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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Smoky skies clearing throughout B.C. Interior

Environment Canada expects “widespread” improvement for all affected areas by Sunday

Temporary four-way stop added to Vernon intersection

Change at 43rd Ave. and 20th St. is designed to curb increased traffic during construction periods

Protest planned after Vernon man’s probation conditions lifted

Richard Slobodian had his probation order cancelled in B.C. Provincial Court Sept. 14

COVID-19 minimizes Okanagan Regional Library budget increase

Library adapts to pandemic fiscal disruptions

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Stranger in truck grabs boy walking home from school in Kelowna

The 11-year-old boy escaped the incident, RCMP are investigating

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Okanagan manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read