B.C. civic leaders vote to scrap pot law

On a split vote Wednesday, municipal leaders voted to pressure Ottawa to decriminalize marijuana

B.C. civic leaders have voted to support the decriminalization of marijuana, at a gathering of provincial municipalities Wednesday.

Delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM), a civic lobby group, voted in favour of a resolution calling for the decriminalization and taxation of marijuana.

The resolution itself won’t change any existing laws, but it will put pressure on senior levels of government, namely Ottawa, to make those changes.

The delegates were divided amongst those who believe decriminalization will lead to more harmful drugs becoming more available on the street, while those in favour say current laws allow organized crime to make massive profits.

Surrey’s representatives voted against the initiative.

Against the resolution were Mayor Dianne Watts, and Couns. Marvin Hunt, Bruce Hayne and Linda Hepner. Coun. Barinder Rasode voted in favour, while Couns. Mary Martin, Barbara Steele and Judy Villeneuve were not at the vote.

Rasode said she’s read a lot on the subject and believes the current system simply isn’t working.

She said it was an extremely tough decision.

Mayor Dianne Watts said if anything is going to be done about marijuana laws, it has to be part of a much larger public policy initiative, that includes, addiction, marijuana grow operations and gangs.

“The decriminalization of marijuana is not going to solve the gang problem,” Watts said.

Hepner said there simply isn’t enough information there to make a snap decision on the floor.

The marijuana resolution is one of more than 200 being considered by about 1,500 delegates in Victoria this week.

One of them, calls for more federal disclosure to municipalities as to where medical marijuana is being grown.

As of Wednesday afternoon, that vote hadn’t taken place.

Surrey’s fire chief says its known the residences where those crops are grown have a significantly higher chance of burning than a regular home.

The convention opened Monday with two days of study sessions, forums and tours. On Thursday, NDP Leader Adrian Dix will address the delegates followed by Premier Christy Clark, who will give the closing address on Friday.

@diakiw

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Leap Day birthday for Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society in Surrey and region

For these ‘Angels on Wheels,’ growth in Surrey area ‘has been remarkable’

Wally Oppal says policing ‘too important’ to be left to the police

Oppal was keynote speaker at a Surrey Board of Trade “Hot Topic Dialogue” breakfast event Wednesday

White Rock man says landlord ‘threatened’ tenants for seeking cash after no heat over Christmas

Porte Realty VP says original notice was harsh and quickly replaced

Surrey man charged with murder in West Kelowna tries to change guilty plea

Following an shocking guilty plea on Feb. 25, Tejwant Danjou applied to retract that plea on Feb. 26

VIDEO: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Supporters say they will continue ongoing action to hold government accountable

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Cypress Mountain offers free lift tickets March 13 in honour of snowboarding pioneer

Jake Burton Carpenter invented the sport of snowboarding

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

Most Read