Letters to the Editor

Bigger issues than hemp shop


Re: Proposed hemp shop gets cool reception, May 8; Civic foes fail to extinguish hemp shop, May 10.

Marine Drive merchants and White Rock’s reputation are being dealt a serious injury by council’s decision to allow a man ordered to stand trial on a charge of marijuana trafficking to open up shop here.

Not only will it make Marine Drive an unsavoury place to visit, even for locals, the hemp shop will undoubtedly create suspicions about the kind of people and activity attracted to White Rock and South Surrey. It reflects badly on all of us.

The accused marijuana trafficker is reported to be an executive director of the so-called Langley Medical Marijuana Dispensary. Quite apart from any legitimate case for medical marijuana, such non-pharmaceutical dispensaries are opposed by, among others, the Obama administration.

The U.S. FDA has acted swiftly in the last two years to shut down what is understood to be an abuse of privilege under the guise of medical use in California, in particular, where such “dispensaries” are said to rival Starbucks in number – well beyond any real medical need.

What now will be our reputation? Will a quick trip across the border come with suspicion and unprecedented questioning?

Do those who use marijuana for other than medical necessity know they subsidize organized crime, gang violence and prostitution rings?

On the larger question implicit in these matters and this decision, will ‘legalize, regulate and tax’ merely ‘legitimize, expand and subsidize’ a growing illegal market including international narcotics and gun crimes in which marijuana is reputedly the currency of choice.

Large questions hang on council’s small decision, not least our reputation.

Brian Marlatt, White Rock

• • •

I read with interest the recent ruckus over the business licence for Hempyz Gifts and Novelties.

It is lunacy for council to try to stonewall this proprietor’s business application without better just cause. It seems this gentleman is willing to be a responsible small business on Marine Drive, accepting the high mortality rate that accompanies this.

To deny him the class of licence he has applied for would surely lead to lengthy and costly litigation.

I suspect the apparent character assassination that has been advanced to both mayor, council and now the public would not make great filler for a statement of defence in B.C. Supreme Court.

My thoughts are that while Randy Caine may seem a lot like a “hippy,” if he is able to operate a lawful and viable business, let him do so.

Our city seems to be on the list as a destination spot for lawful protests as of late, so why the objection here?

Ron Eves, White Rock


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