Pot-shop location

The irrational fear of government pot shops near schools

A pot shop opening half a kilometre from a school has created an irrational amount of fear in parents and a platform for Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to get more votes.

As the federal government readies to legalize cannabis, the locations of Ontario’s first four provincially-run cannabis stores have been announced.

Toronto’s first Ontario Cannabis Store (run by a subsidiary of the LCBO) is expected to open in the Gerrard Street East and Victoria Park Avenue area, in a strip mall with a student tutoring service, a kid’s martial-arts centre, and a McDonald’s. The mall is known to be a popular hangout for children and high schoolers in the area.

The store has garnered a heap of unwarranted attention for being 450 metres from an elementary school. The other three locations will open in Guelph, Kingston and Thunder Bay, where schools are approximately a kilometre or three away.

Now, Wynne is ordering that school boards be given a say in where marijuana stores will be located. She says the boards are likely to know where their kids go at lunchtime and where they go after school.

How is this even an issue, especially if protocols are already in place to prevent underage users from making a purchase?

East York Collegiate Institute is only 300 metres from an LCBO, and just across the street from said LCBO is a bar. Both of these places, under the law, cannot serve to kids under 19.

Breaking silence over a potential weed-shop location next to a school and not having done so for a number of LCBOs and beer stores is a form of hypocrisy. Or is it an absurdity? Oh, wait, it’s a political forum for those seeking votes.

Data compiled in the Toronto Star shows that more than half the city is within 450 metres of a school.

If weed has got to be somewhere, it might as well be in an open area. School-age children are well aware of its existence.

Don’t fret over government-operated pot shops. For concerned parents, there’s only one rational response: continue to educate your children to be safe and responsible.