BC’s civic politicians say cities do have the authority to licence medical marijuana dispensaries.
That’s despite sustained federal opposition to regulation of the illegal stores.
Delegates at the Union of BC Municipalities convention in Vancouver are strongly backing a resolution that states they have the power to regulate the pot.
Vancouver Councillor Kerry Jang says average people have been crying out for some kind of regulation.
“Our citizens have asked us to do this; it’s not something we invented for ideology or anything like that. It’s simply managing a bad situation on our streets, and we’re going to do that.”
He says whether the Harper government has a change of heart is the “64 Thousand Dollar Question”.
But that scenario is unlikely.
Vancouver is the first city in the country trying to regulate these outlets.
Earlier this month Health Canada sent out ‘cease and desist’ letters to a handful of pot shops in Vancouver, warning they could face police raids if they don’t comply with several demands.
Vancouver City Councillor Kerry Jang responded by confirming the city would continue to move forward with implementing its newly developed regulations as usual.
“The reality is, no matter how many shops are here, regardless of what the federal government does, if there is even just one shop left it’s going to follow our guidelines, so it’s business as usual.”
The VPD also responded to questions about the letters, saying they have better things to do than clamp down on the city’s marijuana dispensaries, and that they “just aren’t a priority.”