The Guardian reports that the City of Charlottetown Planning Department is seeking input on any amendments to the Zoning and Development Bylaw that might be required once the retail sale of cannabis becomes legal later this year.
Here’s the input I offered:
This email is in response to reports in The Guardian that you are seeking input from the public on any amendments that might be required to the Zoning and Development Bylaw regarding the retail sale of cannabis, and, specifically, distance limitations with relation to “schools, daycares and places where children assemble.”
My input is: there is no need to any amendment to the Zoning and Development Bylaw at all.
The retail sales of cannabis should be permitted anywhere that the retail sale of anything else is permitted.
I see no conflict between the retail sales of cannabis and the presence of children, or of anyone else.
I am fascinated by how provincial and municipal politicians are riding a knife-edge of favouring legalization while feeling an obligation (or genuine feeling) to express vague discomfort about the entire notion. Former Finance Minister Albert Roach, for example, was quoted on the CBC in December discussing locations for provincial cannabis stores:
“To ensure that wherever we put them, that they are not in any sort of a co-location, next door or in the same mall as a current liquor store … We don’t want to locate near schools or playgrounds … we want to be very clear that that’s a concern to us,” he said.
I’m not sure what evils Mr. Roach, or the City of Charlottetown, might come from playground-cannabis store-proximity; it’s truly perplexing. Are they expecting gun play? Do they imagine stoned people milling about expressing dangerous, divergent thoughts?
I hope the City does the sensible thing, and simply proceeds business-as-usual.