Letters to the editor, March 8, 2018

These are the letters and comments from the print edition.

Weed woes

To see how the NSLC's marijuana distribution will be a disaster take a tour of Halifax's "medical" marijuana dispensaries. There are a dozen, or more, at least. They all have lines, seven days a week, from open to close. Their inventory (marijuana) is sourced in the industrial black-market production infrastructure in BC which is vast, efficient and already produces a variety of products (in-demand strains of marijuana) and product formats (oils, vape cartridges, topicals, edibles, etc).

Many people don't fully understand that these dispensaries are actually all illegal and will be shut down upon legalization. Currently, the only legal way to purchase medical marijuana is through the mail from a licensed producer.

Now consider that the NSLC is planning only nine stores province wide. Their access to inventory is going to be limited by the underdeveloped legal production infrastructure. Even if every LP converted to recreational production overnight they still don't have the capacity to service the recreational market. So nine stores, operating on the ridiculous NSLC government hours, are going to somehow service the province when 12 stores aren't fully servicing one city.

Who stands to gain from these gaping holes in distribution capacity? Maybe they will leave the dispensaries open for a while to deal with the shortage of supply. But the biggest beneficiary of the NSLC distribution plan has got to be organized crime. When the line at the store is too long, or the store is out of its limited product offering, or the price is too high or the quality is too low: The current black-market production infrastructure and already existing black-market distribution networks will jump at the opportunity to supply all under-serviced markets. When the NSLC is offering weed online and you see that there are a dozen other illegal websites that offer a greater variety of products at competitive prices, who do you think will benefit from the NSLC's "out of stock" notification? The black-market operators.

The only possible fix at this point is to encourage small-scale production on a local level, incentivize the NSLC to favour local producers instead of discourage them with higher shelving fees the way they do with micro-breweries, and most importantly allow for private retail akin to brewery stores. If the province does not allow small-scale producers to operate private retail stores, then I am afraid that the golden age of black-market weed may only be starting. —Nick Hansen-MacDonald

A classroom win?

Your March 1 cover story about changes to the education system has me confused ("Rush to reform," by Julia-Simone Rutgers). Dismantling school boards and using that money to better educate our kids is a bad idea? Really? We always hear there is a lack of funds to help with classroom resources, and now you're arguing against it? —posted at thecoast.ca by Cocky Fatuous

Sadly, the Department of Education has carefully, when repeatedly asked, NOT agreed that the money saved is going into classroom resources, but instead that money saved will go to the department.
—posted by Andrew Aulenback

It will cost that much and more for their new system!
posted by Wendola G

Tough on teeth

Carl Yates (Halifax Water) in a letter in your February 22-28 edition, expounds the government stance taken about fluoridation for over 60 years. Erin Hennessy from Nova Scotia Dental Association had the same stance. And it was the NSDA that widely circulated a pamphlet last year "The Sour Truth Behind Sugar-Sweetened Beverages." It stated "The more sugar you consume throughout the day, the higher your risk of developing tooth decay." A Harvard University Scientist in 1967, after 10 years of research, concluded: "There was nothing to prevent sugar causing tooth decay." Fluoridation began over a decade before this finding. I would like them to explain why 90 percent of Europe stopped fluoridation over 35 years ago. —Mary Eden Bassett

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