Pot question is federal says Chilliwack’s mayor

Chilliwack's mayor won't join a call by former Vancouver mayors for the decriminalization of marijuana.

The former mayors of Vancouver may have joined forces to call for the end of marijuana prohibition, but don’t expect any such pronouncements from Chilliwack.

Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz said her job as mayor is to look after her citizens’ health and safety, before wading into issues like pot decriminalization.

The former Vancouver mayors came out on Nov. 23 saying B.C. should lead a call for an end to pot prohibition, and current Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, has joined the chorus of the former mayors.

They argued it would help eradicate the gangland violence associated with the illegal drug trade, and create revenue through taxation.

“From the city’s point of view, we want to concentrate on Health Canada and the medical marijuana predicament,” Gaetz said.

It comes down to a question of jurisdiction.

“The criminalization of marijuana is clearly the federal government’s responsibility. Mine is to look after my town,” she said.

Municipal leaders “have to be careful” which arenas they enter into, she said.

The Harper government has indicated it has no interest in legalizing marijuana.

Gaetz said she is more concerned with “making sure the local housing stock is safe,” and no grow-rip thugs are rampaging through her community.

“While we respect people’s privacy to obtain medical marijuana, we are also prepared to blow the whistle if we think the growers are abusing the system,” she said.

In recent years, the city has found the line between medical licensed grower and criminal grower of B.C. bud has become blurred.

“There’s clearly something wrong with the system,” Gaetz said.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

twitter.com/CHWKjourno

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