Pubdate: Fri, 26 Feb 2016
Source: Cape Times (South Africa)
Copyright: 2016 Cape Times
Note: From the Globe & Mail


FACT: Medical marijuana is a drug. Fact: Nearly all drug 
prescriptions are filled at pharmacies  but not medical marijuana. 
Should that change?

The news that one of the country's largest drug stores is quietly 
looking into teaming up with a medical-grade cannabis grower will 
feed reflection on what Canada's rules for selling both medical and 
recreational marijuana should one day look like. There's a good 
argument to be made for selling a psychoactive substance in a secure 
environment where people have advanced degrees in such matters.

Shoppers Drug Mart says it's only interested in dispensing medicinal 
weed, but when the Trudeau government legalises recreational use and 
purchase  something it has promised  the retail market could also be 
up for grabs. It's no coincidence rival chains are putting out feelers as well.

And while the feds control criminal law, a lot of health and safety 
regulation is in the hands of the provinces. Ontario Premier Kathleen 
Wynne, when asked about the issue, sounded open-minded about 
pharmacies selling medical marijuana, while rejecting the idea of 
recreational pot in drug stores.

She's making a distinction between pot used for therapeutic purposes 
and that used simply to get stoned. Right now, that's a very real 
line: the sale and use of the former is legal, the latter is not. But 
after the Trudeau government legalises marijuana, will that be a 
distinction without difference?

Also on Wednesday, a Federal Court judge ruled it unconstitutional to 
forbid patients from growing their own medicinal weed, striking down 
rules put in place that permitted medical marijuana but restricted 
supply to large, licensed growers.

The court says those rules aren't working, with medical marijuana 
legal, but often hard to get legally. That has to change.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom