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Richmond council pens letter to Ottawa opposing pot legalization

Legalizing marijuana for recreational use in Canada
Ron Ward/Canadian Press

Richmond city council has voted to send a letter to the federal and provincial governments calling for a freeze on the implementation of marijuana legalization.

Ottawa has pledged to have legalization in place by July 2018.

LISTEN: City Of Richmond says it wants no part in federal marijuana legalization


Mayor Malcolm Brodie said the timeline does not give the city enough to put regulations in place.
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“Whatever the program is that the province brings in, we want to have the ability to make a stricter program,” said Brodie.

“At this point, it’s totally unknown whether it’s going to be a provincial program, whether they are going to give guidelines or just how they are going to do it.”

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The federal government has said there won’t be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ set of rules and each municipality could set its own bylaws.

But Brodie has other concerns. He said the city wants more time to look at the possible impact legalizing pot would have on public safety, children, quality of life and financial issues.

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One of his main concerns involves farmland, and whether or not people would start using it to grow marijuana.

Brodie said that as a principle, the city is opposed to legalization of non-medical marijuana altogether.

“There are quite a few who are opposed to it, and as a whole.”

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