[Windsor Star – Dalson Chen] Two Windsor pot advocates are taking vastly different approaches to their cause — with one seeking legitimacy through a new pro-cannabis confederation, and the other vowing to sell medicinal marijuana whatever the legal consequences.
Jon Liedtke, co-owner of Higher Limits at 251 Ouellette Ave., said his new Canadian Cannabis Confederation will present a consolidated voice for cannabis-oriented businesses, as well as medical and recreational users.
“What there needs to be is a unified front that will stand up to prohibitory measures, and at the same time advocate for free, fair, and progressive cannabis policy,” Liedtke said.
Earlier this week, Liedtke went to Queen’s Park to talk about cannabis issues with representatives of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, as well as Pat Brown — leader of the Ontario PC Party.
Liedtke said both meetings were positive, and there’ll be more discussions in the future. “We were able to sit down and express our points of view … It’s definitely not as black-and-white as people might think.”
But the real coup from Liedtke’s trip was having the Cannabis-Friendly Business Association of Toronto join the new confederation. Liedtke said the association represents around 70 businesses. “With them alone, that’s about 450 contributing members.”
“We’re very happy to have them onboard, and we’re looking forward to partnering with other organizations to advance cannabis dialogue municipally, provincially and nationally,” Liedtke said.
Meanwhile, Leo Lucier — owner of newly opened Vapelated Vapor Lounge at 26 Chatham St. E. — said he plans to be selling medicinal marijuana in downtown Windsor by April 20.
While Higher Limits has a strict policy of not allowing any exchanges of cannabis on their premises, Lucier said he considers the issue more of a “grey area.”
Lucier said he intends to install a dispensing machine at his establishment, similar to machines he has seen in use at cannabis lounges in Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto.
Medical marijuana licence holders would use their debit or credit cards to make purchases from the machine. Lucier said the machines require input of the licence holder’s information before issuing a prescribed amount.
“You put in your number and it dispenses your pot. There’s no cash going over the table,” Lucier said.
Asked if he will obtain the necessary clearances to dispense medical marijuana, Lucier replied: “See, in Vancouver, nobody clears it with anybody … But people are putting in (the machines) anyway.”
When it’s pointed out to him that possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking remains a crime under Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, Lucier said he expects that to change — and he’s willing to deal with the consequences in the meantime.
“They can come and shut me down, because it’s going to happen,” Lucier said. “I’ll take it to court. I’m not afraid of that.”
Lucier said he’s asked to meet with officials from the city and Windsor police to discuss his plans. He said he intends to give all the proceeds from the vending machine to the Downtown Mission. “I’m not out to profit from pot.”
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