Pubdate: Fri, 12 Jun 2015
Source: Prince Albert Daily Herald (CN SN)
Copyright: 2015 Prince Albert Daily Herald
Page: A4
Referenced: (R. v. Smith):


Canada's Health Minister Rona Ambrose said on Thursday that she is
"outraged" by the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling on how users of
medical marijuana can use it - they will not be restricted to just
smoking it.

Ambrose is also vowing to fight the SCOC's "normalization" of pot use
in Canada.

It is a strange response to the unanimous SCOC ruling.

First of all, the ruling has nothing to do with the normalization of
pot use; it just removes restrictions for those medical users of the
drug - a good thing. There is some irony in the fact that some
Canadian users were concerned about the harmful effects of smoking the
drug, which can be consumed in numerous other ways, including baking
into products such as muffins or cookies, brewing as a tea or even
taking as a pill.

Ambrose went on and on Thursday that the federal government doesn't
officially recognize medicinal marijuana as a legitimate drug
treatment as it hasn't been proven effective through stringent medical

Maybe not in Canada, but evidence is mounting around the world in
regards to the benefits that come with medicinal marijuana. For
everything from pain relief to brain healing, marijuana is being
touted by medical professionals and scientists in many areas for what
it can do for people suffering from various ailments.

Secondly, the ruling did nothing to suggest that the drug should be
legalized for the general population or made available to all
Canadians. There is nothing in the ruling that offers all Canadians
some free-for- all to use marijuana without any regulation or legal

But even on that front, the Conservatives need to take a step back and
see the winds of change blowing. More Canadians than ever are less
opposed to marijuana use than ever before. For some, it is a case of
those who enjoy using the substance and want to do it free of
potential legal problems, but for most it is seeing the long-time
fight against its use as too expensive and ineffective to justify any

Is it time for our federal government to shift their paradigm on
marijuana and look at possibilities they will have to tax and control
the substance and bring in revenue from its use similar to what
happens currently with cigarettes and alcohol - two products legal
that most observers would easily suggest do far more harm than
marijuana ever could.

When it comes to Canadians who don't need it for anything medical,
then the federal government's plans to continue with an anti-drug
strategy and targeting youth that pot is not good for them is
worthwhile. Most people would agree that not using pot is better than
using it. But at the same time, most Canadians now believe the use of
pot isn't as hard-core criminal as the Conservatives would like to

The ruling is also just the latest example of a long-running feud
between the Conservatives and the SCOC about who really is responsible
for the administration and updating of the laws of the land. In recent
years the two have gone toe-to-toe on numerous issues of law, and the
government has rarely swayed the Supreme Court to see things its way.

It feels more and more that the Conservatives have lost their way and
lost the pulse of the Canadian people with their completely rigid and
unwavering ways, and it is too bad.

There should be room for them to espouse conservative political ideals
while at the same time evolving with the changing opinions and values
of Canadian people.

If this government can't find a way to exist between their absolute
ideals and the will of the Canadian people, then their government
risks ceasing to exist in the very near future.

Like medical marijuana users will now, the Conservatives should chew
on that thought for a while.
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