Analysis of Marijuana Survey

UBCM has completed its analysis of local government feedback to a survey on marijuana legalization and regulation. The responses indicate a need for meaningful provincial consultation with local governments, as well as concern regarding the potential download of duties from federal and provincial orders of government onto local governments.

During the response period (March 29 – April 28), UBCM received 57 replies to the survey, which asked local government senior staff members and elected officials to describe their actions and concerns related to medical and recreational marijuana.

One of the most cited concerns was the potential for a transfer of responsibilities to local governments without accompanying funding from other orders of government. When asked to indicate their three primary concerns regarding a legalized marijuana regime, 78.9% of respondents selected “downloading of duties onto local governments” as a concern. Many respondents were also concerned with the potential distribution of revenue, and the necessity for local governments to receive a share, especially if they are to assume new responsibilities. The need for adequate funding is consistent with UBCM resolution 2016-A3, requesting that a portion of any future federal or provincial tax collected through marijuana sales and distribution be shared with local governments.

The lack of communication and consultation between federal and provincial orders of government and local governments was also apparent, with only 7.2% of respondents having been directly consulted by the federal government, federal Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation, or the provincial government. Many respondents refrained from answering some of the survey questions due to a lack of federal/provincial communication.

The legalization of marijuana has become an emerging issue for BC local governments. UBCM will use information obtained as part of its survey in conjunction with policy set by the membership (resolutions 2016-A2 and 2016-A3), to help shape its advocacy on behalf of local governments.

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