LETTER: Reducing crime in Surrey should start by getting smart about cannabis

The Editor,

Re: "No comment on crime," the Now, April 9.

I am grateful to Delta Mayor Lois Jackson for pointing out Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner’s shortfall in passing the onus to law enforcement to answer legitimate questions from the media about the ongoing crime in our city.

Just a few short months ago, Hepner had nothing original to propose to reduce this blight on the place we call home. At the time of her election, the extent of her answer was to suggest recruiting more RCMP. Hepner now seems more than happy to defer to law enforcement instead of addressing the failings of her management.

There is a truism that you should "follow the money." It is reported that 80 per cent of crime revenue in B.C. is generated from just one business – cannabis.

We currently allow this widely accepted product to be managed by the criminal element. Meanwhile, more enlightened jurisdictions are regulating, taxing and reducing crime.

The parallels of another failed prohibition in the U.S. with alcohol are numerous. It should also be noted that the violence of 1930s Chicago was not created by the alcohol but by the prohibition placed on it.

Until we have politicians with open minds and a willingness to look at alternatives, we will continue to repeat the same pattern in Surrey. I encourage the mayor to represent the people and stop being "tough on crime" and instead be "smart on crime."

That might reduce the media interest.

David Hutchinson, Surrey

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