Editorial off base

Dear Editor:

It was interesting the comments that were made about decisions that municipalities made concerning cannabis stores.

In his editorial last week, Advertiser editor Chris Daponte was not pleased with (“misguided approach”) Centre Wellington’s decision. He says that for “the four council members who rejected the shops outright … we suspect morality – rather than practicality – is the driving force behind their decision.” So I wonder when morality should be used in decisions? Who decides when practical is more important than morality?

It is noted that three of the same four councillors voted against an expansion of the slots facility in Elora two years ago, which Daponte considered “short-sighted, holier-than-thou thinking” (gambling is bad because we said so). 

I have come to realize that the cannabis issue is really money based, and that seems to have been the driving force in municipalities voting for the stores. Okay, no argument there, just call it what it is. Then, is it true that cannabis is good because we (Liberal government) think so? 

Considering the number of people in government making the decision about cannabis  in relation to the population of Canada, four councillors deciding to go against the status quo, may not be that big of a deal.

So let’s be practical, as Daponte alluded to, for gambling and cannabis stores. Let’s suggest that a person should set aside an equal amount of money for savings and retirement, that the individual spends on gambling and recreational cannabis. Why do I suggest this? Talking with my financial advisor recently, statistics show that 48% of people 55 and older have only $20,000 or less saved for retirement. Also the average person only saves about 3% of their income for future investments. 

If we are talking benefits to the community and individuals, how can the practicality of doing this be argued? No moral issues raised and a person could look forward to a good financial future. Unfortunately very few people would be willing to do this. 

The reason I went in this direction is that I am always hearing about the “economic benefit” and little is being said about the future problems that usually take some time to surface. In the article on the front page of the Advertiser, (Minto approves retail cannabis sales, Jan. 31) there was a great comment from councillor Judy Dirksen: “Cannabis is legal in Canada and we can’t change that. But just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s good. So I urge everyone, please be careful.” 

Wise and practical words – surely a candidate for Said Again.

Michael Thorp,

Mount Forest