HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html
Pubdate: Mon, 10 May 2004 Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Copyright: 2004, Canoe Limited Partnership. Contact: http://www.fyiedmonton.com/htdocs/edmsun.shtml Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/135 Author: Lori Coolican, Edmonton Sun SMITH RAPS CAMPBELL OVER POT 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 problems." 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."