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No cannabis stores in Windsor! Opt it out!

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To Mayor and Councillors in Windsor,

As residents of Windsor City, we are very concerned about opening cannabis stores in Windsor, as well as the use of cannabis in public.

Cannabis can create many serious problems in public health, law enforcement, traffic accidents, gang and crime, etc., let alone posing a high risk to youth mental health and well-being. We have serious concerns about how much risk our kids would be exposed to if cannabis retail stores are not far from school property and joints are smoked in public places.

Cannabis can be especially addictive for teens while their brains are still forming. Many medical clinics and doctors say marijuana is a gateway to other drugs.

Also, adolescent exposure to marijuana can cause long-term mental health problems. Teens who used cannabis over a long term suffered decreased memory, processing speed and reasoning, as well as schizophrenia. Research conducted by Northwestern Medicine and Harvard Medical School found that young adults who used recreational marijuana showed abnormalities in two key brain regions important for emotion and motivation.

Although there is debate about the danger of using cannabis, the reality is that Canada is the only country that legalized marijuana besides Uruguay. The THC level in current cannabis is much more serious than in the cannabis of previous time. There is no strict and convincing research proving that cannabis is harmless and not addictive. Prime Minister Trudeau is making the whole Canada a huge experiment by making marijuana legalized. The whole society and especially the kids have become his subjects of experiment. Once the experiment failed, the damaging result might not be reversible.

The visibility of cannabis sales will most likely lead to more kids exploring usage at a premature age, much like alcohol and tobacco. If the sale of marijuana is only available online, it will be easier for parents to block kids’ access to drugs by simply controlling their credit card.

The City of Windsor cannot opt out of cannabis stores once opted in. It will put our city into a risky situation. Some cannabis supporters talk about business, but nothing is more important than the future of our children. We should give the safety and the prosperity of our community the most priority. We cannot just consider the money that we can earn from selling cannabis, the increasing traffic accidents and the following increase of insurance, the expense of medical treatment for the people having overdose cannabis, the expense of operating the cannabis injection house, the expense of administrative cost, like police and regulation departments, should all be considered.

Instead of improving the business of Windsor, there is detrimental impact on attracting new business and retaining existing business. Many see the development of cannabis usage a hindrance to the effort to attract quality sustainable business in Windsor.

There is also negative financial impact on residential and business properties in the area. If given the option very few people would chose to buy a house across the street or in the same neighborhood as a cannabis store area.

Besides outing out cannabis store in Windsor, cannabis use should be restricted to private property. Our municipal and regional councils should ban smoking on trails, sidewalks, in parks, parking lots, all retail and city-owned facilities, schools, work environments, shopping malls and any other public places. To protect children, smokers should stay at least 200 meters away from schools, libraries and community centers.

Unless all these issues are well considered and prepared, we cannot jump into the risk to have the cannabis stores in our community. We should be extremely cautious when we try something that is illegal in all other countries. Remember, this is a social community, not a lab!

We strongly urge you, the councilors, to think it seriously before casting your vote. Please show us that you are responsible, reliable, and logical. Thank you!

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