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Gang related violence will continue unless pot is regulated: Expert

Last Updated Apr 13, 2016 at 1:46 pm PDT

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An SFU criminologist thinks if pot was regulated or legalized there would be less gang violence

There have been more than 30 shootings in Surrey so far this year

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – Violence related to gangs will continue in Surrey so long as pot is illegal, that’s the assessment of an SFU criminologist after that city has been the site of more than 30 cases of shots fired this year.

If there’s money to be made, there will be gangs profiting off the drug trade, suggests SFU Criminologist Rob Gordon.

“[Marijuana] is still the major earner, and has been for a number of years,” says Gordon. “That’s what’s driving, or has been driving, a lot of the industry.”

He feels until the pot is either legalized or regulated, competitors driving the drug war will continue resorting to violence.

“Shifting away from criminalization is going to have major impacts on the groups currently involved in production and distribution, and that will be on the plus side.”

Gordon also supports programs aimed at diverting youth from entering gangs, some of which already exist thanks to various levels of government.