‘Fear mongering’

Dear Editor:

RE: Addicted children, Feb. 23.

I am working alongside the Wellington County councillor on this initiative, and I’d like to dispel the misinformation that was in this letter.

Many of the claims the writer made, that bringing cannabis shops to town would harm our community, are either false, fear mongering or demonstrate a complete misunderstanding of retail cannabis. The research shows that prohibiting these legal dispensaries enables the illegal market, with unregulated products, to thrive.

At least 414 municipalities across Ontario have passed bylaws to permit the regulated selling of this legal product and, as noted in our delegation to council, but not included in the article, former Wellington OPP detachment inspector Scott Lawson confirmed in his 2018 presentation to council that legal stores reduce the risk to youth and the community. 

The “cannabis fumes making the whole block smell” statement is a fundamental misunderstanding of retail cannabis outlets. It sounds like the writer is talking about cannabis grow and production facilities, which is not what our delegation to council was about. 

Cannabis was legalized in Canada in 2018. In Ontario, the retail regulations began in 2018. Having legal access to cannabis has also allowed for comprehensive studies about cannabis use and those who use it.

Many of our residents use it for PTSD, anxiety, depression, and during chemotherapy for appetite to name but a few. Over 65% of residents voted in favour of legal cannabis shops in 2018, and that number has only grown since.

The misinformation presented two weeks ago contributes to the status quo of allowing illegal drug dealers to continue to operate and continue to sell to youth. It’s time to end the misinformation and fear mongering around this legally regulated product.

John Misfud,