Letter: Legal pot day will see an unbalanced launch

Letter: Legal pot day will see an unbalanced launch

Laws and bylaws differ from province to province, and even from town to town.

On Oct. 17, 2018, cannabis becomes legal in Canada. Yahoo, or so we all thought…

Laws and bylaws differ from province to province, and even from town to town within the same province. In B.C. there will be only one store opened in time for legalization in Kamloops. This would be fine if the stores we have were brought in to the new system seamlessly. However, this is not the case, as on the news Mike Farnsworth is saying that these stores that continue running after the 17th will be raided by a special task force that they have set up. These stores have always been the system for medical patients to have reasonable access.

Recently most clubs have been forced to combine recreational and medical sales in the same store. The city of Vernon has asked my store to start selling recreational cannabis instead of medical in order to meet the new rules of our special permit. We will comply but will continue to serve patients that have medical prescriptions as well.

The NDP government thinks one store in B.C. is considered “reasonable access,” while in Alberta, one of the provinces with the least support for cannabis consumption, has already approved 117 cannabis stores within Calgary city limits alone. Two-hundred and fifty private stores for the province and 117 stores in Calgary is what I would consider being reasonable access, at least for the recreational patients.

Medical access is what the stores that currently exist were built on, and forcing medical patients to go online to get their cannabis is being argued in the Supreme Court as we speak. The federal government [Trudeau] has also made edibles illegal therefore forcing patients to smoke. This contradicts the court’s ruling that grants medical patients access to the products of their choosing, and forces them to use what has been proven as the most harmful method of consumption.

They have also seen fit to restrict the strength of oils and extracts to levels that will not help medical patients. The public is seeing legalization as a win, but it’s clear that what we’re actually in for is a battle of court cases as a result of the many discrepancies within the legalization framework. This is no way to treat the sick people of Canada that have found the products that are helping, and in some cases, even keeping them alive.

These stores must remain open and continue selling the banned products that save lives. At least until the governments, Provincial and Federal, wake up or the courts will wake them up again, at the taxpayers’ expense.

Russ Stevenson