Robert Barron column: Get ready for recreational pot

I vividly recall him taking his place at the podium, hauling a large freezer bag full of pot

I remember covering a political debate in Nanaimo many years ago during a provincial election campaign.

It was not long after I first arrived in B.C. and I was still a novice to the customs and norms of my new West Coast homeland.

The first thing that caught me off guard were the number of political parties that were participating in the election and the debates.

Where I come from, the only parties who typically ran in elections were the standard Liberals, Conservatives and the NDP.

But in B.C., there are the standard political parties, like the Liberals, NDP and the Greens, but the range of fringe parties and the candidates running for them was a whole new experience for me.

They included the Rhinoceros Party, Marxist-Leninists, Libertarians, BC Excalibur Party, BC Peoples Party and, of course, the BC Marijuana Party.

I can’t remember the name of the guy who was running for the Marijuana Party in Nanaimo at the time, but I vividly recall him taking his place at the podium, hauling a large freezer bag full of pot out of his brief case and placing it next to his microphone in full view of everyone who was in the audience.

I was blown away.

I kept looking around the crowded room expecting a collective gasp and a swarm of police and security guards to haul the candidate off to jail.

That’s what would have happened at the time where I came from.

But this is B.C. and I don’t think anyone in that room even batted an eyelash.

The debate went on as normal and at the end, the marijuana candidate casually placed his big bag of pot back into his brief case and walked out the door.

That was the first time that I saw marijuana as something that could be socially acceptable and, flash forward almost 20 years, recreational pot will be legal in Canada as of Oct. 17, 2018, even in the more conservative eastern sections of the country.

There will be all kinds of rules about where marijuana can be bought, by whom and who will licensed to grow the pot to sell to the masses in retail outlets, as there should be.

Local governments are already grabbing the bull by the horns and updating their bylaws so that they will have a say as to how many pot dispensaries will be allowed in the jurisdictions and where they will be located.

I think that’s fair.

Of course, there will be many in the community who feel that local governments should just get out of the way and let free enterprise have its way.

But no matter how benign many people feel marijuana is, it’s still a drug and it should be treated accordingly.

The Town of Lake Cowichan just amended its bylaws to ensure that council will have the last say in any application to open a pot store there, and North Cowichan is in the process of doing the same thing.

North Cowichan will be holding a public hearing on July 18 to listen to people’s concerns on the issue,

The meeting will take place in the municipality’s council chambers, located at 7030 Trans-Canada Hwy., at 1:30 p.m.

If you want in on this discussion, that’s the place to be.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: Taking cyclists seriously

This officer must have missed some important reading in their copy of the Motor Vehicle Act.

Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association’s $20K grant will help kids keep riding

Approximately 85-90 per cent of CTRA’s clients are children under the age of 18.

Robert Barron column: Elk poachers should be punished

I could only imagine the fate of these bozos if those east coast hunters ever got hold of them.

Cowichan Capitals fall to last in Island Division

Battle for fourth place goes to Alberni Valley

VIDEO: Christmas arrives in Cowichan with Celtic Rhythms, Summit Dance show

Bright costumes, seasonal music, happy faces: it was all there for everyone to enjoy

Coming up in Cowichan: From a kitchen party to a live nativity play

Stroke Recovery branch hosting an Open House Nova Scotia Kitchen Party The… Continue reading

Boeser scores 3, Pettersson has 5 points as Canucks hammer Blues

Vancouver picks up impressive 6-1 win in St. Louis

B.C. police stop drunk driver who offered up burger instead of ID

Roadblock checks over the weekend found at least two other impaired drivers

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

Canadians spent $1.7 billion dollars online in December 2017

Online retail sales accounted for 3.4 per cent of total retail sales

2-year investigations nets $900,000 in refunds for payday loan customers

Consumer Protection BC says selling practices were ‘aggressive and deceptive’

Most Read