Pubdate: Wed, 02 Jun 2004
Source: Surrey Now (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc., A Canwest Company
Author: Tom Zytaruk
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Federal NDP leader Jack Layton says decriminalization is the answer to
Surrey's burgeoning marijuana grow-operations problem.

The Surrey RCMP suspects there are as many as 4,500 grow-ops in the

"The best way to deal with marijuana grow-ops, in our view, is
decriminalization," Layton said yesterday during a press conference at
the Scott Road campaign office of Nancy Clegg, NDP MP candidate for
Newton-North Delta.

"Right now you've got these huge grow-ops, it's entirely in a criminal
context so you have violence, you have illegal activity of all kinds,"
Layton said. "Our approach has been to come up with a rules-based
system that would prevent these kinds of big grow-ops."

On homelessness, he said building more affordable housing will help
solve the problem.

Layton said an NDP government would have 20,000 new units of
"affordable" housing built every year for a decade throughout Canada.

On the subject of taxation, Layton said people earning less than
$15,000 a year shouldn't have to pay federal tax, including GST.

Asked for his definition of "wealthy," Layton said it's someone who is
"happy and healthy."

"I just don't go there," he added. "If you've got a family of 10 that
you're looking after and you have an income of $80,000, you could be
struggling at the end of every month. On the other hand, you could be
somebody who's very comfortable, happy and healthy and have an income
of $25,000 and be getting by as well as that other family.

"I don't think referring to people as rich or poor has anything to do
with anything," he said.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin