VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – While we wait for Ottawa to legalize recreational marijuana, Vancouver’s mayor is confident the new system will be better than the status quo.
Debate on federal legislation, which includes the pot bill has been delayed until sometime this week, but Mayor Gregor Robertson says he’s looking forward to having some of the burden lifted off city staff and police.
“We’d like to see it as soon as possible — given we’ve had to put in place our own solutions with dispensaries and manage that. We’re looking forward to having a federal and provincial approach that’s legal and regulated and taxed and enables the city to focus more on our other priorities. So, the sooner the better.”
Robertson adds he’s not worried about stalling tactics by the federal Conservatives to keep the Liberal government from making good on a promise to legalize pot by the end of the summer.
He says he’s willing to wait for it to be done right.
“The most important thing is that the new system of regulating marijuana is functional. If we have to wait a little bit longer, so be it. At this point, it’s not a huge priority. It’ll be good to get a new system in place.”
Robertson is also looking forward to being able to focus on more important matters. “From the overdose crisis to organized crime and marijuana takes up bandwidth. It definitely is a distraction for us, but not a big issue that we need to spend a lot of time on.”
Stalling tactics by the Conservatives are being blamed for the marijuana bill not already being approved by the Liberals in Ottawa.
The federal government has said it is considering recalling the House this summer if it’s not able to get the marijuana legalization bill pushed through soon.
Right now, the legislation is being tossed back and forth after the Liberals rejected several amendments recommended by the Senate.