EDITORIAL: Clearing the air

The Surrey Board of Trade's position statement released last week opposing the legalization of marijuana begs some serious questions.

The Surrey Board of Trade’s position statement released last week opposing the legalization of marijuana begs some serious questions.

While the position has been taken by the board’s 19 elected directors – acting in their mandate as advocates on behalf of the organization’s membership and the business community at large – it is curious it was decided almost a year before it was made public.

Granted marijuana has acquired hot-button potency in recent days – particularly after Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s headline-provoking admission that he, as an MP, has smoked pot.

But the board’s position was endorsed in September 2012, following, we are told, extensive research by its Crime and Justice Advocacy Committee.

If the issue is as important to the Surrey business community as the Board of Trade now insists, why didn’t the results of its committee’s hard work deserve public discussion and distribution long before this?

Also curious is that – while many conclusions are offered in the position statement – none of the documented evidence presented to board directors by the committee is cited directly.

The board alleges the Surrey business community has many things to fear, should marijuana be legalized. Among them are impaired job performance, loss of production, disruption of workplaces due to the risk of impaired machinery operation, problems with interpersonal relations in the workplace and potentially ballooning costs of absenteeism and health programs.

If this is, indeed, the case, then it’s in everyone’s interest that the board share the substantiating research with its membership and the general public.

Even though marijuana possession has not yet been legalized for other than medical use – as opposed to, say, alcohol or tobacco, which would seem to share some of these more critical impacts – it should be no news to anyone that pot is already readily available to Surrey workers who choose to use it.

And if its use “poses serious negative impacts on businesses,” in a future legalization scenario, these effects must be evident already.

Having taken this position, the board is obliged to go further. It could start by outlining the scope of the problem in Surrey workplaces that made this an action item at this time.

 

Just Posted

Federal NDP may support B.C. with major projects, Carole James says

SkyTrain Surrey extension, Massey Tunnel need Ottawa’s help

Player-of-year Seumanutafa leads UBC to women’s rugby title

Semiahmoo grads help Thunderbirds to first-ever Canada West rugby title

Diwali in Surrey: ‘Festival of light’ celebrations at several halls, a library, other venues

This year Diwali is on Sunday, Oct. 27, but Surrey-area events are held over a two-week period

People’s Party of Canada not finished, defeated Surrey candidate says

Surrey’s five PPC candidates combined received 4,213 votes

Owner of now-closed South Surrey seafood store pleads guilty to illegally importing fish into U.S.

‘We would not put customer health and safety at risk’: Seven Seas Fish

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

VIDEO: Man in his 20s in hospital following shooting in Abbotsford

Incident takes place Tuesday night in 31700 block of South Fraser Way

Horvat’s hat trick lifts Canucks to 5-2 win over Red Wings

First career three-goal game for Vancouver captain

Saanich Gulf-Islands’s Elizabeth May coy about leadership plans

The federal Green party leader talks possibility of running as MP without being leader

Feds finally decriminalizing drugs possible – but it’s up to Jagmeet Singh, expert says

National pharmacare was one of Singh’s most highly-touted platform policies

Estheticians can’t be forced to wax male genitals, B.C. tribunal rules

Langley transgender woman Jessica Yaniv was ordered to pay three salon owners $2,000 each

Two youth arrested in UBC carjacking at gunpoint, after being spotted in stolen Kia

‘A great deal of credit is due the alert person who called us,’ said North Vancouver Sgt. Peter DeVries

People’s Party of Canada’s anti-immigration views ‘didn’t resonate’ with voters: prof

Party was formed on anti-immigration, climate denying views in 2018

Windstorm knocks out power for 10,000 in north and central B.C.

Power slowly being restored, BC Hydro says

Most Read

l -->