Courtenay's marijuana stance questioned

If he had to decide, Stan Fuller would choose medicinal marijuana over morphine.

Fuller, a 76-year-old Courtenay resident, is terminally ill. He does not drink alcohol but he has liver cancer. He underwent surgery in late-February.

Speaking at a public hearing about a zoning bylaw concerning the production of medical marijuana, Fuller expressed his disappointment that Courtenay City council would concern itself with illegal grow-ops.

"You're going after the wrong end," Fuller said. "It really hurts me to see a council that would let that go by."

Rebecca Lennox of Courtenay also advocated on behalf of ill people who have "benefited from home-produced medicine."

Last month, council gave second reading to a bylaw that would permit the production of medicinal marijuana in a building but prohibit growing as a home occupation.

A court reprieve has, for the time being, allowed medical marijuana users to continue growing pot at home instead of destroying it and turning to licensed producers.

The Marijuana Medical Access Program was to end March 31. The following day, Health Canada's new regulation banning personal growing was slated to take effect.

• • •

Erik Eriksson has garnered about 1,600 signatures opposing the planned closure of Safeway on Cliffe Avenue.

The Courtenay resident is concerned about the approximate 120 job losses, and the loss of a store that serves more than 2,000 people. It also serves as an anchor store for merchants at the nearby strip mall, he says.

Eriksson asked council to appeal to Sobeys management to reconsider the decision to close Safeway.

While he concurs the issue is important, Coun. Doug Hillian is not sure what impact council might carry at this point.

"I think that's stepping out of our boundaries," Mayor Larry Jangula said of Eriksson's request.

Council agreed to write Sobeys to express concern about the impending closure, and to consider other options and opportunities.

Coun. Starr Winchester commended Eriksson for his efforts.


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