NEWS
09/28/2011 02:56 EDT | Updated 11/28/2011 05:12 EST

Legalize Marijuana, Thunder Bay Mayor Says

Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs said on Sept.21 that he stands by the statements he made earlier in the month about legalizing marijuana.

He said legalizing the drug could make money for the federal government.

"Look at the money that governments make off of alcohol,” Hobbs said to CBC News reporter Jeff Walters in Thunder Bay. “You know, perhaps instead of organized crime getting the profits off of it, the federal government could generate revenues from it.”

Hobbs first talked about legalizing marijuana during a chat with members of Hollerado. The indie rock band stopped in Thunder Bay as part of their ‘Meet the Mayor’ tour.

In each city, the group interviewed local mayors about issues affecting their communities. Hobbs was surprised when his comments went public on a media website in western Canada.

Hobbs said his opinion on the matter reflects his own viewpoint, not that of council or the city of Thunder Bay.

‘On the mark’

Vancouver Sun writer and author Ian Mulgrave said the mayor is on the mark. The author of a book on the marijuana trade said legalizing and taxing the drug has more positives than negatives.

"The prosecution of marijuana offences costs us all tens of millions dollars a year,” he said. “It gives tens of thousands of Canadians a criminal record.”

Mulgrave said he figures marijuana will be legalized in Canada in the next decade.