Pubdate: Mon, 08 Feb 2016
Source: Chronicle Herald (CN NS)
Copyright: 2016 The Halifax Herald Limited


You don't have to be stoned to be confused by the status of Canada's 
marijuana laws.

Users of medical marijuana must wonder if it's OK to pick up supplies 
at pot dispensaries across the country.

In Nova Scotia, one operator proudly announced the opening of his 
Dartmouth dispensary last week.

But at least two in-province pot retailers were raided by police last year.

The law seems to suggest prescription holders should obtain the drug 
from licensed suppliers - which means by mail-order.

But the Supreme Court says "reasonable access" to medical marijuana 
should be, and is not being, provided.

No wonder dispensary owners say they operate in a grey area.

The situation is also fuzzy for recreational users.

They might take comfort from the Trudeau government's Speech from the 
Throne pledge to "legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana."

No one knows what that means, though.

The prime minister has asked Toronto-area MP Bill Blair, the city's 
former police chief, to figure out how to write sensible legislation 
that legalizes marijuana.

To that end, Blair will hold consultations with health, police and 
provincial government officials, and review what's happened in 
Washington and Colorado, two states which have legalized marijuana.

In Colorado, legalized pot has been a boon to the tourist industry.

But state officials warn that certain cannabis products - the edible, 
sweet ones wrapped in bright packaging - appeal to children.

They also caution that adults are susceptible to overindulging the 
old sweet (pot) tooth.

In Washington, meanwhile, half of all the marijuana-related calls to 
poison-control lines involved children.

The West Coast state is also struggling with the number of marijuana 
users who are driving under the influence of their favourite drug.

Just last week, a Washington state toxicologist said that one-third 
of all impaired-driving blood tests conducted in the state now reveal 
the presence of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

And the percentage of THC-impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes 
is also increasing in the state.

Godspeed to Mr. Blair, then, in his effort to help the federal 
government write a law that entrenches social consent for marijuana 
use, while keeping Canadians safe from any excess of pharmaceutical enthusiasm.

A good start might be to create a supply chain that ensures only 
licenced pot products get to legal markets, for adult-only sales.

Welcome to the Nova Scotia Liquor and Marijuana Corporation.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom