It’s a small victory for the medicinal tokers! Last Friday a Vancouver federal judge granted an injunction for medicinal marijuana users who say they need to be able to grow their own pot at home.
You can’t go anywhere in Vancouver without meeting someone who has a license/prescription to roll one up and smoke. More and more doctors are seeing the benefits of marijuana as an alternative to some prescription drugs.
So for the blazers, who were licensed as of September 30, 2013 and have a personal grow-show or a designated grower, can continue harvesting their M-39 strain or whatever they feel helps with their ailments. It also means that people who have a prescription can continue to keep it in a mason jar above their fridge but the personal possession amount has been reduced to only 150 grams during the injunction period. A trial has not been scheduled but the federal judge believes that could happen within the next nine to twelve months.
Abbotsford lawyer John Conroy took on the federal government citing that the recent Health Canada changes for medical weed were unconstitutional, “If the patient can’t afford the medicine at the prices under the program that’s being produced, then they’re placed in a position where they have to choose between their liberty and their health,” said Conroy.
The Government wants to monopolize and centralize marijuana production and have all medicinal users buy from select federal farms at a much higher price. Users can only buy the strain that Health Canada provides and there will be no oils or edibles allowed. All a user will basically get is a bud that is lower in THC and is grown in Saskatchewan which might be good for some and not so much for others.
People who are professional and organized enough can apply to become a designated federal grower. However it appears the government hasn’t been that serious about creating a competitive market place by having many growers across the country as what was promised when the new laws were introduced. Many companies have submitted their applications but have not heard a single peep from Heath Canada.
April 1, yes April Fool’s Day, was the deadline where all of the new medical marijuana laws were going to be coming into effect. Many users were sent letters from Health Canada “advising” them to get rid of their entire stash before April 1 or else. Even the RCMP knocked on doors of growers to grant them a “friendly” reminder. Now it seems those letters are nothing more than rolling papers.
The Conservatives know there is a ton of cash that could be made off the backs of medicinal users, but they stand on shaky, hypocritical ground. One minute the feds are calling for tougher laws and penalties for marijuana smokers, the next day they want to grow it and make money off of it.
With the majority of Canadians wanting legal pot, the federal Liberal Party is going to make legalization of cannabis a prominent part of their platform going into the next federal election and it’s not an issue the Conservatives should just blow off. Instead their response has been an embarrassing attempt at what some are calling “attack” ads towards Liberal leader Justin Trudeau who has admitted to smoking pot and vowed, if elected, would move towards legalization of the plant.
That said, there is some merit to what the current federal government wants. As of right now, marijuana is not legal, but in order to maintain some sanity in the budding medicinal scene, there needs to be some regulation to protect the general public. In truth, there are people who have abused the system for their own personal financial gain. Not only that, nobody wants to have their apartment complex up in smoke because some stoner thought he could be an electrician.
There is no disputing that grow-shows can be a public nuisance. Some people don’t have the foggiest idea on how to properly grow good ganja. At the end of the day, amateur growers cause damage, fires and also attract crime. The more professional grower has taken his crops to agricultural land like in the Fraser Valley or B.C.’s interior.
If Grandma “Rainbow” wants to grow a couple of plants in her garden in order to cut costs down on her medicine, there really shouldn’t be a problem in doing so. The last minute reprieve that was granted by the federal court last Friday is a move in the right direction towards common sense and somewhere in the middle there is a solution that protects everyone but also doesn’t infringe on basic Canadian rights and freedoms.
The new federal medicinal marijuana laws have failed according to the court of public opinion. Just ask any pot smoker what he thinks and you’ll get a long winded rant. For the Conservatives to save face they need to go back to the drawing board and rethink how they want to tackle the issue before they step inside of a court room and try to defend their unpopular stance. There is a way for the government to make money on weed and that is through legalization and taxation. Unfortunately it seems everyone knows this except for Stephen Harper.