LETTER: City engages in doublespeak on medical pot

I read with interest what sounded like doublespeak by the mayor regarding medical marijuana dispensaries.

Mahalakshmi and the Kootenay Compassion Collective on Front Street are part of the new marijuana dispensary landscape in Nelson that may be affected by Nelson's new business licence bylaw.

Re: “Nelson’s new business license bylaw aims at clarity for marijuana dispensaries

I read with interest what sounded like doublespeak by the mayor regarding medical marijuana dispensaries. On one hand they are “waiting” for the federal government to enact laws and have requested extensive consultation with the provinces and cities yet somehow this new direction is “coming soon.”

Not likely. The feds have bigger fish to fry and one might hope our city council and staff do too.

Further doublespeak is the trojan horse the city is gearing up to use in the meantime: the business licence. The dispensaries must have one, yet the city will not issue them one because the city is not certain they are legal operations. So, raise your hand and apply for a license, get denied and then get fined $150 then $300 then $500 (and the second day counts as the second fine, etc.)

The trojan horse of the by-law fines will do the job the ambiguous legal situation cannot: ruin the businesses financially and cause them to close down.

On top of this the police are reported to feel that the dispensaries are not really a problem; they are not near schools, do not sell to minors and rather only to those of us who get a doctor’s note of need.

So, if it’s not a big police/public safety issue why all the fuss and time spent on this repeatedly by council and city staff? And in spite of the claim that the council is divided on this issue and the mayor is proud of the conversation the council is having, then it must be the city staff who are pushing for tougher by-laws to be used to run my clean, reliable source of medical marijuana out of town. I did not know that I live in such a reactionary community where a clearly useful medical product gets demonized so creatively.

Naturally I can purchase pot on the street (for even less money) in any case, though for health reasons I use edibles rather then smoke. Perhaps street drugs of all kinds should be the focus of our city leaders and their staff.

Michael Donner, Nelson


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