When delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities voted to call for the decriminalization of marijuana on Wednesday, Regional District of Nanaimo chair Joe Stanhope didn’t cast a ballot.
That doesn’t mean however that he is neutral about the idea.
“I did not vote on the issue because at that time I was conducting the resolutions and so I didn’t have to vote and I didn’t vote,” he said. “I said that the nomination committee’s recommendation was no recommendation. The nomination committee was neutral.”
However, Stanhope said he was moved by a presentation by former B.C. Attorney General Geoff Plant on Tuesday, who called the marijuana prohibition a case of failed public policy.
“I think it’s a good idea,” Stanhope said about the resolution. “Any time you have a law on the books that’s not enforceable it should be scrapped. Even a police officer who was off duty at the time spoke to it. He said the war on drugs is a failure and even the U.S. 13 states in the U.S. have decriminalization.”
Despite what Stanhope termed overwhelming support for the decriminalization call, he said it’s doubtful the resolution will make much of a political impact with senior levels of government.
“We don’t have a lot of clout on federal and provincial legislation,” he said. “There’s no question though that a good majority voted for the decriminalization of marijuana.”