There is a growing mantra among political leaders that banning ATMs in cannabis dispensaries is “best practice.”

First off, ATMs are in casinos.

Why would it be okay for ATMs in casinos, where there is a mixture of alcohol and gambling, but not cannabis dispensaries where people are merely medicated on varying degrees of THC and CBD?

What’s with the fear mongering about cannabis?

Cannabis compounds are natural chemicals in the plant, they jive with your body’s cannabinoid receptors. It’s not tiny ethanol particles passing through the gaps of your brain cells.

In liquor stores, you can buy alcohol on debit and credit. Many convenience stores have ATMs, and they sell cigarettes, caffeinated products, and sugary junk food, like chips, candy and chocolate. A lot of them are open 24-hours.

And while one could certainly argue a medical use for nicotine and caffeine, the mass-produced cancer-sticks of Big Tobacco are no such thing, and most convenience store coffee sucks.

But even then, there is a “craft’ industry for tobacco, there are specialty cigar shops in almost every city.

There are coffee shops everywhere in Canada, and some with ATMs.

Whether or not one buys their drugs/medication through a debit-machine at a drive-through, or an ATM located in a store — in a free society, the decision always rests with the individual.

ATMs on the premises of private property are rarely a problem.

Insomuch that neighbourhood rules suggest your commercial business cease-to-desist, the case can be made for casinos and convenience stores before cannabis dispensaries.

Even then, one would expect private rules among contract-bound individuals, not state intervention.

Municipal governments call ATM-bans in cannabis dispensaries “best practice” without demonstrating how, and this is far more dire of a situation than any national candidacy for the White House.

For this is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper — protesting government bureaucracy without looking for alternatives. Preferring people and situations conform to your beliefs without finding innovative work-arounds.

Let’s say I owned a dispensary and you came in to buy medicine. I might refer you over to our new automated dispensing system. You put in a debit or credit card and it dispenses “hash-coin certificates.”

You get your card back, put it in your pocket, and take your freshly-minted hash-coin certificate over to the front counter.

You ask the bud-tender, “What can I get for this?”

The bud-tender responds, “About $100 worth of medicine.”

With any luck, some people will leave the dispensary without spending their certificate, and instead exchange it for goods or services elsewhere.

For example, buddy needs some roofing done. Roofer accepts the hash-coin certificate since he was going to buy cannabis anyway, and the agreement keeps the transaction off the books and away from the grubby hands of government tax-collectors.

Now that would be best practice.