The City of Burnaby has a virtual public set for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 25, to consider a pair of applications for cannabis stores in the city.
Both locations are on Kingsway, the busiest business district in Burnaby, but according to a letter I received from a group of local parents, both will create “danger” zones that will be menace to men, women and children.
Baloney. Fear-mongering baloney.
I want to state up top here that I don’t use cannabis in any form. I say this so you won’t think I have an “agenda” about supporting my personal habits.
I just can’t stand to see people using scare tactics to try and whip up fear about what is now legal in Canada.
I’m not saying everyone has to support cannabis use or its sale, but stick with the facts when it comes to these applications.
Both of the Burnaby proposals are for B.C. government cannabis stores, one at 7360 Kingsway at the new Kings Crossing development in Edmonds and the other at Old Orchard, 4429 Kingsway.
As I said, both are busy commercial districts and high-traffic areas to sell a legal product.
But according to the letter I received – it was unsigned and the people behind it refused to allow their names to be used – they are too close to community centres and/or schools.
And by too close, they mean flat-out dangerous to people to even walk by.
“As parents, the last thing we want to see is to put my children in danger on our way to the school, library, community centre, and parks,” says the letter.
Put “in danger.”
What does that even mean? I’ve walked by cannabis stores before and they are usually well-designed and chic-looking buildings with regular folks going in and out.
People aren’t staggering out of them swearing and throwing punches at people because they bought some ganja.
They. Are. Not. Dangerous.
The letter also makes a dubious allegation of increased “harassment” of seniors and children in the vicinity of cannabis stores. I’m just not buying it. It seems laughable to me to make that argument.
Then the letter talks about the dangers of second-hand cannabis smoke, which might be true, but has nothing to do with allowing a cannabis store in a neighbourhood. Every business has to abide by smoking bylaws.
Cannabis is legal to sell in Canada, same as alcohol, which I would argue causes far more societal problems than pot.
Burnaby has been slow to get store proposals to this stage and I would also argue that they have been myopic by blocking private proposals for the city so far, although Mayor Mike Hurley said recently the city is now open to listening to private applications.
Tiny little New Westminster already has half-a-dozen projects well past this stage, including at least one store already open.
Cannabis users deserve stores to buy the products they want.
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.