A hydroponic marijuana grow-op.

A hydroponic marijuana grow-op.

Mayor calls for legal grow ops to get business licenses

Although eight B.C. mayors have called for legalizing marijuana, Mission's mayor is opposed

Eight B.C. mayors have joined a coordinated campaign to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana to combat gang violence and other drug-related crime, but Mission’s top municipal politician disagrees with his colleagues.

Three of the mayors are from the Lower Mainland — Vancouver’s Gregor Robertson, Burnaby’s Derek Corrigan and North Vancouver City’s Darrell Mussatto — while the other cities represented are Vernon, Armstrong, Enderby, Lake Country and the District of Metchosin.

“It is time to tax and strictly regulate marijuana under a public health framework,” the mayors said in a letter distributed by the Stop The Violence BC campaign addressed to Premier Christy Clark, NDP leader Adrian Dix and BC Conservative leader John Cummins.

It notes pot is more readily available to youth than tobacco, while smoking rates have been cut through public health regulation, not prohibition.

“Regulating marijuana would allow the government to rationally address the health concerns of marijuana, raise government tax revenue and eliminate the huge profits from the marijuana industry that flow directly to organized crime.”

But Mission Mayor Ted Adlem isn’t buying that argument, saying Robertson and Corrigan are playing a political game, hoping that legalization will solve the crime problem.

“I understand there are a ton of people that use it but if you support legalization of marijuana based on the fact that you’re trying to eliminate the crime involved, you’re barking up the wrong tree,” he said, adding that will only lead to arguments that every illicit drug should be legalized.

Adlem said the bigger problem in Mission is the large number of legal medical marijuana grow-ops operating without a business licence, calling the largely unregulated practice “a scary situation.”

Adlem would like to see the grow-ops licensed as a business, pay taxes, and be subjected to the same two fire inspections each year as any other business.

The eight mayors expressed concern that their cities will face higher policing costs due to “inflexible” federal policies like mandatory minimum sentences for drug offences.

Several city councils have also passed supportive motions.

But Adlem said the balance of B.C. mayors evidently do not support legalization since only eight signatures appear on the letter.

The Stop the Violence BC coalition has previously released endorsements from various academic, legal, law enforcement and health experts. B.C.’s chief medical health officer Dr. Perry Kendall was one of the latest to endorse a health-based approach to marijuana policy. In February, four former B.C. attorneys-general also backed pot legalization.

Premier Clark has deferred the issue of marijuana policy reform to the federal government.

— with files from Jeff Nagel

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chief Robert Gladstone of Shxwha:y Village at a federal flood funding announcement April 24, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/Chilliwack Progress file)
Consortium of Indigenous chiefs seeking a way to participate in cannabis economy

All Nations Chiefs from the Shxwha:y, Cheam, Soowahlie and Sq’ewlets holding online forum Dec. 2

This home at 32228 Buffalo Drive in Mission was all lit up for the holidays in 2019. / Submitted Photo
Tell us about your Christmas light displays in Mission

Holiday-light list to be published online and in newspaper

A vehicle incident is blocking all lanes west of 216th Street on the Trans-Canada Highway in Langley on Nov. 27, 2020. Traffic is getting by only on the shoulder. (DriveBC photo)
UPDATE: New incident on Highway 1 in Langley, crashes involving 10 cars cleared

New incident is reported eastbound underneath the 216th Street overpass

Students at the Chilliwack campus of the University of the Fraser Valley. (Darren MacDonald/ UFV)
UFV asking students to voluntarily report COVID cases and exposures to the school

With COVID cases rising and Fraser Health struggling to keep up, students are asked to help

Jesse Arnett facing off against Pedro Souza on Oct. 30, 2020. Arnett defeated Souza by unanimous decision. His record stands at 17 wins and 6 losses, with 14 finishes. / Gerardo Ramos photo.
Road to the Big Show: Mission Secondary’s wrestling champ speaks about his journey through MMA

Jesse ‘Big Cat’ Arnett was Mission’s 1st National Wresting Champion, now a top-ranked 135 fighter

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Despite rumours, Surrey RCMP say they are not issuing tickets to people if they are driving in a vehicle with others from a different household. (File photo)
COVID-19 tickets: No, RCMP aren’t checking vehicle occupancies, restaurant tables

Enforcement about education, not punishment says Surrey RCMP Cpl. Joanie Sidhu

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

File
LETTER: Public should provide feedback on Mission’s proposed budget

Writer feels more community push back is needed to stop annual property tax increases

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Letter
LETTER: Development will change area forever

Project on Hurd and 7th Ave. doesn’t sit well with at least one reader

Most Read