Sam Sullivan: I believe that marijuana prohibition is a failed policy

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      I support the development and delivery of alternative marijuana legislation in order to address the social and criminal consequences that come from cannabis prohibition.

      I believe that marijuana prohibition is a failed policy.

      It is unconscionable, unacceptable and unreasonable that the criminal element in B.C. is allowed to grow and thrive due in part to inaction on the part of politicians.

      Politicians must have the courage to play a key role in the development of new policies that can provide safer, stronger communities.

      Marijuana prohibition has created violent, gang-related crime in our communities and fear among our citizens. It has increased financial costs for all levels of government.

      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.

      As Mayor, I was not afraid to tackle the tough issues of alternatives to drug prohibition and promote the innovative policies of harm reduction. I was the only non-medical doctor in the country that year, and the only Mayor in history, to be made a Member of the College of Family Physicians of Canada for my efforts “on behalf of inner-city marginalized populations”.

      I will fight to initiate an intelligent public policy debate on the legalization of marijuana.

      As the Vancouver Province wrote in their editorial ‘Here’s hoping other politicians show as much bravery and wisdom as the former mayors in pushing cannabis from a violent, unregulated market to one that is regulated and taxed.’




      Apr 26, 2013 at 3:14pm

      Knock Knock Knock, anybody in their! Hello! Anybody in their! Think Mcfly think!

      Marijuana is a federal issue! Unless you plan to withdraw BC from confederation, this is a non-starter.

      I'm getting sick and tired of the BS coming out of the GS.


      Apr 26, 2013 at 3:27pm

      We're all well aware that marijuana is a federal issue. We don't need federal permission to have a policy debate. Did you read the article? The second-to-last paragraph reads "I will fight to initiate an intelligent public policy debate on the legalization of marijuana." It does not say that he will legalize marijuana. It is about time we had a reasonable and intelligent debate on this topic. In the past, it has been riddled with juvenile rhetoric and poorly thought out reasoning. The evidence is there to show that prohibition of marijuana causes more harm than marijuana itself. We can't change policies without having a discussion about it first. You need to relax.


      Apr 26, 2013 at 4:09pm

      We also don't need federal permission to set our policing priorities, which can easily be set to deprioritize busting people for simple possession and other trivial transgressions of the law.

      Storm Crow

      Apr 26, 2013 at 6:43pm

      Just read these 3 articles! "“Marijuana May Slow Alzheimer's” (WebMD), “An ultra-low dose of tetrahydrocannabinol provides cardioprotection” (Pubmed), and “Pot compound seen as tool against cancer” (SFGate). There is a LOT more to marijuana than just "getting high"!


      Apr 26, 2013 at 8:21pm

      One day marijuana prohibition will go up in smoke, along with the careers of the Sgt Stedenkos of Cheech and Chong fame(they say their Stedenko character was based on a real former Vancouver narc.)


      Apr 27, 2013 at 9:06am

      Marijuana policing is done at a provincial and civic level. The federal government isn't going to do anything soon, so it's time politicians like Sam took on this issue. This is a breath of fresh air!

      Dana Larsen

      Apr 27, 2013 at 12:08pm

      Thank you Sam Sullivan. A sensible first step would be to effectively decriminalize marijuana possession at the provincial level, through the Sensible Policing Act.

      BC pays for the costs of marijuana prohibition. We pay for the police, the courts, the prisons, and the social costs of the war on pot. It is very appropriate for BC politicians to speak out on this issue.

      It's time for a sensible marijuana law. Join the Sensible BC campaign for a marijuana referendum at


      Apr 27, 2013 at 12:22pm

      Its too bad Sam had no guts on the issue while he was actually mayor
      But yes its still a big thank you Sam !

      And all of those that use the cop out that it is a federal issue better realize their argument is a smokescreen and an illusion as the Coast Guard closing and the pipelines are also FEDERAL issues that did get provincial attention

      You hide behind silliness

      No after over 20 years doing this politically it just sickens me more and more everyday ..the cowardice ...the games..the hypocrisy and even lies

      The people of delta for example dont even know the TV cable debates were done 15 DAYS BEFORE THE CANDIDATES had even filed their papers so only the ndp and liberals could be me this is a fraud and should be a crime

      It is a JOKE the process in this province and they think VOTERS STUPID obviously

      If BC politicians can take a stand on issues of federal jurisdiction when they involve Coast Guard stations, pipelines, guns and injection drugs, then surely our premier can stand up for marijuana, especially since it’s one of our province’s largest

      I as a BC voter am tired of lies

      And please VOTE

      Thank you ...and

      Andrew B

      Apr 27, 2013 at 12:58pm

      Hopefully this is the last time the Straight gives this idiot any more print space. He was a lousy mayor, a lousy politician, and he will hopefully be a lousy 2nd best candidiate on election day.Just ride off into the dustbin of history already

      Joy Davies, Ex. Dir. Canadian Medical Cannabis Partners

      Apr 27, 2013 at 11:56pm

      The province can legally operate a medical marijuana program under section 56 of the CDSA just as Insite got up and rolling. OR they can stand up against the federal government and do the RIGHT THING" as 18 US states have stood up to their federal government showing their compassion and understanding of true economics. It does take courage to be part of the solution instead of continuing to be part of the problem. Health is a provincial issue. The feds download programs to the provinces on a regular base so THIS CAN HAPPEN if there is political will. and people.. GET OUT AND VOTE or you are part of the problem too