Despite what may be happening in the rest of the country, the District of West Vancouver can boast it isn’t going to pot. The district voted Monday night to ban cannabis retail and production even though the jazz cabbage will become legal on Oct. 17.
We praise West Van’s decision only on the understanding that the prohibition is not permanent and a process to establish legal distribution is coming.
The City of North Vancouver, by contrast, pretended not to notice when a crop of pot shops sprouted up without licensing and is now going to court to shut the queue-jumpers down. West Van can ensure a level playing field for future pot proprietors.
The debate now is not whether people ought to be able to buy a gram or two from a licensed retail store but rather, where and how.
Determining these things does not need two years of consultations. It doesn’t require an advisory panel, a steering committee, a citizens’ assembly or a drum circle. It requires an online questionnaire, a handful of community meetings and someone to draw up a new bylaw.
In case it’s hazy, we’ll remind West Van council why they need to show some urgency. In October last year, a British Properties mansion was sprayed with gunfire. The suspects are still at large. It illustrates how vicious gangs are in protecting their interests. The longer West Van goes without legal access, the longer organized crime will have a monopoly.
Thanks to the district’s delayed reaction, West Vancouver is going to miss the Oct. 17 legalization deadline but perhaps they can meet another one, say, April 20. 2019.
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