Port Alberni RCMP detachment inspector, Brian Hunter, wants the public to know that marijuana dispensaries are not legal.
Hunter told Port Alberni City Council last week that there seems to be a disconnect within the community over the status of marijuana dispensaries in the city.
Three search warrants were executed during the Port Alberni RCMP’s third quarter (July to September) of marijuana dispensaries in the community.
Marijuana remnants, drugs, cash and weapons were seized during the raids.
“I’ve heard some very interesting conversations in the community that leads me to realize what I’ve always known; that there’s a lack of awareness in all communities of what our laws are right now in regards to marijuana for medical purposes,” Hunter said.
“To be clear to the community, marijuana dispensaries are not legal operations.”
Hunter said the only legal means to obtain medicinal marijuana in this country is to order it online through Health Canada.
“You go to their website and there’s a process if you are designated by Health Canada to receive marijuana for medical purposes.”
Hunter told council that it is not in the local detachment’s mandate to deprive people of marijuana for medical purposes.
“I do believe [medical marijuana] has a role in our society… it helps people, absolutely it does. This is about maintaining public order in the community,” Hunter said.
“Quite frankly, I’m looking forward to some more clarity in our laws in regards to the use of marijuana for medical purposes and to be clear, Health Canada does not classify marijuana as a medicine, they allow you to use marijuana for medical purposes. There’s a big difference.”
Coun. Denis Sauve agreed with Hunter that there are many misconceptions among the public about dispensaries being legal or not.
“It is illegal…given a license by the city or not, it doesn’t matter,” Sauve said.