Mayes drifts into marijuana legalization debate

A campaign to legalize marijuana won’t be getting the support of Okanagan-Shuswap Conservative MP Colin Mayes.

  • Nov. 27, 2013 6:00 p.m.

A campaign to legalize marijuana won’t be getting the support of Okanagan-Shuswap Conservative MP Colin Mayes.

In a recent speech to the House of Commons, Mayes spoke of the city receiving funding from the municipal infrastructure improvement fund to replace the 30-year-old boiler for the swimming pool at the SASCU Recreation Centre.

“Last Saturday evening, I took seven of my 10 grandchildren to the pool,” Mayes told the assembled MPs.  “It was great to watch all the children enjoy the wholesome fun this wonderful facility provides. As I watched everyone, I thought that providing resources to communities for these types of activities for children and families is a priority of good government.”

But his speech was not only to highlight the improvements to the city’s recreational facilities, as Mayes went on to raise the issue of illegal drugs.

“Then the thought came to me: why would any political party want to legalize marijuana, which would only destroy children’s lives and families? Is it not the duty of government to protect the health and safety of its citizens?” he asked.

“I said a little prayer while I stood at the pool side. I petitioned that our grandchildren would never live under a government that would legalize marijuana,” he finished.

Mayes’ remarks come following widely circulated statements from Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, in support of the decriminalization of marijuana.

Trudeau has also spoken previously about the failure of the war on drugs, the prospect of legalization and the health effects of pot.