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

Statements about Trout Creek School future described as ‘reckless’

Summerland incumbent trustee Linda Van Alphen says school district’s financial situation has improved

Naramata honours Syilx culture

New community sign recognizes traditional name for area

LETTER: Candidate’s comments on ALR exclusion were disturbing

Summerland mayoral candidate has said she would vote “no” on any ALR exclusion that came forward

LETTER: Peake worked hard as chamber liaison

Summerland mayoral candidate’s commitment exceeded expectations

LETTER: Summerland council and trustee candidates supported

Linda and Martin Van Alphen receive endorsement from neighbour and friend

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

Who is running in Summerland’s election?

Introducing you to the candidates asking for your vote on Oct. 20

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

Okanagan water conference builds connections

Experts gathered to discuss water and fisherie sustainability objectives

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

Most Read