Either grossly incompetent or handcuffed by politics
Published on September 14, 2021 by Contributed
This letter is written by an Okanagan cannabis store owner.
Nearly three years has gone by since cannabis was legalized in Canada. Since that time, we have been having conversations with the province’s Community Safety Unit regarding their enforcement plan against the illegal businesses that continue to sell cannabis outside of the provincial and federal framework.
It is through these conversations over the past three years that it has become abundantly clear that either the CSU is grossly incompetent or that the CSU themselves are handcuffed by the political interference being imposed on them by politicians who are focused on their self-serving political interests.
In recognizing the inability of the CSU to effectively perform their job, we turned to the RCMP whom in theory should not be subject to the same level of political pressure as the CSU. As it turns out the RCMP’s response was equally as lackluster – their approach is simply to defer to the CSU despite their own website indicating that they have a shared responsibility in enforcing the Cannabis Act.
The deferral by the RCMP to the province perhaps isn’t that surprising considering that the RCMP are contracted by the province and the approach taken by the RCMP is likely one of “Don’t upset your boss.” The question is do the RCMP have an obligation to intervene if they are aware that the CSU is unable to effectively perform its duties?
Perhaps the alternative example below will shed some light on this:
Let’s suppose an RCMP officer comes across a child being attacked by a coyote in the park; should the RCMP officer:
- intervene and attempt to stop the attack, or;
- call a provincial conservation officer and let the attack continue?
In the case of cannabis, the RCMP are choosing to contact the CSU whom are allowing these illegal businesses to continue to operate with the knowledge that the unregulated products that are being sold are in many cases unfit for consumption and pose a public health risk.
So if you’re not piss pot mad by the fact the province and RCMP have abandoned legal businesses, you should be livid that these organizations are putting their own political interests ahead of public safety.