Legal weed – coming to a city near you
Justice A. T. McCormack
Earlier this month, the lottery was drawn by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario(AGCO) for cities across Ontario that would be eligible to have pot stores.
Today is the deadline for the selected cities to decide whether or not they want pot shops.
The list of cities that have approved thus far expands quite wide. Some cities who have opted for pot shops includes Toronto, Ottawa, Brampton, Kingston, Loyalist, and Guelph.
The list of cities that have declined thus far is significantly shorter. Some cities who have opted against dispensaries are Vaughan, Markham, Mississauga, Erin, and Tecumseh.
The most recent city to decline, was Vaughan. With word being delivered from mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and his council last night.
While the most recent city to join on, was Brampton. The mayor, Patrick Brown, declaring the decision last night alongside his council.
In an eight to three decision, Mayor Brown and the majority of his council approved for pot shops to open up in Brampton.
Although, a few of the members of his council opposed, Patrick Brown stood by the approval of marijuana dispensaries in his city.
Director of Communications for Mayor Brown, Gary Collins, backed up why this is a right move for the city.
“Patrick believes that people will be out on the streets driving impaired. For him, it’s a safety issue – he wants to have better control of the situation,” Collins explained.
Collins and his team believe that more of a police presence will be needed in the streets of Brampton once the pot shops open up.
It is no surprise that it will be expensive dealing with all the fallout from the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Collins and his team believe that as the amount of drug impaired accidents increase – along with arrests against people smoking in places they shouldn’t be – so will Brampton’s finances as well.
Which is another one of the reasons Mayor Brown and his men opted in, to offset some of those costly fees.
“We wanted to be at the table, so we can receive government compensation for the repercussions,” Collins stated.
While Mayor Brown and his council are not entirely in support of the new law, they appear to be making the best out of a situation they feel is a bit beyond their control.
There seems to be some discrepancy involving weed being brought to cities across Ontario.
But like it or not, marijuana dispensaries will be blazing a trail near you, come this April.