Immediate interest in mayors’ letter endorsing decriminalization of marijuana

There was immediate interest in the letter signed by James Baker regarding a new approach to the marijuana industry in British Columbia.

There was immediate provincewide media interest in the April 26 letter signed by Mayor James Baker and the mayors of seven other communities regarding a new approach to the marijuana industry in British Columbia.

In a two-page missive, the mayors acknowledge the tremendous harm the marijuana industry has on communities, the immense cost of the continued criminalization and the public health implications of current approaches.

The letter supports the Stop the Violence Campaign and calls for the taxation and strict regulation of marijuana.

The letter is, “An attempt to get some type of control over the situation,” says Baker.

The mayor recognizes there is a jurisdictional issue, but he is hoping the letter also signed by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robinson, Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan and Vernon Mayor Robert Sawatzky, among others will help bring the issue front and centre with the provincial and federal governments.

“There obscene amounts of money associated with marijuana and to try and enforce the drug issue is not succeeding,” says Baker.

The mayor’s hope is that an approach similar to alcohol regulation would be taken up by the province.

“The parallels are so similar to alcohol. They could bring in a drug control act similar to the Alcohol Control Act.  This isn’t about legalization as much as it is about regulation.”

The letter states: “According to public health experts, strict regulation of the marijuana market may also reduce marijuana use. In fact, the success in reducing rates of tobacco use has been achieved through public health regulation, not prohibition.”

Stop the Violence BC is a coalition of academics, past/present members of law enforcement, and the general public concerned about the links between cannabis prohibition in BC and the growth of organized crime and related violence in the province.

The organization worked closely with municipalities across B.C. to raise the issue.

A representative of the organization made a persuasive case for regulation at the April 17 District of Lake Country Council meeting.

Two district councilors were publicly concerned with the approach to marijuana regulation, Penney Gambell wished for more information on the expected benefits of the approach and Rob Geier was opposed to any initiative in regards to marijuana that might make the drug more available to young people.

The full text of the letter is elsewhere on this website.


Just Posted

JoeAnna’s House fundraising campaign reaches $4.5 million

Offering ‘home away from home’ for families of KGH patients

Flood recovery work to begin on Upper Vernon Creek

The first phase of $5 million dollar flood recovery plan for Upper Vernon Creek will begin on Monday

Kelowna exhibition showcases nature of Haida Gwaii

The Kelowna Art Gallery is holding a reception for Gwaii Haanas – Islands and Sacred Sites Friday

Crime Stoppers: Stamping out crime for 31 years

Beginning in Kelowna, Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers has take a big bite out of crime

UPDATED: One-bedroom unit rental prices climb in Kelowna

One bedrooms are up 15 per cent according to a recent report

Canadian junior captain returns to Rockets lineup

Dillon Dube will be back in Kelowna’s lineup Wednesday night after world juniors and bout of flu

Dube, Foote pace Rockets to O.T. win

World junior gold medalists key in 4-3 victory Wednesday over Lethbridge

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

Public asked to report bat sightings

White nose syndrome leads to bats flying in winter or death.

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Song penned for Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton

Curling Time released to celebrate Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

Most Read