British Columbia

Federal Minister: Law enforcement must shut down Vancouver pot shops

The Vancouver city council decision to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries is not sitting well with federal government ministers, who are calling for them to be shut down.

Kerry-Lynne Findlay says regulating illegal business sends wrong message of marijuana use

Kerry-Lynne Findlay says law enforcement should close down the illegal medical marijuana dispensaries across Vancouver. (CBC)

The Vancouver city council decision to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries is not sitting well with federal government ministers.

Yesterday after the city council passed the new regulations, Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose blasted the shops as illegal.

This morning National Revenue Minister and Conservative MP for Delta Richmond East, Kerry-Lynne Findlay told the Early Edition's Stephen Quinn they should be shut down.

"This is illegal what is happening in Vancouver."

"These stores have absolutely no regard for the rule of law. They've already been caught selling marijuana to kids."

Findlay says because of the illegality of the dispensaries existence, steps need to be taken in order to shut each one down.

"It is the job of law enforcement to close down illegal activity. If it is illegal they should be closing it down."

Vancouver defends decision, blames feds

City councilor Kerry Jang said yesterday the regulations are a necessity due to the federal government failing to establish an effective system for medicinal cannabis users to access the product.

"The federal courts have said that people have a right to marijuana. We're trying to find that balance between keeping our neighbourhoods safe and the character intact, while on the other hand providing reasonable access to medical marijuana.

The new regulations include a $30,000 licensing fee and prevents shops from operating within 300 meters of schools or community centres.

"It's a practical approach to a problem the federal government has made. Rona Ambrose may be deeply disappointed in Vancouver, but quite frankly I've been deeply disappointed in her for many many years now as health minister."

But Findlay says that while she hasn't read the full details behind Vancouver's regulation, the decision is a wrong and unnecessary.

"This is accepting a normalization of having marijuana storefronts," she said.

"There are licensed facilities where licensed producers who have properly set up shop can sell marijuana for medical reasons."

To hear the full interview, click the audio labelled: Conservative MP calls on law enforcement to shut down illegal Vancouver pot shops.


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