Pubdate: Wed, 07 Feb 2018
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Ian Mulgrew
Page: A4


A Green Gold Rush gets a wet blanket from a Father Knows Best

It should embrace the employment opportunities, the tourism potential,
the joie de vivre with which California has legalized.

The provincial government's initial plan for marijuana legalization
must have been put together by spoilsports and dour Mrs. Grundies.
It's tone-deaf.

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth "sounded like the Grinch
Who Stole Christmas unveiling details of the province's blueprint for
cannabis," Ian Mulgrew writes.

I preferred it when politicians were making Cheech and Chong jokes and
snickering about smoking pot.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth sounded like the Grinch Who
Stole Christmas unveiling details of the province's blueprint for cannabis.

Someone forgot to tell him: We're ending Prohibition, Mike, not
starting it. It's "recreational" cannabis - that means fun! It's a new
blooming industry worth billions.

Instead of policies that might have reflected that, we got
"safeguards" driven by "our priorities of protecting youth, promoting
health and safety, keeping the criminal element out of cannabis, and
keeping our roads safe."

What about the Green Gold Rush! What about the soaring stock market!
MarijuanaMillionaires! Job creation!

Somehow it's all being overlooked because of anecdotal speculative
naysaying - the same kind of rhetorical concerns that kept the
criminal cannabis laws in place for nearly a century.

With all due respect to retiring public health saint Dr. Perry
Kendall, there is no evidence to support not selling booze and
cannabis in the same shops. None.

His worries about a "potential risk of increasing co-use of the
products" and "co-sale might be seen to condone and encourage co-use
of cannabis and alcohol" are Pollyanna fears - not evidence.

Similarly, Kendall's complaint that medical patients "may not wish to
enter liquor stores to purchase cannabis?"

As provincial health officer, he knew the federal mail-order system
could accommodate them. His complaints were red herrings.

No Lotto tickets, tobacco, clothes, gas or snacks for sale along with
cannabis? Ridiculous. I understand the joke about keeping the Cheetos
away from potheads, but does somebody have a study showing Lotto sales
can cause a co-dependency with cannabis?

And no tastings like they do in wine stores? Why not?

Farnworth "forbid" all those horrors. Talk about Dr.

It's like his 30-gram limit for personal possession -

You cannot overdose on a bag of B.C. bud. You can die guzzling a
couple of 40-pounders.

But it's OK for boozers to pick up cases of wine and boxes of liquor
for a bash, but buying a couple of ounces of green for a weekend with
your friends isn't allowed?


Kendall and his ilk in the medical community are scaremongering about
cannabis compared with alcohol.

Too bad they weren't as outspoken about the serious health concerns
caused by the War on Drugs - tens of thousands jailed, gang warfare on
our streets, and communities riddled with illegal growing operations.

While Kendall and his fellow Liberal appointees on the legalization
task force were wringing their hands about the danger to children,
former politicians, police officers and insiders were investing in pot

The province's approach essentially frowns at people who like to get
high or grow cannabis. The best that can be said is: It could be worse.

There's time to fix it and to focus at least partly on policies to
help us profit from B.C.'s expertise, leverage the local brands and
encourage an industry that already employs thousands.

This shouldn't have been about reinventing the grow-op business. It
should have been about bringing a successful, existing underground
industry into the light.

B.C. has a chance to lead Canada on cannabis.

It should embrace the employment opportunities, the tourism potential,
the joie de vivre with which California has legalized, not pour water
on the parade and allow exaggerated fears and moralism to dominate the

Why should landlords have a right to ban growing cannabis? What's next
- - no brewing beer or fermenting a bit of wine in a closet? No pickling

Laws should protect landlords from destructive or dangerous activities
by tenants, not empower them to dictate what herbs tenants can grow.

Instead of dealing with these issues, we get sermons about the
potential dangers to children?

Isn't bleach lying around the house more dangerous to kids than

Or how about those warnings from doctors' groups that the brains of
19-year-olds are too vulnerable, so let's make the legal age for
cannabis consumption higher than the legal age for drinking, voting or
dying for your country?

There has been not enough talk about transitioning those already
growing, producing and selling into the legal framework, about
promoting cannabis-based tourism, about derivatives, about edibles, or
the potential for marijuana akin to the artisanal wine and craft beer

To say we're going to treat a product that is less harmful, poses
fewer problems and offers so much economic potential with more
restrictive laws than alcohol supported by Father Knows Best speeches
is insulting.

Let's get an economic development minister involved along with the
province's top cop and a professional scold.
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