It sounds like the Wild West to the east of me. According to Toronto Mayor John Tory the reefer is becoming rampant. It sounds like people are putting up lemonade stands next to schools and dealing in marijuana. Conservatives would have us believe kids will be accessing marijuana with some increase in ease from today’s unregulated standards. Their ideal is having drug dealers decide who buys and throw in a bunch of expensive law enforcement. As far as controls and safety measures I envision something similar to how alcohol and tobacco are regulated.
Mayor John Tory seems to believe marijuana should be kept from near schools and community centres. For decades past, marijuana has been anywhere it pleases. It has existed hidden in plain neighbourhoods. It has gone from pocket to pocket almost everywhere. Why do we need to fear it now that it is open and nearing more?
Where I live there is a large industrial brewery with a beer retail store attached that is on the opposite corner of a Boys and Girls Club. When I grew up the community centre served alcohol most weekends for weddings and such. I can walk past a playground with a case of beer but for some reason dangerous people use marijuana. Why exactly does Mayor John Tory think that individuals who are or soon will be part of new or existing laws and their anchor in freedoms and rights need to be kept away from schools and community centres? There used to be a variety store in my neighbourhood that was directly across the street from a public elementary school. I used to buy my cigarettes there. Imagine the calamity if I was buying a package of marijuana cookies. Boo! Are you shaking with irrational fear?
Mayor John Tory writes “the city has a responsibility to ensure this emerging industry operates responsibly, without a negative impact on the health and safety of our residents and neighbourhoods.” You could put a marijuana dispensary on every corner of Toronto and it would be safer than letting criminals be the leaders of the present industry. Are guns involved with these dispensaries? They are when we treat marijuana as an illegal substance. We tried leaving it all to criminals, cops and courts. It was dangerous, expensive and socially scarring for many and all of us.
Someone needs to remind Mayor John Tory that municipal politicians are elected on a non-partisan basis. It is an insult to every Canadian who has or will be involved in the industry or consumption of marijuana. Mayor John Tory is stigmatizing hundreds of thousands of Canadians. To insinuate that any or all of these individuals are something to protect the community from is laughable at best. They are part of community’s. Should we banish Prime Minister Trudeau from schools and community centres? He’s a druggy isn’t he? “I don’t want my child associating with someone who has consumed marijuana…I don’t care if Justin just wants a selfie.”
Any community will be safer when marijuana is legal. The stigma surrounding it hopefully will lift as it did for alcohol prohibitions of the past. There are those who would have marijuana remain illegal for reasons of addiction, health emergencies, impaired driving, underage use or more. We have these scenarios with alcohol but any city resident could find it within 15 minutes of any intersection.
I think Mayor John Tory is simply posturing politically. Marijuana ignorance is a by-product of his conservative roots. I think the mayor should apologize to Canadians for stigmatizing Canadians.