Ms. Libby Davies
Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for the question. It is a very good and thoughtful question. She is correct that there are numerous medical dispensaries for marijuana, and probably most of them are in my riding of Vancouver East.
The reality is that in Vancouver, local law enforcement has basically not enforced whatever laws it could against these dispensaries, nor has the City of Vancouver, in terms of zoning or licensing, because they are not considered to be harmful.
The member may not be aware that recently the City of Vancouver made an announcement that it wants to provide a proper licensing and regulatory approach to these medical dispensaries. It was very interesting to hear the response from the Minister of Health in Ottawa, who is so far away from what is going on in Vancouver. Of course, her response was nothing surprising: it was no, no, no, this is not going to be allowed to happen.
The fact is that in the city of Vancouver, elected officials, the police department, and other agencies understand that it is much better to have oversight, licensing, and a regulatory approach to these dispensaries to make sure they are operating properly. That is something, again, that is based on public interest.
Therefore, yes, there is a lot going on in Vancouver, and I expect as with other issues, Vancouver will lead the way on this and will be able to bring in proper oversight and a proper licensing system.
Topic: Routine Proceedings
Subtopic: Committees of the House