There’s no cannabis boogeyman out there

Cannabis continues to be quite the newsmaker in Parksville Qualicum Beach.

Back in August, the Town of Qualicum Beach announced it had leased a portion of the old fire hall building to QualiCanna Ltd., for the town’s first retail cannabis outlet.

The town plans not to allow any other cannabis shops in town during a 24-month trial period.

Sounds good, no? A legal product being sold in a store shouldn’t case too many problems.

Yet the stigma surrounding cannabis apparently continues. Though the majority of folks out there seem content with council’s decision, some feedback has been more negative.

Recently, Coun. Robert Filmer brought up various concerns about the shop (still awaiting provincial approval of its application before it can open).

During a recent committee of the whole meeting, Filmer, quick to point out he is not against marijuana, noted he had requested the current council be allowed to discuss the issue before the town provided a temporary use permit.

Why?

He pointed opposition to the location of the cannabis shop by YouthLink, and the nearby library branch.

He also voiced concern about the entrance to the shop being at the back of the building, saying that makes it harder to monitor who is using the shop and makes it easier for crime to occur. Filmer said he felt trapped by the previous council’s decision.

Putting aside the obvious legal issues that could be created by attempting to break a lease, the concerns seem overblown.

There’s no nasty boogeyman here.

Are we going to start reconsidering options for liquor stores in the PQB area?

That’s also a not-for-kids substance.

Is there a desperate need to monitor who’s coming in and out of those shops now?

Doubtful, although Big Brother might disagree.

Marijuana is used by thousands of people – casual smokers and those who use it for medicinal purposes.

And again, it’s now legal.

Much like with a liquor store, folks will take their products and go home.

The chances of massive bong parties breaking out in downtown Qualicum Beach are somewhat remote.

There’s always going to be backlash against pretty much anything – especially something new. But in this case there’s really nothing to be afraid of.

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