The medical marijuana debate just got a lot closer to home. On June 22nd, the Kimberley city council voted to grant a business licence to a medical marijuana dispensary by the name of Tamarack Dispensary — and had to override one of its own bylaws to do so. That particular bylaw (No. 1325) requires that a business license applicant be compliant with federal regulations. Tamarack Dispensary was non-compliant because it did not have a Health Canada permit, but Kimberley’s local government went ahead and approved the license anyways. The dispensary owners, Tamara and Rod Duggan, have assured council they will work closely with RCMP “to ensure legitimacy and accountability in our business operations,” and Kimberley’s mayor Don McCormick says he’s proud of council “for taking a progressive position on what is a controversial issue.”
Two days later, on June 24th, the City of Vancouver approved a licensing system for illegal medical marijuana dispensaries — just two weeks after the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously rule that medical marijuana can be consumed in any form people choose, not just smoking it.
It’s a classic case of the cart getting away from the horse. The federal government is “outraged” according to Health Minister Rona Ambrose: at the Supremes for dictating what can be considered medicine, at Vancouver city council for regulating illegally produced and sold marijuana. MP David Wilks, undoubtedly, will be at odds with Kimberley council’s decision. But, as recent events show, the medical marijuana movement has become mainstream and Canadians aren’t willing to wait for the Conservatives to catch up on common sense and compassion.