Pubdate: Wed, 14 Aug 2013
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2013 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Robert Ianiro


Re: Up In Smoke, July 27.

The new Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) announced 
by the federal government on June 10 does not change the fundamental 
role of health care practitioners. The responsibility to assess a 
patient and decide on an appropriate treatment has always rested with 
health care practitioners, as it should. Under the MMPR, individuals 
must still consult an authorized health-care practitioner; however, 
the new regime eliminates the need for individuals to share health 
information with Health Canada.

The MMPR will continue to provide reasonable access to a legal source 
of marijuana for medical purposes. However, the current practice of 
allowing individuals to produce it for medical purposes in private 
dwellings poses a number of health, security and safety risks to 
Canadians. The high value of marijuana on the illicit market 
increases the risks of home invasion and diversion to the black 
market. These production operations could also present fire and toxic 
mould hazards.

Under the new regulations, licensed producers will have to meet 
extensive security and quality control requirements (such as a 
security system that detects intruders). Licensed producers will also 
be subject to compliance and enforcement measures, and dried 
marijuana will only be shipped through a secure delivery service 
directly to the address the client has specified.

The government's goal is to treat dried marijuana as much as possible 
like other narcotics used for medical purposes.

Robert Ianiro, director general, Controlled Substances and Tobacco 
Directorate, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch, Health 
Canada, Ottawa
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom