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Council Passes On Pot Debate

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Federal officials should work with advocates of medicinal marijuana use to create healthier and safer legalized grow-ops, Kelowna city council says.

Council unanimously decided Monday not to back a call by two B.C. mayors for Ottawa to immediately cancel licences held by medicinal marijuana users to grow their own pot.

"We should definitely not jump on this bandwagon," said Coun. Luke Stack, who didn't believe that cancelling the licences would promote public safety, as argued by the mayors of Langley and Chilliwack.

Coun. Graeme James said he wasn't aware of many legal grow-ops in Kelowna being targeted for home invasions, as is said to be the case in other parts of the province.

"I really don't think there's a huge problem with this in Kelowna," James said.

In any event, the timing may not be right for municipalities to try to influence significant changes in federal drug policy, Mayor Sharon Shepherd said.

"With the federal election happening, it's likely a letter is not worth going forward until there's a new ( minister of justice and attorney general ), whoever that may be," Shepherd said.

Coun. Angela Reid-Nagy suggested council create a committee to examine all issues related to legalized grow-ops, but there was no support for that idea among her colleagues.

"I don't think it's our role as a council to even discuss the legality ( of marijuana )," Coun. Charlie Hodge said. "I think we'd be getting in way over our heads, and it's something we don't necessarily have to deal with."

Rather than just do nothing, Stack suggested council should send a letter to Health Canada suggesting the agency work with people who take an interest in the medicinal use of marijuana to make sure the legalized grow-ops are as safe and healthy as possible, Stack said.

Council also passed a separate motion asking Kelowna RCMP to report at a future meeting on how they deal with legalized grow-ops.

Rather than being able to grow their own pot plants, the mayors of Langley and Chilliwack say those licensed to use marijuana for medicinal purposes should have to obtain the drug through pharmacies.

There was support for that suggestion from Coun. Michele Rule, who said: "It should be the kind of drug you can buy ( as you do ) for any other illness."

Councillors Robert Hobson, Andre Blanleil and Kevin Craig were not at Monday's morning meeting.

NewsHawk: Jim Behr: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: Daily Courier, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2011 The Okanagan Valley Group of Newspapers
Website: Kelowna Daily Courier - Front Page -
Details: MAP: Media Directory
Author: Ron Seymour
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