Dan Malleck, Associate Professor of Health Sciences at Brock, wrote a piece recently published in the National Post about the potential impact of municipalities banning retail cannabis stores.
With Ontario Premier Doug Ford handing the province’s municipalities the right to prohibit retail cannabis stores in their communities, he has displayed a populist penchant for municipal autonomy.
But prohibiting cannabis retail stores, as Richmond Hill and Markham have done, might not be the best way to avoid the problems many associate with cannabis.
I say this because the idea that a municipality could ban the sale of intoxicants within their boundaries is older than Canada itself, is well-tested and has almost always been fraught with problems.
An 1864 law allowed municipalities to vote themselves “dry” by popular referendum, permitting a simple majority of electors to vote to end the retail sale (but not the manufacture) of alcohol in their communities.
Many dry communities saw little improvement. Others saw increased drunkenness.
And so many communities repealed the local option as soon as they could.
Continue reading the full article here.