Editorial: Does busting pot shops make sense at this point?

It’s a Catch 22 for marijuana dispensaries.

It’s a Catch 22 for marijuana dispensaries.

Municipalities are not granting them business licences because technically they are still illegal (though that is soon to change). But then they get in trouble for operating without a business licence.

Not surprisingly, many, including the Town of Lake Cowichan’s new addition Green Tree Medical Dispensary, are not letting that stop them from setting up shop in anticipation of their product becoming legal July 1, 2018.

In North Cowichan several dispensaries have carried on in spite of fines from the municipality. And there are still more operating in the regional district that don’t need businesses licences at all.

You can’t really blame them for wanting to get in on the ground floor of this new and growing (no pun intended) industry. Marijuana has been great (illegal) business for thugs for decades. It will no doubt continue to be great for business when it can be used recreationally by anyone over the age of 18 in Canada in a year’s time.

That’s not to mention those who use it for medicinal purposes — obviously the focus of Green Tree.

Anecdotally, a large number of folks have found success in using cannabis in various forms as treatments for often chronic illnesses and pain. They prefer it to easily addictive opioids, and often state that it produces far fewer side effects for them to deal with.

The science may not be there yet (and why the heck isn’t it? There’s really no good excuse), but if it helps people with their pain, and it does, it can only be a good thing.

These folks need somewhere reliable and respectable they can safely get their marijuana, in whatever form they prefer.

We understand both sides of the argument with regards to marijuana enforcement in the runup to July 2018.

It is illegal. And we’re not ones to encourage people to engage in illegal behaviour.

But we also have to look at the expenditure of resources to go after something that’s not even going to still be illegal when the cases get to the courtroom, should they go that far. And it makes zero sense to start handing out harsh sentences or even sending people to jail for something that’s not even illegal anymore.

So maybe we should just live and let live for now.