Pubdate: Fri, 18 Mar 2011
Source: Langley Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2011 Langley Times
Author: Travis Erbacher


Editor: The problem with the current state of medical marijuana is 
not the "legal grow-ops" but rather prohibition itself. On the 
surface, dispensing medical marijuana through pharmacies sounds like 
a good idea.

However, they would have to avoid the pitfalls that the current system
could not.

For example, each individual person has certain strains that work for
them. Medical marijuana works in a similar way to anti-depressants,
some swear by Prozac, others Zoloft and others yet, Paxil.

A person with multiple sclerosis will need something that focuses on
muscle relaxation and pain relief, whereas someone with migraine
headaches or cancer will need a strain with strong anti-nausea properties.

The current Health Canada system is a dismal failure. HC itself only
provides one type of marijuana that is poorly grown and by most
accounts, unusable.

Medical marijuana patients have to re-apply every year and wait months
to hear back. Sometimes their applications lag behind so long that
they can be subject to harassment by law enforcement despite being a
totally legitimate medical user.

Licensed users face regular discrimination as to where and when they
can use their medicine, and (non-medicinal) tobacco smokers are often
given better treatment.

Then there's the problem of prohibition itself. Marijuana prohibition
causes a tenfold (at the least) increase in price for medicine that is
needed by thousands of Canadians every year.

Sick people often cannot afford their medicine because of our
draconian pot laws.

If pharmacies were to distribute medical marijuana, would they carry
all of the hundreds of strains? If not, who would be discriminated
against? Will pharmacies have strains for MS, but not for AIDS? Back
pain but not cancer? Who will be left out?

What about the people who can't smoke, but could eat marijuana
cookies, such as people with lung cancer?

Under the current system those people are at risk of being thrown in
jail, even if they have their licences. The current system makes life
more difficult for patients across the board.

I welcome the mayors of the Langleys to have an open forum on this
question, and to invite experts and patients to give their opinion. We
can agree on one thing: the current system just isn't working.

Travis Erbacher

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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.