LETTER: Pot dispensaries operating illegally

Re: Sooke mom urges regulations on local marijuana dispensaries (News, Aug. 10)

Re: Sooke mom urges regulations on local marijuana dispensaries (News, Aug. 10)

After the extended research and sleepless night, the following information was found regarding the legal status of marijuana dispensaries in Canada (facts only):

According to the RCMP:

1. No person shall possess a substance included in Schedule I, II or III of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (SDCA).

2. Cannabis is listed in Schedule II of the SDCA.

According to Health Canada:

1. “Dried marijuana is not an approved drug or medicine in Canada. The Government of Canada does not endorse the use of marijuana, but the courts have required reasonable access to a legal source of marijuana when authorized by a healthcare practitioner.”

2. Steps to access medical marijuana: healthcare practitioner has to fill in medical document; patient must send the original medical document to a licensed producer with a registration form; the licensed producer will fill and ship patient’s order, based on the daily amount of dried marijuana indicated on the medical document.

3. Only licensed producers can produce and sell medical marijuana.

4. There are only eight licensed producers in B.C., none of the Sooke dispensaries are licensed.

5.  No storefront can be operated under current MMPR. No compassion clubs can dispense for a licensed producer. Licensed producers must ship dried marijuana directly to the client, to an individual responsible for the client, or to the client’s healthcare practitioner.

Conclusion:

Regardless of municipal regulations, all medical marijuana dispensaries are illegal in Canada. Despite a patient having a medical prescription, these customers could still be charged with illegal possession when buying from one of these dispensaries.

Federal government anticipation of legalizing marijuana doesn’t make it legal. And, regulation is not the same as prohibition.

The least mayor and council can do for Sooke is to mirror Victoria’s new bylaw. If you haven’t signed the petition yet, think about it again.

Lui Burk

Sooke