Discussion on prohibition dominated a town-hall meeting last week on legalizing marijuana.
About 75 people attended the meeting, sponsored by the federal Liberals, at Sunnyside Hall Thursday evening.
Former MLA and solicitor general Kash Heed kicked off the forum speaking on his experience in law enforcement. Referencing Colorado and Washington, both of which are blazing the trail for marijuana legalization in the U.S., Heed noted it is only a matter of time until Canada follows suit.
“We will have a regulated market for marijuana in Canada for recreational adult use in three to four years, regardless of who is in power in Ottawa. Whether it’s the Conservatives, the Liberals or even the NDP,” he said.
Heed was followed by presentations from UBC associate professor Mark Haden, BC Marijuana Party’s Steve Finlay (a co-organizer of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) and Liberal Party of Canada’s B.C. organization chair Sangeeta Lalli.
Half a dozen community members posed questions, including one woman who asked if the panelists ever used marijuana, with Heed and Lalli saying they had not.
“I’m not a virgin, let’s keep it at that,” Haden said, laughing.
South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale MP Russ Hiebert did not return Peace Arch News’ request for an interview, but said in an emailed response via his constituency assistant that his Conservative government is focused on job creation and the economy, not marijuana.
“It is sad that the Liberals’ top priority is the legalization of pot,” the email states. “This just demonstrates why they should not be trusted to govern our nation.
“I do not support the legalization of marijuana or other illicit drugs.”