Municipalities vs. Cannabis

Union of British Columbia Municipalities meeting could see municipalities around the province take a collective stance on marijuana policy.

The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) could pass a motion that would see municipalities around the province take a collective stance on marijuana policy.

Big news in the cannabis community this week as the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) hosts its annual meeting in Victoria and prepares to vote on a motion that could see municipalities around the province take a collective stance on marijuana policy.

But while Victoria, Metchosin and a host of like-minded cities wait to see how the UBCM will sway on the decriminalization debate, former city councillor Philippe Lucas has organized an event to get every resident talking: “A Sensible Cannabis Policy for B.C.” — a free community dialogue examining B.C.’s current cannabis policy and discussing options for more effective approaches. The event will take place Mon., Sept. 24, 7 to 9pm at Alix Goolden Hall (907 Pandora). Reserve (free) tickets at SensibleBC.eventbrite.com.

“While I would never suggest that cannabis use is completely safe for everyone under all circumstances, it’s clear prohibition only exacerbates potential harms,” says Lucas, who organized this as a sister event to the UBCM debate.

Lucas brought in a bushel of well-known speakers, including UBC Professor of Medicine Dr. Evan Wood, MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast Nicholas Simons, John Ranns, mayor of Metchosin, VicPD’s David Bratzer, president of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Canada, and Kirk Tousaw, the lawyer involved in the highly publicized case against Cannabis Buyers’ Club baker Owen Smith.

“Black market distributors don’t ask for ID, can’t guarantee the quality or strength of cannabis and don’t inquire about mental health issues, pregnancy or any other potential health issues,” says Lucas. “Government-certified outlets could and most certainly would acknowledge and address these potential health issues.” M

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