Baker pleased with response to decriminalize marijuana

Lake Country's mayor is pleased a resolution calling for the legalization of marijuana was adopted at the UBCM last week.

  • Oct. 2, 2012 5:00 a.m.

The mayor of Lake Country says he’s pleased a resolution calling for the legalization of marijuana was adopted at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention last week.

James Baker said the resolution was put to a show of hands on the convention floor, then subjected to an electronic vote count. “The vote was passed by a majority on the floor, and ended up with a 67 to 33 per cent vote in support,” Baker said.

He hopes the vote sends a message that the debate on the legalization of pot, and the whole idea of the so-called war on drugs, is given a review.

“I would ultimately like to see it regulated the way alcohol is today but I’m not sure if I will see that actually happen in my lifetime,” Baker acknowledged.

“But our resolution can hopefully get the discussion going about it.”

Baker said marijuana production is a $7- to $8-billion industry in this province, and a business that operates free of taxation.

“I think it’s time to look at the marijuana problem differently,” said Baker, who was one of the mayors to sign his support to the resolution.

“I think when you start having gang shootups like what occurred in downtown Kelowna and the proliferation of gang violence around drugs, something has to change.”

Baker said that MLAs and MPs have told him that Canada can’t act unilaterally on the issue without the endorsement of the U.S., which remains committed to prohibition.

He said there were differing opinions voiced at the convention about the, including differences from neighbouring Kelowna city councillors.

“I think ultimately if any change is going to occur, it has to come from the people who demand that change,” Baker said. “Hopefully that will come about so we don’t tie up so much money on marijuana enforcement and police resources chasing something that we just can’t win.”

Just Posted

Rockets host tailgate party ahead of anticipated home-opener

Kelowna takes the ice for the first game of the season Saturday

RBC donates $40,000 to help connect youth with employers

The funding goes towards helping the YMCA Connects program to prepare young adults for the working world

Kelowna city council green lights new park charge

City wants to introduce a new development cost charge to create new parks

Kelowna boy returns to school after recovering from possible Xanax OD

RCMP investigation found the drug to be a form of benzodiazepine, commonly known as Valium or Xanax

FortisBC to offer free energy efficiency assessments for small businesses

Fortis BC wants to help 900 storefronts in Kelowna, Penticton and Rossland

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Nanaimo RCMP officer ‘walks on water’ to rescue lost camper

66-year-old assisted earlier this month by Mounties who can seemingly work miracles

South Okanagan adventure park brightens seniors’ day with flowers

The many flowers that bloom in LocoLanding during the summer brighten the day for seniors

Winnipeg student, killed in bus crash, remembered as passionate, kind

University of Victoria student Emma Machado, 18, was killed in the bus crash near Bamfield on Friday

East Coast comedian Ron James bringing ‘Full Throttle Tour’ to Okanagan

James is at work on the first draft of his first book, ‘All Over the Map’

Mobile needle exchange considered in Okanagan

City looks at options to combat issues of discarded needles

Province investigating eviction at Shuswap assisted living facility

Residential Tenancy Branch looking into situation affecting low-income senior residents

Most Read