Towns need to get on the pot NOW

Province leaves little time for municipalities to get their acts together

It’s looking now like the federal government’s July 1st target for legalizing marijuana sales is a little optimistic.

(Perhaps someone was smoking something when that was set.)

The rollout for legalization is going to depend largely on the ambition on the Senate.

So nobody hold their breath.

A delay in implementing pot sales is not wholly a bad thing.

Cause we’re not ready, dude.

The province just announced details of its strategy this week, and municipalities like Princeton have a lot to decide before local residents can buy their weed and their munchies in the same place.

If fact, the NDP government is putting the decision of whether or not marijuana can even be sold in a community squarely on the shoulders of local councils.

That responsibility demands a lot of consultation and consideration.

Should Princeton decide it’s okay to sell pot, the next step is to figure out where it will be sold and who is going to sell it.

Zoning will have to be considered. Neighborhoods are going to have questions and concerns.

Repeat for communities in the RDOS.

As a rule recreational cannabis and alcohol will not be sold in the same location. That said there are exceptions for rural areas such as the ones that allow tobacco and booze to be sold side by side now, as happens here with the privately owned beer and wine store.

Smoking cannabis will be legal in public places where it is legal to smoke tobacco or to vape.

That will necessarily put pressure on the town’s smoking bylaw, and that legislation is going to require a second look.

Police, firefighters, the medical community, schools, event organizers, parents and last but not least cannabis consumers and the people who hope to profit from pot sales all have vested interests in how this plays out.

Everyone needs a say.

The more opportunities there are for local public meetings, submissions and study the smoother this transition is going to be.

All levels of government need to be thinking about the challenges involved in this change and how best to address them before those turn into problems.

The fight to legalize recreational cannabis use has been going on for too long for us to mess it up now because we are in a hurry.

-AD

Just Posted

World Community Film Festival returns to Kelowna

The festival celebrates its 16th anniversary

Line-up for Kelowna Fan Experience 2019 to be announced

The line-up will be announced Feb. 22

2019’s “status quo” budget accepted cautiously by Kelowna Chamber

“(This budget) is to appeal to an NDP base.”

Teresa May talent agency opens in Kelowna

The agency will be holding an all ages open casting event Feb. 24

Niedermayer jersey retirement ceremony a dream come true

Penticton minor hockey players bring home memories of a lifetime from Niedermayer jersey retirement

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Larch Hills junior skiers top Teck BC Midget Championships

Multiple top-five finishes contribute to aggregate team trophy

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

Vehicle fire on Coquihalla near Kamloops

A large plume of smoke could be seen rising into the sky over Highway 5

Pool plans disappoint Shuswap swim clubs

Salmon Arm mayor assures options for city rec centre only preliminary

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Most Read