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FOCUS (JANUARY 2017): Should marijuana dispensaries be closed?

January 23rd, 2017 · No Comments

Bloor Street citizens have their say

By Geremy Bordonaro

The December 22 shutdown of Pacifico Life had us wondering: what do people think of having a marijuana dispensary in their neighbourhood? So, we hit Bloor Street on January 12, not too far from where Pacifico Life had been, to find out. We asked people what they thought of the shutdown, and of dispensaries in general. What follows is a round-up of what we learned.

Akwasi, professor: “It didn’t last very long. I’m not surprised. I’m not unhappy to be honest but I’m glad that they are popping up elsewhere. It was a little weird that it popped up on this stretch of Bloor Street…. I think it’s awesome [that marijuana dispensaries are popping up] but we need to wait around until regulations come around about where they are, what proximity they’re allowed to be around children, and things like that.”

Dave, video store clerk: “I don’t mind at all. There could be an issue with people thinking it’s a gateway drug but I don’t mind a place like that in the city.”

Michaela, waitress: “I don’t know about them at all. I haven’t been keeping up with news about the situation. I don’t really have an opinion.”

Baxter, student: “Yes, I’m aware of it closing. It is enforcement of the law while pot is still illegal and eventually when the federal Liberals get their shit together that will no longer be the case. But in the meantime marijuana is still illegal as a part of the criminal code…. It’s a rational response to an anticipated policy change that technically hasn’t materialized yet.”

Howard, manager of Wiener’s Home Hardware: “I kind of expected it to happen because any business that is operating in a grey area, at best, I don’t expect to see hang out too long…. I don’t really have a big opinion on it because people are going to try and make money however they feel they can make money. And then when legislation comes down either they’re all going to get to stay in business or they’re all going to get closed down.”

Paul, freelance cameraman: “I had no idea that it shut down. This place didn’t look so much like a head shop as it looked like a store that talked to people about the advantages of marijuana. I think there are certain positive things that come with marijuana such as [Cannabidiol] which is used to treat various ailments. I don’t know what it was but it would have been nice to have it here a little bit longer so that we could have figured out was it a head shop or was it an alternative healing place.”

Judy, journalist: “I’m not in favour. A lot of damage was done in my family by early pot use at a stage where a young person’s brain was developing. I’m convinced that a lot of mental health issues come from it. So anything that normalizes it I don’t think is the right way to go.”

David, professor: “Yes. Not happy. The dispensaries will be there until they legalize it.”

Roy, retired: “I really don’t like it. Places like that [points to nearby location] deal drugs on the street constantly and never ever get busted. These pot heads and pot shops never get busted. But these dispensaries get busted in an instant…. I don’t object to dispensaries because they’re trying to get something that is a constant product out to the public. Whereas places like that say ‘Oh well this week is garbage. Next week it will probably be better.’ These places are just rip-off joints and they never ever get touched. The head shops are always above the law. But a dispensary? That’s illegal.”

Naomi, administrator for a hospital: “Truthfully, not. I think they serve a purpose but they need to be regulated. It’s no different from a lot of things that [the federal Liberal government] are trying to put in regulation for. So it takes its time.”



CHATTER: Marijuana dispensary opens (December 2016)

EDITORIAL: Mayo no, marijuana maybe (June 2016)

Tags: Annex · People · Opinion