Pubdate: Wed, 06 Dec 2006
Source: Daily Observer, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2006, Osprey Media Group Inc.
Author: Tim Meehan



Ontario PC Party leader John Tory's recent call for a marijuana 
grow-op registry is well intentioned, but wrong-headed, and strikes 
of political opportunism.

Is talk of cracking down on pot simply another empty political 
gesture to the social conservatives? If you believe the polls, most 
Canadians want legalization and regulation of marijuana like alcohol, 
but yet all we hear are more stories about "dangerous" apartment 
marijuana grow-ops. Funny, orchid growers and other plant growers use 
the same equipment as marijuana growers and we have yet to hear of 
the "scourge" of indoor cucumbers from the press and police PR flacks.

If Tory does create this greenhouse list, what about the interests of 
medical marijuana patients? If they have a legal grow-op on their 
property, does their house go into the registry? What will this do to 
the property value of a terminally ill person who uses marijuana, but 
also wants to try an experimental, expensive, uninsured treatment?

Will a bank grant a mortgage if there is a grow-op, legal or not, 
under the roof?

I know of some very ill people who grow marijuana in their own homes 
and rarely have mould or other problems. Fungus issues arise purely 
because of poor air circulation due to acts of concealment, thanks to 
regular police advocacy against marijuana growing, and egged on by the press.

Marijuana was made illegal based on racist lies in the 1920s. Any 
attempt by any politician or law enforcement official to create a 
moral panic out of this situation should be seen for what it is: 
propaganda calculated as a distraction from other, more pressing 
issues. Like the notion of a general prohibition solving any problem 
throughout history, for example.

Tim Meehan

National Capital Reformers

Ottawa, ON.
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