B.C. cities strengthen call for bigger role in marijuana legalization

Convention delegates vote for more consultation and revenue sharing

Local politicians have cemented their desire for a bigger say in how legal marijuana will be regulated in their communities at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.

The lead resolution, which passed overwhelmingly on Wednesday, focused on giving local government a more active role in how the legalization process will play out in B.C., specifically in terms of consultation and revenue sharing.

READ: B.C. cities want more money, and more talk, on legal pot

VIDEO: B.C. to consult public on marijuana legalization

Earlier this week, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced the province is asking for the public’s views on how the government should regulate the distribution and retail sales of the drug, as well as how to enforce marijuana impairment on the road.

This public consultation includes municipalities, though Farnworth said no revenue sharing agreement between the three levels of government had been reached yet.

Cities have long been concerned that increased policing and zoning costs will fall upon them once you can legally buy marijuana, without what they view as a fair share of the revenue.

Some leaders have also expressed worry over how soon marijuana will be legal. The federal Liberals, following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s popular campaign promise, have pledged to do so by July 2018.

“We at the municipal level have said, ‘Slow down, we’re not ready,’” said Ladysmith Coun. Steve Arnett at the convention.

Arnett also introduced an amendment asking for proper safeguards across all levels of government to protect children and youth.

He told delegates he wasn’t opposed to legal pot from a “reefer madness” perspective, but was speaking out of concern that edible marijuana, such as cookies, could be too attractive to kids.

“Young people aren’t always able to make informed choices,” said Arnett, who spent more than three decades as a social worker.

Those protections were important, he said, “particularly as we go to edibles that appear to be benign because they look attractive and taste good.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

People’s Party of Canada not finished, defeated Surrey candidate says

Surrey’s five PPC candidates combined received 4,213 votes

Surrey City Centre plan expands to include new proposed SkyTrain station

New developments in business district to provide minimum 50% of floor space for office, institutional uses

Federal NDP may support B.C. with major projects, Carole James says

SkyTrain Surrey extension, Massey Tunnel need Ottawa’s help

Guns, crossbows, ammo seized in raid on Langley home

Weapons also included stun guns and replica firearms

‘Escalating in Surrey’: Council mulling ban on sleeping overnight in RVs on streets

Proposal came amid complaints about homeless people living in recreational vehicles

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

Investor alert: ‘Split games’ pyramid scheme circulating in B.C.

British Columbia Securities Commission issues warning about scheme selling virtual shares

‘Issue-by-issue parliament’: Expert says Liberals need to placate NDP to be effective

Scandals, social issues, racism defined 2019 federal election, SFU prof says

Misconduct investigations spike by 65% across B.C.’s municipal police forces: report

Reports overall up 15 per cent while complaints made by public down seven per cent

Homicide team investigates death of man in his 20s in Chilliwack

Victim known to police and attack likely targeted, IHIT says

‘Wexit’ talk percolates day after Liberals returned to power with minority

An online petition is calling for a western alliance and Alberta to separate

Vancouver artist casts bronze ‘replacement’ egg for defaced Dali sculpture

Artist Richard Forbes installed the new egg after the original was stolen

Federal election saw 66% of registered voters hit the polls across Canada

Roughly 18 million people cast their ballots, voting in a Liberal minority government

‘Inconsistent’ message on climate change hurt Liberals at the polls: SFU prof

Trudeau government will have to make concessions to hold onto power

Most Read