Letter: Penticton council is at it again

To me the real reason for the City of Penticton in issuing these licenses is because they think that they can.

Council seems to be setting precedents everywhere. The Prime Minister is in trouble as City of Penticton (COP) is on the loose. This is shown by council’s decision to issue temporary business licenses to marijuana purveyors.

Before I go any further and for those who are ardent marijuana advocates, I will clarify my stance on the subject. This is my personal opinion and only my personal opinion on the issue. I am not totally against marijuana use for anyone else (except youngsters and small children). Using marijuana is completely up to the person who wishes to use or requires this product. It is however, how this mayor, council and staff makes their own decisions against the Canadian laws that are currently in place regarding marijuana that really bothers me.

The Prime Minister, promised to resolve the marijuana question once and for all as an election promise. Here is what we know at this point. marijuana remains a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act, and, unless otherwise regulated for production and distribution for medical purposes, is subject to offences under that act.

Possessing and selling marijuana for non-medical purposes is still illegal everywhere in Canada.

Recently, COP authorized temporary licensing for two marijuana outlet shops. Another individual marijuana merchant was as he puts it “snubbed” and, as a consequence, is threatening to sue the city because of it. Not that I side with this man, but wow, another expense to us as taxpayers, perhaps? It begs the question be asked, how many times will COP shoot itself in the foot before realizing that it hurts?

In the spring of 2017, the Government of Canada will propose to Parliament and Canadians a new legislative framework for the legalization of marijuana. However, as this statement denotes, a new legislative framework will be presented. It does not go so far as to say “total legalization.”

This matter is a very controversial one and requires more than just talk and a rubber stamp.  If there happened to be a simple fix, the government would have acted on it by now.

Back to the council and its decision to “massage” the law of the land, so to speak. Reasons for issuing these licenses range from “other large cities are doing it.” People want access to purchasing marijuana now irrespective of government red tape.

In the U.S., several states are doing it. To me the real reason for COP in issuing these licenses is because they think that they can. In answer to these reasons, we are not a large metropolitan city. We are not in the U.S. No, they don’t have the authority to override federal law. If this is indeed the case, don’t be surprised at an announcement coming forward inviting us all down to Skaha Park to see COP walk on water.

Ron Barillaro

Penticton