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Marijuana dispensary proponent gets warm reception

There was no outcry of ruining the neighbourhood when a representative of a medical marijuana dispensary made a case for setting up a "pot shop" on 12th Street in New Westminster to the West End Residents Association (WERA) last week.

WERA president Elmer Rudolph said Justin Cleveland of the West Coast Green Light Society made an impressive 15-minute powerpoint presentation and fielded questions for 20 minutes at an association gathering that included about 15 residents.

"It was either noncommittal, or I would say I would have the general feeling it was positive," said Rudolph of the reaction. "I didn't get any indication that anybody felt very strongly anti-dispensary."

Green Light is a non-profit organization that plans to distribute cannabis to customers who have a doctor's prescription for the drug to help ease the symptoms of many serious diseases. It will operate the N.I.C.E Dispensary out of a storefront at 907 12 St. Although the business's doors are open for curious pedestrians and neighbours, Green Light has said it won't be open for the business of distributing until the community is OK with it.

Cleveland also planned to make a presentation to the West End Business Association and the New Westminster Police Department.

When Rudolph first heard about it, he thought there would be a huge controversy about its possible presence in their backyard, but it didn't materialize at the meeting.

"They gave a very good presentation, and a lot of people came that were dubious. I didn't know anything about it," said Rudolph. "I was quite impressed with their presentation.

"He was up front about everything. It was very informative and when people left there they had a changed view of what this business is about … They certainly didn't fan any anti-cannabis dispensary emotions in there."

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