Neither local mayor supported a resolution last week at the Union of B.C.
Municipalities to decriminalize marijuana.
Mayor Deb Walters said she would like a "huge discussion" around marijuana and its legal status.
Walters voted against decriminalization at last week's conference, saying there are too many "unanswered questions" about the issue.
The resolution, which was supported by the majority of delegates, was in "support of the idea of decriminalization," she said.
But she pointed out, while the vote was to decriminalize marijuana, it doesn't make it legal.
"It's really frustrating, especially as mayor, to support any kind of illegal activity," Walters said.
She would like a discussion on legalizing marijuana to include mental health works, police, the courts, and higher levels of government, noting that ultimately it will be the federal government's decision.
The discussion at the UBCM before the vote was too short, Walters said, and many delegates who wanted to speak didn't get the chance.
Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin also voted against the resolution to decriminalize marijuana, saying that there was "no plan or steps or suggested steps on what the plan would be."
"By legalizing [marijuana], they think it would take the criminal element out of it," Daykin said.
While B.C.'s marijuana industry is estimated at around $7 billion and much of it is going to the United States, Daykin said he believes there will still be a criminal market for it even if it's not illegal in B.C.
Daykin believes that marijuana can be a "gateway drug" to other drugs. But, he pointed out that so can alcohol, and that there are many people with prescription drug addictions.
Pitt Meadows Councillor Janis Elkerton voted for the resolution, and said the idea was for UBCM to ask other levels of government to help resolve the issue.
The local municipalities have to pay for policing and other problems arising from illegal marijuana use.
"Prohibition has never worked... it caused more problems than it solved," Elkerton said.
She attended a six-member panel discussion at UBCM - which included former Attorney General Geoff Plant - that discussed the problems around current marijuana legislation.
The vote at UBCM is starting a conversation on the "festering problem" of marijuana; the alternative is to leave it "in the hands in criminals," she said.
Daykin hopes with medicinal marijuana, the federal government will "come up with a way to monitor the licences they've issued," so that municipalities don't have to be the de facto enforcers. Maple Ridge council is planning to look at restricting medicinal marijuana grow-ops in residential areas later this fall.
All Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows councillors were not polled on how they voted at the UBCM meeting on the decriminalization of marijuana issue.