County councillors reserved about pot legalization

The legalization of marijuana in Canada is a topic becoming more and more talked about. County of Wetaskiwin...

Councilor Terry Van de Kraats

Councilor Terry Van de Kraats

The legalization of marijuana in Canada is a topic becoming more and more talked about. County of Wetaskiwin reeve Kathy Rooyakkers and Coun. Terry Van de Kraats recently attended a round table discussion on the matter, hosted by Edmonton-Wetaskiwin MP Mike Lake, and both are hesitant about how the county will move forward with legalizing the drug.

During county council’s May 2 general meeting Van de Kraats asked for councillors’ views on the topic, in an informal discussion.

Both Van de Kraats and Rooyakkers says they are cautious about the subject and added they were two of the few at the discussion who were not already in favour of legalizing marijuana.

“And Mike Lake is going to do whatever the majority population wants,” said Van de Kraats.

“And he’s hearing more in favour than opposed,” added Rooyakkers.

The idea of marijuana being a gateway drug was mentioned in council chambers, as was THC, the active drug in marijuana, being added to other products that could potentially be appealing to youth.

“I worry about our youth,” said Rooyakkers.

Rooyakkers feels most people are looking at the revenue the legalization of marijuana will bring in as a driving force. “It has good points, it has bad points.”

Coun. Keith Johnson said, with the legalization, training of law enforcement and impaired tests will be instrumental.

Coun. Larry McKeever spoke up to say he leaned on the side of legalization. “It’s not a huge issue for me.”

“I don’t see it as a gateway drug. Booze is a gateway drug,” he added.