The West Kelowna store front of Black Crow Herbals, a marijuana dispensary the City of West Kelowna. - Image: West Kelowna

Letter: Dispensaries important to people’s lives

Letter writer says shutting down marijuana dispensaries in West Kelowna is the wrong move

To: Mayor and Council of the City of West Kelowna

I find myself writing this in support of the cannabis dispensaries in West Kelowna which have either been closed or are threatened to be closed by this current council. Over the past one-and-a-half years I have been a regular customer of a number of those businesses. They have become an important part of our daily lives dealing with arthritis, achy backs, anxiety, stomach issues, restless leg syndrome, etc. etc. The cannabis products provided by these businesses have been instrumental in helping us enjoy our time at this point in our lives. We (my wife and I ) are in our late 50s and have found that we prefer to use more natural methods to tend to our more minor health issues if possible and these dispensaries provide this for us and thousands of others in your community.

I attended your meeting regarding this same issue and I have to say I was quite disheartened to see the apparent lack of serious interest in anything that was presented by the overflow crowd that was in attendance. The main negative concerns were regarding the large grow- ops adjacent to homes affecting their daily lives, not the dispensaries. Virtually every speaker was in support or had no issue with the dispensaries yet you still chose to go down this road ignoring all the obvious support for the need for this safe service in your community. I am not sure you have pursued the grow – op issues with the same vigor you have chosen to pursue the closure of these businesses.

Instead you choose to put those 18-20 year olds and the 50, 60 and 70 year olds in a position that they are back to buying from the fentanyl filled streets. These are your children, grandchildren, cousins, neighbours etc. etc. Think about that.

Have you ever considered why the police have chosen to leave those clearly visible businesses alone even though they drive by them dozens of time every week? Perhaps it’s because these very same dispensaries are beneficial to the police by providing a safe reliable source of cannabis putting pressure on the street sellers, gangs etc. This would allow them more time to pursue more important things such as murder, theft and the many other serious threats to life in West Kelowna and the surrounding area.

I commend the local police force for choosing to prioritize their resources to pursue the more serious issues instead of trying to stop something that will be legal in the very near future. Perhaps you should tear that page from their playbook and apply it.

Surely there are far more serious and important issues that could use the full and undivided attention of council. Perhaps a quick survey of priorities of your constituents is in order. I don’t think these dispensaries would even hit the radar as I am sure there are far more important issues such as taxes, road woes, property development and so on and so on.

These dispensaries are part of the solution not the problem. You have it all wrong.

RK, Peachland

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