HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Smith Raps Campbell Over Pot
Pubdate: Mon, 10 May 2004
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Copyright: 2004, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Lori Coolican, Edmonton Sun


Mayor Bill Smith says he's shocked to hear Vancouver Mayor Larry
Campbell wants pot legalized and regulated. "I know Larry Campbell,
and I'm very surprised he would come out with that position," Smith
said yesterday.

"It's certainly not something that I support."

In a speech to the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, Campbell said
marijuana sales should be taxed by government, with the proceeds going
toward recovery programs for people addicted to harsher illegal drugs.

"Taxes levied on marijuana sales could add to the resources for
treatment. Remember, the B.C. marijuana trade is estimated at $6
billion annually - larger than construction or forestry," Campbell
said on Saturday.

The former Mountie and coroner said he's against just decriminalizing
pot because it wouldn't deal with "real criminals" such as dealers. He
wants to go a step further to legalize the bud.

He cited studies showing pot consumption is lower in legalized
countries such as the Netherlands.

"The conclusion is pretty clear - legal, regulated sale of marijuana
may actually produce less consumption," he said.

Smith said he knows marijuana is used extensively these days, "but
everybody that thinks they're just having a few joints and it's OK,
what they're forgetting they're doing is they're supporting the drug
trade big-time."

"I think it was irresponsible on Campbell's part to even make that
kind of a statement," Smith said.

The man campaigning to unseat Smith this October in the local civic
elections said he agrees with Smith on this one.

"(Campbell's) idea makes no sense at all," Robert Noce said. "I think
he's taken a very simplistic view of the situation ... (legalization)
will not solve the problem and at the same time it will create more

Marc Emery, president of the B.C. Marijuana Party and publisher of
Cannabis Culture magazine, ran against Campbell in Vancouver's last
mayoral race.

After hearing Saturday's speech, he'll support and even campaign for
Campbell next time, Emery said last night.

"I think he's going to have a tremendous influence on big-city mayors
because he appears urbane, educated and intelligent, and he comes from
the background of a police officer. And you can't beat that."