Yesterday, the CBC published quotes from a letter written by four former mayors of Vancouver. The open letter calls for the legalization of cannabis, and is quoted as saying: "Marijuana prohibition is -- without question -- a failed policy." The letter states that 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." A recently-released survey suggests most people in B.C. oppose current marijuana laws. Today's on-line CBC survey is mind-blowing: --> 94%+ favor legalization! If you have not seen this video yet, watch it. Anyone can see that students - and the younger generation - are fully aware of what this depraved prohibition truly costs us - and who benefits. This debate really tells the story. It is from Nov. 15th - Janus Forum - Should the US Legalize Drugs? This debate at Brown University was put on by students FOR students - i.e. BIG PHARMA and depraved losers who support their wicked sick agenda look like fools among rational thinkers. [ame=http://vimeo.com/32110912]Janus Forum - Should the US Legalize Drugs? on Vimeo[/ame] Janus Forum - Should the US Legalize Drugs? Brown University on Vimeo. We can not allow our governments to ignore the state of affairs of our peoples. They must once again fear us. "When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." - Thomas Jefferson Perhaps the former mayors' letter quoted today, and 90% or so legalization poll results will make a difference and force folks to demand better. Let us hope. We know the cure. Letter From Former Mayors From: Sam Sullivan, Michael Harcourt, Larry Campbell, and Philip Owen To: All B.C. MPs, MLAs, Mayors and Councillors Re: Call to Action â€“ Marijuana prohibition and its effects on violent crime, community safety, and the health and well-being of our citizens As former Mayors of the City of Vancouver, we are asking all elected leaders in British Columbia to speak out about the ineffectiveness and harms of cannabis prohibition. Marijuana prohibition is â€“ without question â€“ a failed policy. It 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. Politicians cannot ignore the status quo any longer; they must develop and deliver alternative marijuana policies that avoid the social and criminal harms that stem directly from cannabis prohibition. Among the most pressing issues is the contribution that cannabis prohibition has made to organized crime and gang violence. The Fraser Institute has estimated that B.C.'s illegal cannabis trade may be worth up to $7 billion dollars annually. This massive illegal market drives violence in communities throughout the province. New thinking, new policies and collaboration across party lines are required to protect our communities and make them safer. Unfortunately, research and practical experience from Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere clearly demonstrates that increasing anti-cannabis law enforcement strategies will not reduce the availability to young people. Cannabis prohibition has failed globally. While we fully recognize that marijuana is not without health-related harms, the failure of cannabis prohibition to reduce the availability of the drug to young people requires an urgent and novel response. We agree with the Stop the Violence BC coalition and the criminologists, economists, lawyers, law enforcement and public health experts under its umbrella: we must move from a violent unregulated market to a strictly regulated cannabis market that is based on a public health framework. We believe a legally regulated market for adult cannabis use has the potential to reduce rates of cannabis use while at the same time directly addressing organized crime concerns by starving them of this cash cow. A regulated market would enable governments to improve community health and safety while at the same time raising millions in tax revenue. The time for action is now. A recent Angus Reid poll demonstrated that 69% of British Columbians believe that chasing and arresting marijuana producers and sellers is ineffective and that British Columbians would be better off taxing and regulating the adult use of marijuana. We fully agree. Clearly, elected officials are out of step with their public on marijuana prohibition. It is time that elected officials enter the debate and deliver specific proposals to address the easy availability of cannabis to youth and the organized crime concerns stemming directly from cannabis prohibition. If you agree, please step forward, join this call for change and add your influential voice to the debate. In addition, we encourage you to notify Stop the Violence BC of your endorsement so that they may profile your support and adjust their education efforts accordingly. If you disagree, there is nevertheless an ethical and moral obligation to join the debate, because the stakes for our communities, our youth and our fellow British Columbians are so high. Politicians of all stripes â€“ not just at the federal level â€“ must respond before further damage is done to our B.C. communities. We must break the silence on this issue. The status quo must change. Signed, Sam Sullivan, Mayor of Vancouver, 2005-2008 Larry Campbell, Mayor of Vancouver, 2002-2005 Philip Owen, Mayor of Vancouver, 1993-2002 Mike Harcourt, Mayor of Vancouver, 1980-1986 From: Cannabis Prohibition is - Without Question - a Failed Policy - Cannabinoids are the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. These therapeutic compounds DO NOT exist in plants other than cannabis & are considered vital to human health.