Pubdate: Wed, 06 Apr 2016
Source: Sooke News Mirror (CN BC)
Copyright: 2016 Sooke News Mirror


WE SAY: If No Regulation Is in Place, Authorities Are Condoning an 
Illegal Activity

Whether you cheer or jeer the opening of Sooke's first pot shop, you 
should know the rules around marijuana dispensaries are hazy at best.

While Sooke Medijuana Dispensary lays itself out to be a weed 
pharmacy, it's doing so illegally, according to Health Canada and the RCMP.

Right now, only licensed producers authorized by Health Canada - just 
30 across the country - are allowed to sell pot through the mail to 
those with verified prescriptions.

But that hasn't stopped such dispensaries from popping up across the 
country. And as the federal Liberals push forward with their plans to 
legalize pot, more are sure to follow.

Police say that while "technically" it's still illegal, dispensaries 
fall into a grey area and will continue to do so until the federal 
government legalizes all marijuana.

"My preference would be that there wasn't any marijuana dispensary in 
town," said Sooke RCMP Staff Sgt. Jeff McArthur.

Sooke council is turning a blind eye to the legalities of selling 
marijuana from a storefront. One councillor wouldn't even dare to 
comment on it.

Marijuana dispensaries seemed to have fallen through the cracks of 
the legal system ever since the Supreme Court struck down the ban on 
medical marijuana patients growing their own pot calling it unconstitutional.

James Whitehead, who runs Medijuana Dispensary, is crying out for regulation.

"Right now, there is very little legal difference between someone 
selling out of their basement versus a dispensary."

All of this has put the police, federal government and marijuana 
dispensaries in an awkward position.

The solution is regulation - or at least a strong sign from 
government that it intends to legalize or permit this use soon. 
Otherwise, authorities are condoning an illegal business and that is 
just ethically wrong.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom