Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jan 2014
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2014 Judith Stamps
Author: Judith Stamps


Re: "Input needed on pot bunkers," editorial, Jan. 23.

The medical marijuana issue in Canada has been long on foot-dragging
and short on common sense. Since 1999, a series of court rulings have
forced Heath Canada to create access.

Initially, it told patients to apply for a "Section 56" exemption, to
be granted solely by the Minister of Health. This requirement was
challenged and found to be unconstitutional.

Patients were then supplied with a 29-page application form, to be
filled out by a specialist. But the specialist requirement was
challenged and deemed unfair. Since 2005, patients and their
physicians have had a 33-page application.

The Canadian Medical Association and its insurers are not friendly.
Not enough research, they say. But in 2006, Prime Minister Stephen
Harper cut funding for marijuana research then in progress.

It should go to the private sector, he claimed. What private sector?
No one is interested.

Meanwhile, in 2004, the marijuana provided by the official Manitoba
supplier was tested and found to be mouldy and not as advertised.
Since 1997, we've also had compassion clubs in Canada. But they are
not legal. The police raid them from time to time; the judges let them

Now we've been handed hideous concrete structures that no one wants in
their neighbourhood. They are prisons for plants.

So here's an idea. Let's all find the 2002 Senate report on cannabis
and read it. Then let's follow its advice and legalize. It's good
advice, and it's Canadian.

Judith Stamps Victoria 
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