Councillors say costs of marijuana legislation will fall heavily on city

Some Ottawa city councillors say the costs of legalizing marijuana will fall heavily on the backs of municipal taxpayers.

Councillor George Darouze told "News and Views with Rob Snow" that the new laws will throw the work onto the shoulders of town and city governments in areas like bylaw enforcement, impaired driving, and zoning regulations.

"We don't even have the resources right now just for our own bylaws, to enforce our noise complaints and our infractions of drinking and driving and distracted driving," Darouze said.

"Now we're going to add to our polcie and to our bylaw officers a new element."

Councillor Keith Egli agrees, adding Ottawa Public Health will also have to step up its game.

"Things like education, the same sort of programs than Public Health runs around smoking and around alcohol use are some of the things they should incorporate.....in terms of marijuana use," Egli said.

The councillors admit there will be a savings in the police budget, since investigators won't be pursuing people for personal possession.

But they're concerned that savings will be more than offset by other costs the city will have to incur.