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Letter: Against having a cannabis dispensary on Main Street

Every school day hundreds of children walk right past Okanagan Cannabis Solutions.

Okanagan Cannabis Solutions owner Bob Jaenicke needs a reality check (Penticton Western News, Feb. 17, Not thumbing our noses at city council).

I am a home owner that lives about 100 feet from this business. In his arrogance to defy city council he puts our children at risk.

First of all city council has every legal right to determine what business are allowed in our city. They have every legal right to limit those businesses in our city period. There should have never been any licences approved at all. The selling of these products over the counter is illegal. I don’t care what adults want to buy, they are adults. Influencing our children is another thing.

As a taxpayer and homeowner, I do not want this type of business on Main Street, period. We have spent millions of dollars to upgrade Main Street to become family-friendly to tourists.

Every school day hundreds of children walk right past Okanagan Cannabis Solutions, which has graphics of pot leaves displayed in its window for all these children to see. These students going to Penticton Secondary School and KVR middle school can all read the word cannabis displayed on their business sign.

The medical definition of cannabis is marijuana (Cannabis Sativa), a drug derived from the family of plants that includes hemp. Cannabis can be smoked or eaten. Use of cannabis produces a mild sense of euphoria, as well as impairments in judgment and lengthened response time.

Dictionary definition of cannabis is a tall plant with a stiff upright stem, divided serrated leaves, and glandular hairs. It is used to produce hemp fiber and as a psychotropic drug. Also called hemp, marijuana

Marijuana (cannabis) exhibits a wide range of psychoactive effects in its user, the following are just some of the psychoactive effects of marijuana:

• Altered perception

• Change in mood

• Relaxation

• Euphoria

• Altered sense of time and space

• Impaired memory (high doses)

• Paranoia/anxiety (high doses)

• Auditory/visual illusions (high doses)

• Hallucinations (very high doses)

This is what the business is advertising to our children. This business is 200 feet away from a daycare. When kids become adults they are free to make their own choice as to using marijuana products. It is an illegal product.

Cigarettes are banned for sale to kids. In fact, they are hidden behind the counters. Businesses are not allowed to advertise outside their building that they sell cigarettes. This is done to protect our children. Also keep in mind that cigarettes are legal. Yet for some reason the dispensary is given a special exemption to advertise the sale of cannabis right in front of our children.

The federal government will not be passing legislation to make selling/using cannabis and its products any time soon. They are studying the affect of the high levels of THC, including over consumption of edibles.

Two Colorado deaths associated with pot-infused foods were; Wyoming college student Levy Thamba Pongi, 19, who took a leap from a Denver hotel balcony after eating pot-infused cookies. “Marijuana intoxication” was listed by the coroner as a significant factor in his death. Kristine Kirk, 44, who was allegedly shot and killed by Richard Kirk. She had called 911 to report that her husband was experiencing hallucinations after taking marijuana candy with prescription medicine. Prosecutors have charged him with first degree murder.

Picture any one of our children who have walked by this store daily and think it must be safe to use and eat cannabis products as they are selling it. So at a weekend party they mix edibles and alcohol, because in their minds it must be safe. Why put our kids at risk? Shut this down and move it.

Mike Hawley

Penticton