While they are now more prevalent in Greater Victoria and elsewhere

While they are now more prevalent in Greater Victoria and elsewhere

Reader offers another take on medicinal cannabis administration

'Grey' market dispensaries are a major improvement over black market drug dealers

Re: Langford mayor urges Trudeau to take action on pot (Goldstreamgazette.com)

Langford Mayor Stew Young seems unaware that drug and natural health product regulation is a provincial, not a federal matter.

When the federal government legalizes cannabis by removing it from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, it will be up to the provinces to decide who can cultivate and sell cannabis to whom.

We have been suffering under cannabis prohibition for almost a century, so it is not as though the issue has become more urgent since the Liberals announced their intention to legalize.

Dispensaries and compassion clubs first appeared in the 1990s, long before we had a medicinal cannabis regime. They have become more prevalent over the years, as the medicinal regime has been repeatedly stuck down by the courts as unconstitutional, and found to be dysfunctional by doctors and patients.

As much as Mayor Young might disapprove of grey market dispensaries, they are an improvement over the black market drug dealers with whom they compete. Unlike drug dealers, dispensaries only sell cannabis and cannabis products, not other so-called “controlled drugs and substances.”

They avoid selling to minors, they are non-violent, accountable to their customers, pay taxes and rent, and employ people. They typically attempt to get along with their communities and avoid complaints to maintain a fragile truce with the police.

Matthew M. Elrod