Any potential worries for the legalization of cannabis have for the most part, gone up in smoke.
As foreboding in advance and as superficial in reality as the impending doom of Y2K, police, government bodies, and people on the street have seen almost no change at all since the green herb moved off of the grey market.
Following the first five weeks of legalization, the Victoria Police Department issued a total of two 24-hour driving prohibitions in relation to cannabis, each coming with a $230 ticket.
While two doesn’t sound like much, police spokesperson Const. Matt Rutherford said it still wasn’t good.
“Two is too many,” Rutherford said. “No one should be driving and using cannabis.”
Additionally, a provincial government body known as the Community Safety Unit, which was specifically developed as an enforcement branch against illegal marijuana outlets and users, has yet to take any action.
After The News reached out to the CSU to see how the first month of legalized cannabis went, they responded with an emailed statement about their own background.
“The provincial Community Safety Unit (CSU) is a regulatory enforcement unit that will be staffed with investigators and operate out of regional offices across the province,” said Hope Latham, communications spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Safety. “Staffing and development of the unit is ongoing and decisions about enforcement action by the CSU will be made by the Director appointed under the Act.”
When pressed several times for specific details of any actions taken since marijuana became legal in British Columbia on Oct. 17, the CSU declined to comment. Presently, there is still only one legally operating provincial cannabis dispensary in the entire province, located in Kamloops. The first private retail pot shop to get a cannabis licence is in Kimberley.
The BC Liquor Distribution Branch has forwarded the City of Victoria seven applications for legal storefronts, but they have not yet been approved by both bodies. Several cannabis dispensaries without provincial licences are still running as before in Victoria, and police have declared that if they don’t cause trouble, they won’t face consequences from them.