British Columbia Mayor Proposes Taxing Marijuana to Fund Drug Treatment

Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell in British Columbia has proposed partial marijuana decriminalization so that taxes from pot sales can be used to fund treatment for addiction, KIRO-TV Seattle reported May 10.

Under the mayor’s plan, marijuana would be legalized and regulated like tobacco and alcohol. “Taxes levied on marijuana sales could add to the resources for treatment. Remember, the B.C. marijuana trade is estimated at $4.4 billion annually, larger than construction or forestry,” Campbell said.

The mayor, a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer and coroner, said partial decriminalization would also free up law enforcement for other crimes.

Campbell announced the proposal at the annual meeting of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association. Campbell said he is against full decriminalization because of the problems that would result with “real criminals,” such as dealers.