Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman says that

Surrey Board of Trade rebuffs reefer rethink

Marijuana laws should stay the way they are says business organization, citing potential negative impacts of pot smoking on the workplace

The Surrey Board of Trade is just saying no to legalized pot.

Weighing in on the debate on legalization, a position statement issued Thursday by board CEO Anita Huberman advocates that current marijuana laws stay in place.

From a business standpoint, it makes the best sense, Huberman told Peace Arch News.

“This is a leadership perspective. When we developed the position, the productivity and efficiency of the workplace was the main focus,” Huberman said.

“When you have employees smoking pot, their attention is diminished and continues to diminish. It’s also a starter drug that can lead to all kinds of other drugs. We’re in a soft economy right now and we continue to be in a soft economy. We all feel the workplace has to be looked after and this kind of distraction is not needed.”

anita huberman

Huberman said the position was developed by the board’s Crime and Justice Advocacy Committee, presented with documented research and approved by the 19 directors of the board in September 2012.

“The board is very diverse in terms of backgrounds and industries and elected with a mandate to speak on behalf of membership and the business community,” she said.

A Forum Research poll conducted last month found that 70 per cent of Canadians favour either legalization or decriminalization of marijuana. Fifteen per cent took the board’s position that laws should stay unchanged.

The board of trade’s research, however, suggests legalizing marijuana would “pose serious negative impacts on businesses.”

The board’s position paper cites potential loss of production, disruption due to risk of impaired machinery operation and potential increased costs of absenteeism and strain on health programs as reasons legalization would be a bad idea. Impacts on health from marijuana use would also impair job performance and affect “interpersonal relations in the workplace,” the statement argues.

Huberman acknowledges the board has taken an increasingly outspoken stance on social and political issues that have an impact on business.

“I’ve been CEO for seven years now, and one of the things I wanted to ensure was that we were leaders – not only taking care of membership and board functions, but also supporting business from an advocacy perspective. It’s important for me to ensure that we are focused on issues.”

To that end, she said, there are seven advocacy committees, representing the work of some 350 volunteers, developing positions on environmental, tax and financial, industry, international, social policy and transportation issues.

Among recent statements have been support in May for a new coal terminal at Fraser Surrey Docks and a position paper in February calling for the province to invest more heavily in post-secondary education funding.

Two years ago, Huberman noted, the board advocated an increase of the minimum wage, while last year it came out in favour of Gateway’s South Surrey casino proposal and issued a position paper on business and family, which pointed to the need for government to address the economic squeeze on generations raising young children and its impact on business costs and workplace conditions.

 

Just Posted

McCallum’s canal pitch took Surrey councillors by surprise

City government has more important issues pressing than building a canal, councillors say

South Surrey senior ‘irate’ over policing-transition venue change

Pat Anderson says she disagrees with the transition plan – but never got a chance to say so

White Rock water testing well within Health Canada guidelines

Drinking water more than measuring up to current standards, Dr. Saad Jasim tells council

Cloverdale Toastmasters celebrate 25 years of learning and laughter

Cloverdale club is a high achieving, yet laid-back Toastmasters group

Surrey RCMP conducting drug-related search warrant

Traffic closed in both directions on 128th Street, between 64th and 66th Avenue

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

Most Read

l -->