By Nikki Jamieson
Vauxhall council has thrown their support behind neighbouring Taber’s resolution to ban the sale of marijuana in the province.
During their regular July 17 meeting, Vauxhall town council received a request from the Town of Taber to give their support for their non-legalization stance on marijuana.
“The Town of Taber has made a motion a motion that they’re bringing forward to AUMA (Alberta Urban Municipalities) in the fall, asking the federal government not to legalize the recreational use of marijuana,” said Mayor Margaret Plumtree, adding that Taber Mayor Andrew Prokop made that request to her, and Taber councillors would be talking to AUMA representatives on it the next day.
In a copy of a letter to Bow River MP Martin Shields from the town of Taber, the town council had passed a motion to request that “the Alberta Urban Municipalities (AUMA) petition the Government of Alberta, and further the Government of Canada, to not allow the Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) to pertain to municipalities in the Province of Alberta”. At Taber town council’s regular June 26 meeting, Prokop had also slammed the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association for not taking a stance on the issue.
As the item was an addition on the agenda, the Advance had to request to receive a copy of the letter after the meeting.
Bill C-45 — the Cannabis Act —is expected to come into force on July 1, 2018, and municipalities across the country have been looking for answers on how it will be enforced and legislated.
While some municipalities have taken a wait-and-see stance before they make a decision, others have either embraced it — such as Olds, which has a planned 400,000-square-foot medical marijuana facility being built there — or opposed it completely, such as Taber.
“The whole purpose behind it is to tax it. It’s already happened, the government just wants their share of the kitty — it’s pretty much what it comes down to,” said Martin Kondor, Vauxhall councillor.
“While I’m not a drug supporter, but how I view the recreational side of it, is basically the same idea as the alcohol. For those who want to participate, to make it safer for them, so they know that when they’re purchasing marijuana, that’s all they’re purchasing. They’re not purchasing marijuana laced with something else, which is causing people to get addicted to something harder or causing them to also die,” said Plumtree. “My thoughts on it is myself personally, that’s how I feel on it. What I dislike on it is growing it in your home, but that’s not what this resolution is about.”
Coun. Kim Cawley stated that while she supported the medicinal use of marijuana, she doesn’t support the legalization.
“It’ll cause more trouble than is good, and then they’ll have to try to find a way to control driving under (the) influence,” said Cawley.
“Medicinal is no different though,” said Kondor.
“You go to a doctor, ‘Ow, I have an elbow ache’, oh, here you go, here you go. They hand them out like candy. Like, if you want one, you just got to go and ask for one.”
“I know people who legitimately benefit from using it medicinally. It’s a shame that it’s a crime for them to be using it, because it helps them,” said Cawley.
“At the same time, it will cause more harm than good to legalize it. That’s just my thoughts. I would be a supporter of this letter for sure.”
Council passed a motion to support the Town of Taber’s letter.