Stone Calls for Special Legislature Committee on Addictions – Dedication of Pot Revenues

VANCOUVER – With the opioid addiction crisis continuing to ravage families and communities across British Columbia, BC Liberal Party leadership candidate Todd Stone is calling for the creation of a Special Committee of the Legislature to investigate the issue, hear from global experts, and propose solutions to save lives.

“We need to park politics and ideology at the door when it comes to tackling the addiction crisis that continues to devastate far too many British Columbia families,” said Stone. “This committee would be completely non-partisan and focused entirely on identifying a range of possible solutions to this epidemic.”

The committee would convene across the province and have the authority to bring global experts to British Columbia as well as consulting with experts in B.C. and would not be constrained by any current addiction care model. As part of remaining non-partisan, the committee would report directly to the Legislature.

Stone is also committing to a policy of segregating revenues stemming from the Federal decision to legalize marijuana as of July 1st and dedicating those towards action on addiction, recovery and law enforcement.

As such, any provincial funds from the sale of marijuana would be segregated from general revenue and used primarily for the following objectives.

  • Support both harm reduction and recovery programs for those battling addiction.
  • Encourage expansion of more 12 step and other approved recovery programs.
  • Support research at B.C. universities into addiction including the development of new and innovative ways to combat addiction and promote recovery.
  • Support local government needs stemming from marijuana legalization.
  • Support law enforcement efforts to prevent the sale of drugs to young people and involvement of organized crime in the drug trade.

This policy announcement comes following a visit by Stone and North Vancouver-Seymour MLA Jane Thornthwaite to two addiction recovery and support centres in Metro Vancouver on Tuesday. Both locations provided another first-hand look at the dedicated efforts to deal with this crisis and save lives as well as a chance to talk one-on-one with those battling addiction.

“I am seeking the leadership of the BC Liberal Party because I believe we need a new generation of leadership in our province to help us defeat the NDP, restore good government, and bring sound policies to Victoria,” added Stone. “Leadership based on a bold vision, and a solid, affordable plan that acts to make life better for families and communities across British Columbia.”

Please find our full press release, including backgrounder, downloadable here.

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First elected in 2013 from the riding of Kamloops-South Thompson, Stone is serving his second term as an MLA and is the opposition critic for Municipal Affairs. Married for the past 17 years, he is the father of three children, all still in the K-12 school system. Prior to entering public life, Stone was the founder and CEO of a successful tech company.