OUR VIEW: Take a lead role on pot

Sidney could fall back on current laws, but that would ignore the fact that the issue is constantly changing around them.

Canadian have a right to access medicinal marijuana. That was a February Supreme Court of Canada decision that has set in motion a flurry of activity in Ottawa — and in any communities across B.C.

Including Sidney.

The court gave the federal government a deadline to come up with new legislation that would keep pace with their decision. Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are now working on those laws that they say should be ready by summer, 2017. This week, the Liberals announced they would form a task force of learned individuals to hit the road and talk to Canadians as part of a public consultation requirement en route to the big changes.

People wanting to get in on the ground floor of a new medicinal cannabis distribution industry are not waiting until then. In cities and towns all over — and that does include Sidney and its very own Dispensary by the Sea — store fronts are being opened. They are, technically illegal under current Health Canada laws.

However, they are playing off the large gray area created by the court decision and the subsequent vacuum between it and Ottawa’s political process.

That leaves places like Sidney wondering what to do. In the Dispensary’s case, Sidney suspended their business license following a police raid.

Yet, without any charges laid by the Crown to date, they are lacking the high ground to revoke the licence outright.

They could fall back on current laws, but that would ignore the fact that the issue is constantly changing around them.

This particular case has given Sidney the chance to discuss how it wants to address the issue. Certainly, some people are uncomfortable with flouting the current laws. Yet, it would be a case of covering one’s eyes and ears to simply let that be the only answer.

The municipality has decided to look into what other communities are doing and how they can better define medicinal cannabis services within its business licensing system.

It’s a good start. And when the new laws finally do come to pass, Sidney will be ready to help regulate what is already a wild west state of affairs.

Just Posted

Viral video shows Sooke resident calling out illegal crab fishers

The video shows a man and woman with 12 undersized crabs in Sooke

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and MP Alistair MacGregor weigh in on fishing ban

Singh and MacGregor say improving salmon abundance is important

Victoria Curling Club wants to be part of new Crystal Pool Facility after lease renewal ends

The 66-year old club owns the building, but sits on city land

Food service workers at Victoria airport protest for second time in four months

Negotiations continue to drag on with employer Compass Group Canada, VAA refuses to engage

Firefighters rescue horse stuck in Saanich mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Baloney Meter: Will tougher penalties for gang members make Canada safer?

Since 2013, gang-related homicides in Canada’s largest cities have almost doubled

Early data suggests no spike in pot-impaired driving after legalization: police

Some departments said it’s too early to provide data, others said initial numbers suggest stoned driving isn’t on the rise

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Dog psychic can help Vancouver Islanders better connect with their pets

Michele Wonnacott hosts one-day seminar in Nanaimo on Saturday, Nov. 17

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Cowichan school district defends lack of notice to parents following elementary student arrest

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

Most Read