The Town of Ladysmith is polling residents on whether cannabis should be sold in the community.
A letter from Mayor Aaron Stone and chart showing the breakdown of federal, provincial, and municipal authority on recreational cannabis was delivered alongside a survey to every home in Ladysmith. The short survey is comprised of eight questions asking whether cannabis should be sold, how many stores there should be, and where stores should be located.
Ladysmith’s current zoning bylaw does not allow for the sale of recreational cannabis.
“We take this survey very seriously and your opinions will help council decide how to regulate the retail sale of recreational cannabis in Ladysmith,” Stone said.
In light of survey, the Chronicle went out in the community to ask residents about their views on the matter.
“I think a lot of people would benefit from it who are smoking. I heard for a lot of these people that it’s very difficult to find a place to get it to them. I think it should be fine. I don’t know how much heavy demand there’d be on it, but you can smell it around, you know there’s people smoking it. It’s everywhere now, you can’t get away from it. It’s nothing new, it’s been going on for decades and decades.”
“I think it’d be fine, honestly. There are benefits for it, and if they’re going to be using it for the right reasons I don’t see an issue with it. It’s just how the world is right now, it’s legalized, so you can’t really stop it. I think in Ladysmith one [store] would be enough because there’s multiple in Nanaimo and one in Chemainus. I think having one downtown would be fine.”
“I’m very positive [about a retail cannabis store]. I’m a user. I’m prescribed for cannabis and it would be very handy considering I don’t have a vehicle here. It’s been increasingly difficult as they’ve shut down to find a place to go to with a reliable medicated resource. I have to order online. I don’t think we need to flood [Ladysmith], we’re very small, I think one would be enough for everyone, but obviously feel it out. I think downtown’s fine. All the schools are uptown, so you’d have to go out of your way as a child to come down and see it. I have children, so I consider that. It’s not a secret, and I don’t think it is to most kids these days. If it was right next to a school it’d be weird, I don’t want a liquor store opening up next to a school either.”
“They’re going to open them up in other places anyways. [Ladysmith] doesn’t need it. One is absolutely enough. I think [proceeds] should have to go to the town, and to some of the infrastructure and other things. It should be kept a safe distance from schools and playgrounds, absolutely. It’s going to come anyway, so you might as well deal with it now.”
Residents are encouraged to respond to the survey using the self-addressed envelope included in each letter, and participate in the conversation on the Town’s PlaceSpeak Page. Alternately, residents can use the survey code at the bottom of the letter to complete the survey online. All survey responses will be completely anonymous.
The deadline for responses is May 22.