Over 100 people turned out to support WeeMedical Dispensary in its bid to get a City business licence.
A large crowd of medical cannabis supporters gathered in Campbell River’s Spirit Square Wednesday afternoon.
Among the hundred or so people was Marc and Jodie Emery, two well-known and politically persuasive advocates for the use of medical marijuana.
“The only way we can present the vision to Canadians that we want to see is by opening these stores against the law and show people this is what legalization looks like” Marc Emery said in an interview with CHEK News.
Earlier in the day the Emerys visited WeeMedical, Campbell River’s only medical marijuana dispensary.
WeeMedical has not been issued a business licence from the City and has been raided twice by the RCMP.
“Clearly it’s a matter of city council catching up to the way the public is thinking and the public loves these facilities. They love to shop at them and you’ll notice if you stand here all day most of these people are 45 years of age and older” added Marc Emery.
People like 82 year old Gerri Martin, a regular customer at WeeMedical who buys rubs and drops for her fibromyalgia and a bone on bone ankle injury.
“Our clients are coming in and getting their medicine and the more and more people that are coming in and realizing how much its helping, it’s securing my thought in this community because we are helping so many people get back to their true life of not being on prescriptions ” said store manager Joel Wilson.
And the Emerys say the RCMP raids on WeeMedical are hurting the people police are meant to protect.
“The government and the police are meant to stop harm from happening to society but dispensaries and medical marijuana are not doing any harm. This location and others like it are providing a much needed service to people who are in pain” said Jodie Emery.
A statement from the City of Campbell River to CHEK News says the City supports the RCMP’s law enforcement role in the city even though other jurisdictions have asked the rcmp to turn a blind eye to dispensaries until the Federal Government legalizes marijuana and because it is sill illegal, the City will not be issuing wee medical a business licence.
Campbell River statement.
1 Why hasn’t Wee Medical been sold a business licence?
Wee Medical does not have a valid business licence to operate their business within the City of Campbell River.
The City of Campbell River has not issued a licence for two reasons. First, Campbell River’s zoning bylaw does not permit marijuana operations within any zones unless expressly permitted by the bylaw, and the City’s current zoning bylaw does not contain any provisions to permit such uses. Second, Campbell River’s business licence bylaw does not enable the City to issue a business licence for activities that are considered illegal under federal legislation.
2 How does the City of CR feel about the RCMP raiding WeeMedical twice, when other communities have asked their RCMP to turn a blind eye to marijuana sales?
Enforcement of federal legislation is a matter that the RCMP is responsible for, and the City of Campbell River supports the RCMP’s law enforcement role within the community.
3 What is the timeline for CR Council to be dealing with this issue?
The City has no intention of changing its bylaws related to marijuana operations until such time that the federal legislation is amended. At that time, it may be appropriate for the City to consider suitable revisions to its bylaws.