When the federal government finally rolls out cannabis legalization, Sharon Kerr would like to see that the sale of legal cannabis take place at least 500 meters from elementary, middle, and high schools in the Toronto area. Kerr is a Ward 21 trustee candidate, and she recently launched a petition that calls on the province of Ontario and the city of Toronto to include these restrictions.
Kerr made a statement through the online petition of hers, saying that “The decision about how and where marijuana can be sold has not yet been made. Please act now, before it’s too late.” She also said that “In speaking to parents, (they) aren’t interested in having pot sold anywhere near schools. It’s going to go to wherever it needs to go to get it stopped, including the province or municipally. We don’t need to be challenged with kids being high.”
She is worried that minors will have easy access to cannabis if they are too close to the schools. “I’m sure no one will sell to minors, but who is there to stop those who are motivated to get (fake) IDs? I can tell you certain schools within the (Toronto District School Board) where students come to school drunk. Why open it up to this platform?” she said.
Last month Premier Kathleen Wynne suggested that provincially regulated liquor stores would be an ideal place to sell cannabis once it is legalized. Wynne first commented on this subject on December 14th after a joint meeting with Toronto mayor John Tory at Queen’s park. She said then, “It makes sense to me that liquor distribution mechanism that we have in place, the LCBO, is very well suited to putting in place the social responsibility aspects that would need to be in place. Obviously, I don’t know what the timeline is of the federal government. But it seems to me that using that distribution network of the LCBO, as has been talked about in other provinces, using their provincial institutions, I think that makes a lot of sense.”
Kerr is running in an attempt to replace Shaun Chen, who represents the the riding of Scarborough North as a Liberal party MP. Her position is interesting considering that Ontario seems to have a love-hate relationship with “sinful” issues such as alcohol, tobacco, vaping, cannabis use, and gambling. On one hand the government gains a lot of extra tax revenue from the sales of all the activities, but they also have to consider the cost of socializing the effects of those who become addicted to any of these things.
One thing is for sure though, the Ontario government does not value an individual’s right to put whatever they want into their own body, or to engage in whatever voluntary act they wish to. Instead they will do what is in the best interest for their own revenue stream while trying to give an appearance of “some” freedom of choice.