HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Vancouver Mayor Touts Pot Legalization
Pubdate: Sun, 09 May 2004
Source: CTV (Canada Web)
Copyright: 2004 CTV Inc.
Note: by CTV ca News Staff
Cited: The B.C. Civil Liberties Association
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell has weighed in on the marijuana debate,
and left no doubt where he stands.

Speaking at a conference on legalizing pot Saturday, Campbell said he
supports the plan but added it pot were available legally, he would
"tax the hell out of it."

Campbell said every tax dollar would go to health care, noting that
without the pot industry, British Columbia would be in a recession.

If pot ever is legalized, don't expect Campbell to spark up.

"In fact, I've never even smoked marijuana," the mayor told the
conference. "My biggest fear is that I may like it more than cabernet,
and then what the hell am I going to do?"

Campbell says it's time to take the marijuana industry out of
criminals' hands.

"What I do want is to stop seeing people go to jail. I want to stop
seeing the waste of resources, our resources, taxpayers' resources,"
he explained.

According to the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, which helped
organize the conference, punishing pot users doesn't make sense. The
herb has been around for centuries but was only declared illegal about
80 years ago.

"You have to speak out," says the BCCLA's policy director, Kirk
Tousaw. "You have to say, 'Hey, I do smoke cannabis and I'm not a
criminal.' That's the next step people have to take. They have to come
out of the closet."

The forum's keynote speaker was Conservative senator Claude Nolin, who
recently completed an 18-month Senate inquiry into marijuana use and
laws in Canada, concluding marijuana should be legalized.

Ottawa's plan to decriminalize marijuana is about to go up in smoke.
The legislation hasn't made it to a final vote -- and won't if the
prime minister calls an election.

Still the issue will continue to burn, with the NDP vowing to make
legalization a major election platform. 
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