Letter: Closing pot shops not in public interest

Letter writer says the public is not being served by Kelowna, West Kelowna going after pot shops

Black Press file

To the editor:

The City of West Kelowna, following similar bylaw enforcement actions in other Okanagan communities, is opting to close their medical cannabis dispensaries prior to recreational legalization. What puzzles us, as patients that utilize these responsibly operated local businesses, is that local politicians fail to recognize that recreational cannabis distribution, regardless of whatever system is eventually adopted, is fundamentally different than the goods and services provided through medicinal dispensaries.

Simply stated, you don’t go to a party store to treat cancer or epilepsy. Yet, that basic bit of common sense remains lost to these politicians. From a humanitarian perspective, how does one justify denying access to clinically tested, professionally packaged medicine to a patient?

Equally baffling is the belief that, by closing dispensaries, cannabis will not be available in our communities. With the advent of responsible, self-regulated dispensaries came the best system of control to cannabis access. Certainly, far superior to the near century of prohibition and law enforcement. Under prohibition, cannabis use, amongst Canadians, has become common. Enough so, as to cause a rational, change in policy in how to best manage its legal use.

As we inch toward recreational legalization, a growing number of police detachments are refraining from prohibition enforcement. Many Crown counsel are choosing to not pursue charges. Judges, more and more, are making known their impatience with the irrationality of giving otherwise law-abiding citizens a criminal record for something that will, shortly, be legal. The RCMP aren’t taking these steps. It’s local councils. Whatever their stated agendas might be, closing dispensaries is not in the best interests of local citizens. It puts completely unregulated cannabis back on the streets and denies access to local patients.

If local governments want responsible control and a meaningful share of the potential benefits flowing from cannabis legalization, their best chance at success is through working with the flourishing, pre-existing industry through regulation and taxation.

Mark Conlin, Peachland

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.



kparnell@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

3% tax hike proposed in West Kelowna

Proposed provisional budget tax hike in line with recent annual increases in the city

Okanagan robbery suspect sought

RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect in an… Continue reading

11-year-old water quality advisory lifted in Glenmore

Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District says Interior Health gave the green light to lift advisory

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

Eyes on Kelowna’s crime hotspots considered in budget

If you felt like someone was watching as you were out and about this summer, you may be right.

Crook’s Corner

A slice of this week’s arts and entertainment happenings in the North Okanagan at a glance

B.C. overdose deaths surpass 1,200

96 people died of illicit drug overdoses in October

A classic Christmas play with a Kelowna twist

Scrooge is transported to Kelowna in New Vintage Theatre’s new holiday play, opening Wednesday

Crown appeals stay against Jamie Bacon in Surrey Six killings

B.C.’s prosecution service says judge’s decision reveals ‘errors of law’

Feds agree to give provinces 75 per cent of pot tax revenues

Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the agreement today

Attempted murder charge up in the air after victim’s death

Without Thomas Szajko’s testimony, alleged shooter Afshin Ighani could get off on that charge

Red Scorpion associates cuffed in drug-trafficking bust

Kamloops RCMP lay charges in connection to Red Scorpion drug trafficking ring

Merry lottery win for Shuswap man

Five-dollar scratch ticket a $100,000 winner for Sicamous resident

Woman sought in Kamloops stabbing

Kamloops RCMP are looking for the woman they believed stabbed a man on Sunday

Most Read