Nelson City Council passes resolution supporting UBCM’s call to decriminalize marijuana and study regulation and taxation

October 9, 2012 Nelson City Council debated and passed a resolution supporting the motion passed in September at the Union of BC Municipalities.  Moved by city Councillor Donna Macdonald, this was the second time Nelson council was debating a cannabis regulation and taxation motion. In early June, Nelson council entered into a heated debate on the issue and deferred the conversation until after UBCM.

Here is the full text of the resolution:

Decriminalization of Marijuana

WHEREAS costly cannabis prohibition efforts have failed to effectively limit the availability of cannabis, especially to our youth, and insteed has created a large financial opportunity for organized crime, fueling an increasing violent illegal market ; and

WHEREAS academic, law enforcement and health experts, including the Health Officers Council of BC, believe that a strictly regulated framework for cannabis control has the potential to reduce rates of cannabis use. raise substantial tax revenue for education and rehabilitation, undermine organized crime. and reduce law enforcement time and expenditures,

That Nelson City Council endorse UBCM resolution A5 (2012 Convention), which calls for the decriminalization of marijuana and for research on the regulation and taxation of marijuana, base on a public health approach, and

That Council’s support for this approach be communicated to the Provincial and Federal Ministers of Health and Justice, and to Stop the Violence BC.

UBCM resolution on cannabis decriminalization and study of regulation

On Wednesday, September 27 2012 the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) voted in favour of a resolution calling for the decriminalization of cannabis at its annual convention.

Resolution A5, brought forward to the annual convention by the municipality of Metchosin, calls for UBCM to lobby the appropriate level of government to decriminalize cannabis and research its regulation and taxation. (For more about this motion click here.)

Here is the full text of the resolution:


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.



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.

City of Vancouver Passes Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Motion

On Tuesday, May 1st Vancouver City council unanimously passed a motion supporting Stop the Violence BC and calling for a public health-based, regulatory approach to cannabis taxation and control.

To read the text of the motion click here, or on the image to the right.

Media Coverage:

Menard, B.-S. (12/05/02). Immediate interest in mayors’ letter endorsing decriminalization of marijuana, Lake Country Calendar.
Letter some BC mayors; including James Baker; sent the province. (12/05/02). Lake Country Calendar.
news mention. (12/05/02). AM770.
news mention. (12/05/02). CTV2 Victoria.
news mention. (12/05/02). News1130.
news mention. (12/05/02). 630 CHED Edmonton.
news mention. (12/05/02). CKNW.
news mention. (12/05/02). Q103.1 Kelowna.
news mention. (12/05/02). Global Okanagan.
Morning News – mention. (12/05/02). Global BC.
Luba, F. (12/05/01). Vancouver politicians call for end to pot prohibition, The Province.
Brennan, R. (12/04/30). Tough laws not the answer for BC marijuana problem Vancouver councillor says, Toronto Star.

Britsh Columbia Municipalities Show Support for Cannabis Regulation and Taxation

Over the last couple of months, Stop the Violence BC has been working closely with municipalities around BC to discuss and pass motions calling for the regulation and taxation of cannabis.

To date, four city councils, Enderby, North Vancouver, Vernon and Victoria have joined the call for a public health approach to cannabis regulation and taxation in British Columbia.

Please see below for full text of the suggested motion.

Enderby’s motion will be made available online here.

North Vancouver’s motion will be available shortly.

Vancouver’s motion can be downloaded here.

Vernon’s motion can be viewed here, on page 4 of the PDF.

Victoria’s motion can be viewed here.


Motion Supporting a Regulatory Approach to Cannabis Control:

WHEREAS cannabis prohibition efforts have failed to effectively limit the availability of cannabis, especially to our youth;

WHEREAS cannabis prohibition has created a large financial opportunity that has fueled an increasingly violent illegal market with expanding organized crime involvement;

WHEREAS academic, law enforcement and health experts, including the Health Officers Council of BC, believe that a strictly controlled public health oriented regulatory framework for cannabis control has the potential to reduce rates of cannabis use, raise substantial tax revenue, undermine organized crime and save law enforcement time and expenditures;

WHEREAS many BC municipalities are increasingly affected by the harms of cannabis prohibition (e.g. grow-ops, etc), which negatively impacts community health and safety;

WHEREAS BC municipalities are increasingly bearing the financial burden of failed policy approaches that emphasize enforcement of marijuana prohibition over evidence-based policies, consuming significant portions of municipal budgets and diverting law enforcement attention away from criminal activities where police involvement can better improve community safety;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Council XXX supports the taxation and regulation of cannabis to address the ineffectiveness and harms of cannabis prohibition, and write to the Southern Interior Local Government Association, Union of BC Municipalities, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and Provincial and Federal Ministers in the Justice and Health departments to inform them of our support.

Thanks to your help, City of Victoria cannabis motion debated and passed

On Thursday March 15th, Victoria City Council Governance and Planning Committee debated and passed a motion on the regulation and taxation of cannabis. The text of the motion can be found here.

Thanks to your support, the motion passed.

You will be able to find minutes from the March 15th meeting and the agenda for the March 22nd meeting here, on the city of Victoria website.


Media Coverage
March 23, 2012, Murray Langdon Show, CFAX 1070
Gardner, S. March 22, 2012. Council Unanimously passes motion to support regulatory approach to cannabis control. CFAX1070.