Despite four former mayors of Vancouver and the current one, all calling for the decriminalization of marijuana, Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney isn’t impressed.
Sam Sullivan, Larry Campbell, Mike Harcourt and Philip Owen all called for the legalization of marijuana in a joint statement recently, citing growing gang violence related to the drug’s prohibition. They were later joined in the call by current mayor Gregor Robertson.
In their letter, the quartet of former mayors said marijuana prohibition “is creating violent, gang-related crime in our communities and fear among our citizens, and adding financial costs for all levels of government at a time when we can least afford them,” the letter said. “Politicians cannot ignore the status quo any longer, and must develop and deliver alternative marijuana policies that avoid the social and criminal harms that stem directly from cannabis prohibition.”
Lunney was unmoved, however.
“We disagree with the former mayors,” he said. “They have one perspective, but a lot of Canadians have another perspective. People rent out their houses only to have a grow-op in there and the house is trashed. There are huge consequences to these crimes going on in our neighbourhoods. We are going to make it tougher for anyone dealing in drugs.”