Arm Chair Mayor- Peter Humphreys: Puff, Puff Pass The Buck

Although I’m not a cannabis user, I’m not opposed to the Federal Government’s new legalization legislation. It is odd, though, that a diverse Town Council such as ours is trying to restrict its’ sale.

Like many other Town items, these recommendations seem to come from the bureaucrats and our Council buys into it hook line and sinker. I hear ideas floated around like stores must be 100 m from parks and schools and restricting the number of stores where it can be sold and can’t believe what I’m hearing. Reality check people, pot could very well be sold INSIDE our schools and parks right now. Can we confirm or deny this? While I am sure it is monitored, can we truly ever know if it passes from one hand to another? I remember it was in my day.

Obviously, we don’t want our youth to have easy access to Marijuana but restrictions on what storefront in our massive downtown area can sell it will have zero impact on its availability to youth. The last time I was downtown after school let out, there were kids everywhere. If the little darlings want Marijuana there is little that Council restrictions will do to stop it. They can direct RCMP enforcement to ensure that sales or resales to minors don’t occur.

Just because you can legislate something doesn’t mean you should. Like why haven’t we restricted the location and number of sex stores? I could probably make the argument that the more sex stores we have the lower the workplace productivity will be or that I don’t want to have a sex store that is visible to my children. Would Council change the zoning Bylaw to accommodate an old prude like me? Do 10 Marijuana stores mean that consumption will be 10x higher than if we have only one store? While I’m at it, does youth consumption increase every metre that it is closer to a school? Of course not, we can obviously see this is ridiculous. So why is Council making any restrictions at all? Have they done scientific studies or did the Bureaucracy tell them that’s what the rest of the sheep are doing?

The intent of the legislation, in my interpretation, is to quit fighting it. Take it away from organized crime and out of the shadows, give legal access to responsible adults and earn some tax revenue. Council’s approach of initially outlawing it completely then allowing it in certain places and under certain conditions at the discretion of a Town Hall staffer is ridiculous and is exactly the opposite to the spirit of the new legislation.

From buildings to bud, this Mayor and Council are intent on controlling all aspects of our life. Leave us alone. Let the free market resolve the issue. The restrictions that they propose will send local buyers to Malakwa or back into the shadows.

Avoid the same old government thought pattern that legislates us to death and take the lead in the thinking that less is better. Once Council demonstrates they can master the difficult tasks like parking, maybe we will let them handle the more difficult issues like vacation rentals.

In my opinion.

Your Arm Chair Mayor,

Peter Humphreys