and Mike Harcourt, was released Wednesday and addressed to all B.C. MPs, MLAs, mayors and councillors. It highlighted the links between the illegal marijuana trade and gang activity in B.C., and charged elected officials to step up and discuss the "ineffectiveness and harms of cannabis prohibition."

"Marijuana prohibition is - without question - a failed policy," said the letter.

The move is a part of a campaign by Stop the Violence BC, a cannabis advocacy group aimed to pressure politicians into decriminalizing pot. The coalition released a report last month, outlining the benefits of regulations and taxation of cannabis.

The report, titled Breaking the Silence, also pointed out numbers from an Angus Reid poll that showed 87% of British Columbians believe gang violence is linked to the fight for control over the illegal marijuana trade.

According to the group, organized crime is reaping billions from the illegal pot trade and violence is increasingly used as a means of control.

"Legally regulating marijuana in B.C. would eliminate a primary source of revenue for these criminal groups, reduce gang violence and generate tax revenue," said coalition member and retired RCMP chief superintendent Vince Cain.

Open Letter from Mayors | Nov. 23, 2011


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