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

Smoking ban arrives on BC Ferries

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

UPDATE: Whiskey Creek floodwaters subside

Area roads reopened following Sunday morning closure

Parksville water project seeks new manager

City operations manager moves to new job with RDN

Man receives four-year sentence for stabbing Good Samaritan near Qualicum Beach

Jeffrey Brian MacDonald sentenced to additional 242 days in jail

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Tofino and Ucluelet wowed by biggest waves in a decade

“Even in pictures you show the kids and that, unless you’re witnessing it live, it’s like no other.”

Police fear fewer fentanyl imports don’t signal the end of the overdose crisis

RCMP say it’s just as likely that criminal are getting more clever

UPDATE: Two people die in ATV accident south of Campbell River

Third person survived attempt to cross a creek

Coal dust escaping rail cars spurs B.C. petition

Local governments are on board with Shuswap resident’s request for better control of escaping particulate

Lawyers slam ‘de facto expulsion’ of student guilty of sexual interference

Calgary student guilty of sexual assault of a minor allowed to finish semester

B.C. NDP set to restructure union bargaining

School trustees to regain control over employer group

UPDATE: Police continue to seek missing Qualicum Beach woman

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

New development in missing plane near Revelstoke

The family of Ashley Bourgeault believe they have found a new clue

Most Read