Ridge councillor not pro pot

I am concerned that readers may think that Maple Ridge council supports the SensibleBC pot petition.

Editor, The News:

Re: Maple Ridge mayor signs SensibleBC pot petition (The News, Nov. 8).

I am concerned that readers may think that Maple Ridge council supports the SensibleBC pot petition.

I have received several communications since this article came out criticizing council as a whole.

If I was mayor, I would have emphasized that this was his personal position.

I, personally, do not think that the decriminalization of marijuana addresses the harm that this drug does to our society.

We have witnessed harm in the form of violence in our community, neighbourhoods rendered unsafe for our kids to play, noxious odours that cause health problems for many, the destruction of our housing stock through growing operations – both legal and otherwise – and the tremendous wasted resources and safety risks for our protective services.

We need a solution that provides corrective measures and appropriate resources to deal with what is purported to be a $9-billion industry.

We need to be realistic that decriminalization will not provide proper solutions to  address the harms from marijuana.

SensibleBC wants to work towards legalization.

Just like alcohol, legalization won’t solve the resultant problems faced by our society.

SensibleBC’s referendum doesn’t address the true harms with its simplistic solution.

As an elected leader in our community, I am aware of the social and financial costs and this referendum falls far short of providing the answers.

Coun. Michael Morden

Maple Ridge