Council Erupts Over Pot Motion

Jun 19, 2012

Mon­day night motion to sup­port Stop the Vio­lence BC cam­paign sparks heated debate; Mayor Doo­ley says he will ‘go to the wall’ to keep it from hap­pen­ing Emo­tions ran high Mon­day night as Nel­son city coun­cil debated a res­o­lu­tion that asked the mayor to write a let­ter in sup­port of the Stop the Vio­lence BC cam­paign. “I believe it will have a neg­a­tive impact on our com­mu­nity,” said Mayor John Doo­ley.  “The domes­tic mar­ket is only sup­port­ing a small por­tion of orga­nized crime.  The drugs that are being grown in British Colum­bia are being sold to the United States in exchange for cocaine that is being brought back to be sold to the youth in this com­mu­nity and the chil­dren in our school­yards.  I sit on the police board, I see the evi­dence and I can not put this com­mu­nity in that posi­tion.” Stop the Vio­lence BC is a coali­tion of aca­d­e­mics, past and present law enforce­ment mem­bers and the gen­eral pub­lic.  Guided by sci­en­tific evi­dence this edu­ca­tional cam­paign is call­ing for “a strict reg­u­la­tory frame­work aimed at lim­it­ing use while also starv­ing orga­nized crime of the prof­its they reap as a result of pro­hi­bi­tion.” Coun­cil­lor Donna Mac­don­ald intro­duced the issue to coun­cil late last month after receiv­ing an email from a res­i­dent. Before Mac­don­ald could intro­duce her rec­om­men­da­tion on Mon­day, Coun­cil­lor Robin Cherbo brought for­ward his own which asked that the topic of reg­u­la­tion and tax­a­tion of mar­i­juana be referred to the Union of BC Munic­i­pal­i­ties for analy­sis and research. Cherbo stated that if coun­cil referred the issue to the Union of BC Munic­i­pal­i­ties, “Nel­son would not be act­ing in iso­la­tion.” Doo­ley said he would not sign a let­ter in sup­port of the cam­paign and said he would “go to the wall” in oppo­si­tion of it. “This res­o­lu­tion should never have come for­ward in this man­ner,” said Doo­ley.  “This is the wrong way to bring this for­ward.” The res­o­lu­tion intro­duced by Cherbo was called into ques­tion and defeated when coun­cil­lors Deb Kozak, Paula Kiss, Can­dace Baty­cki and Mac­don­ald voted against. Kozak, who voted in sup­port of the orig­i­nal motion put for­ward by Mac­don­ald, said she had inter­preted the res­o­lu­tion dif­fer­ently than Doo­ley. “When we talk about pro­hi­bi­tion and we talk about stop­ping the vio­lence, when alco­hol was reg­u­lated it did stop a lot of the vio­lence,” said Kozak.  “The gang war­fare over alco­hol ended.  There was dis­cus­sion and peo­ple needed to intro­duce it to be dis­cussed…  I don’t believe it lessens the safety of our com­mu­nity.  I can’t agree with you there.” When the orig­i­nal motion intro­duced by Mac­don­ald was called to ques­tion, Kiss, Baty­cki, Kozak and Mac­don­ald voted in favour, while Doo­ley, Cherbo and Coun­cil­lor Bob Adams voted against. “The rea­son that we are in this posi­tion today with the vio­lence, gang con­trol and the spe­cial THC mar­i­juana that we’re see­ing out on the mar­ket today, is that pro­hi­bi­tion brought us all these prob­lems,” said Kiss in response to com­ments by Cherbo.  “The prob­lems are 100 per cent because of pro­hi­bi­tion, so both of you [Cherbo and Doo­ley] have made a con­vinc­ing case against pro­hi­bi­tion.  I am say­ing please let us be lead­ers in start­ing this dis­cus­sion about com­ing up with a sys­tem that is bet­ter.” Both Doo­ley and Cherbo said Nel­son should not act on this issue in iso­la­tion. “We’re not doing this in iso­la­tion,” said Kiss in response.  “We’re being pro­gres­sive lead­ers.” Doo­ley said he is show­ing lead­er­ship as far as what the com­mu­nity wants. “We are show­ing lead­er­ship.  We’re say­ing we want the full infor­ma­tion pack­age to make an informed deci­sion,” he said.  “This is a deci­sion pro­moted by one group.  I’ve out­lined for myself a num­ber of ques­tions.  I can’t in good con­science sup­port it with­out my con­cerns being addressed.” Although eight may­ors have signed let­ters in sup­port of the Stop the Vio­lence BC cam­paign, Doo­ley said all may­ors would not sign the let­ter. “At the end of the day they are the guys that call the shots,” said Doo­ley.  “It’s not the police chief that is retired or Ujjal Dosanjh that is no longer run­ning for pol­i­tics or Larry Camp­bell that is now a sen­a­tor liv­ing high off the hog in Ottawa, those guys have been down the road, they are not look­ing to be elected again.  It’s the peo­ple in these chairs.” Doo­ley men­tioned that Hol­land has recently intro­duced leg­is­la­tion to address the country’s rep­u­ta­tion for “drug tourism.” “Their rep­u­ta­tion has gone in the tank due to this,” said Doo­ley.  “Is that what we want for our com­mu­nity? I don’t think so.  And guess what, I’ll say this once again I’ll go to the wall on this…  in three years, I’ll go to the wall.  Peo­ple have stood up at Cen­tral School before on that plat­form and they have been defeated.” It was sug­gested by city man­ager Kevin Cor­mack that coun­cil amend the motion so that instead of hav­ing the mayor write a let­ter in sup­port that the let­ter come from coun­cil. Mac­don­ald intro­duced a new motion at the end of the meet­ing that the orig­i­nal motion be deferred until the first meet­ing after the Union of BC Munic­i­pal­i­ties con­ven­tion. “We’re sort of at this ugly stale­mate and if it would make peo­ple feel bet­ter to go to the UBCM and see what is said there, I’m happy to wait.  I still sup­port this res­o­lu­tion, but in the inter­est of good rela­tions I’m happy to wait until after UBCM.  As much as I would like us to show lead­er­ship, appar­ently that’s not going to hap­pen.” The motion was passed with Kiss, Baty­cki, Kozak and Mac­don­ald vot­ing in sup­port.  Doo­ley, Cherbo and Adams voted against. The Union of BC Munic­i­pal­i­ties con­ven­tion is sched­uled for Sep­tem­ber 24 to 28. Source: Nel­son Star (CN BC) Copy­right: 2012 Black Press Web­site: http://​www​.bclo​cal​news​.com/​k​o​o​t​e​n​a​y​_​r​o​c​k​i​e​s​/​n​e​l​s​o​n​s​t​ar/ Author: Megan Cole

cb89510b0eo copy.jpg 150x94 Council Erupts Over Pot Motion

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Coun­cil Erupts Over Pot Motion

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