Union of BC Municipalities to vote on marijuana decriminalization resolution

The Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), the largest annual gathering of BC mayors and councillors, will be voting on Resolution A5 on Wednesday, September 26. The resolution calls for UBCM to lobby the appropriate government to decriminalize marijuana and research its regulation and taxation.

On Monday, September 24, a debate over the marijuana decriminalization featuring members of the Stop the Violence BC coalition will take place at the convention. Former B.C. attorney general Geoff Plant, Stop the Violence BC founder Dr. Evan Wood and police officer David Bratzer will argue their opposition to marijuana prohibition, and noting its role in fueling gang violence, driving up law enforcement and related costs for municipalities, and failing to protect public safety.

Debate panelists will include:

  • Dr. Evan Wood, Stop the Violence BC, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
  • Geoff Plant, Stop the Violence BC, Lawyer
  • Constable David Bratzer, Stop the Violence BC, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
  • Dr. Darryl Plecas, University of Fraser Valley
  • Dave Williams, Drug Enforcement Branch, RCMP ā€œEā€ Division
  • Pat Slack, Commander, Snohomosh County Drug Task Force, Washington State

The debate will take place from 9:00am to 12:00pm, at the Victoria Convention Centre (720 Douglas St.), Saanich Room, Level 1.

Below is the full text of Resolution A5.

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A5 DECRIMINALIZATION OF MARIJUANA

WHEREAS marijuana prohibition is a failed policy which has cost millions of dollars in police, court, jail and social costs;

AND WHEREAS the decriminalization and regulation of marijuana would provide tax revenues:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM call on the appropriate government to decriminalize marijuana and research the regulation and taxation of marijuana.

ENDORSED BY THE ASSOCIATION OF VANCOUVER ISLAND & COASTAL COMMUNITIES

UBCM RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION: No Recommendation

UBCM RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE COMMENTS: The Resolutions Committee advises that the UBCM membership has not previously considered a resolution requesting the decriminalization of marijuana. The Committee would observe that based on current police information, BC is responsible for 40% of the marijuana produced in Canada, and 80-95% of marijuana produced in BC is exported illegally into the UnitedStates. Based on police information, the marijuana industry in BC is currently operated by criminal gangs who sell or exchange the marijuana produced in BC with criminal gangs in the United States for cocaine and guns.

The membership has considered other resolutions on marijuana, however, these have been focused on ensuring that those licensed to cultivate and process marijuana for medical purposes comply with local government bylaws as well as electrical, fire, health, safety and building regulations.

The Committee notes that a pre-conference session will be held on Monday morning, September 24, 2012 to discuss the decriminalization of marijuana.

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