Metchosin councillor fights for marijuana decriminalization
Metchosin put marijuana on the map this year.
Coun. Moralea Milne first brought a motion to council to decriminalize the illicit drug in January.
She saw support around the table, with the exception of Coun. Larry Tremblay.
“I am one of the few who have never tried it,” Tremblay said at the start of the year. “I’ll probably go down as the Neanderthal in Metchosin who doesn’t support it, but I don’t want to go down as the pothead council of Metchosin.”
Milne argued the illegality of marijuana is responsible for criminal behaviour, including mouldy, unsafe grow-op houses and the theft of electricity.
“I think it should be released and taxed like alcohol,” Milne said in January. “We need to bring some sanity to our lawmaking. The problem with marijuana is a failed policy.”
Some council members such as Milne and Coun. Bob Gramigna admit to smoking marijuana several decades ago, while noting they don’t partake in the activity now.
“The war on drugs hasn’t been a success,” Milne said. “A lot of things we enjoy cause harm … We don’t throw people in jail for eating potato chips.”
Council approved the motion, taking it to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities. It saw support at the April AVICC and made its way to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in September – where it was also passed.
“It was about 70 per cent of hands in favour, it wasn’t close. If it was close it would go to electronic voting,” Milne said in September. “I would hope UBCM takes it to another level. We don’t really have any jurisdiction.”