Prime Minister Stephen Harper says his government will never agree to the decriminalization of marijuana.
Harper’s comments came Friday in Vancouver in response to a question at a brief news conference following an event at a downtown science centre.
"No, it will not happen under our government," Harper said. “We’re very concerned about the spread of drugs in the country and the damage it’s doing and as you know we have legislation before the House [of Commons] to crack down."
This week, four former Vancouver mayors endorsed the Stop the Violence Coalition, which is comprised of former police officers, a judge, medical leaders and B.C.’s former chief coroner.
The coalition’s founding principle is that regulation and taxation of marijuana would stop most of the violence associated with the drug trade and make pot less accessible to children.
Current Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has said he agrees with the coalition’s goals.
"We see the impact on the streets. We see the gang activity that’s largely funded by the marijuana trade, a huge industry here in B.C.," Robertson said. "There’s no tax revenue flowing from [it], so I think it’s time for reform."