Pubdate: Thu, 26 May 2016
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2016 The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Matthew M. Elrod
Page: A10


Re: Pot Dispensaries 'Reckless,' Blair Says (May 25): I have been
cautiously optimistic that Bill Blair understands cannabis policy in
Canada, but his characterization of dispensaries as "reckless" and
uncaring is disheartening.

Non-profit compassion clubs risked arrest and forfeiture to provide
cannabis to the sick and dying long before we had medical cannabis
regulations. Indeed, had such clubs not challenged the law, medical
cannabis would still be prohibited in Canada.

Our medical cannabis regulations have been struck down repeatedly,
most recently the senseless prohibition of home growing, edibles and
extracts. Dispensaries are motivated to keep their customers happy, to
prevent sales to minors and to avoid complaints to maintain their
fragile truce with municipal governments and law enforcement.

Due in part to the reluctance of doctors to participate, patients are
often unable to access the legal regime. Shutting down the
dispensaries would drive patients back to the black market.

Drug gangs are more reckless and less concerned about health,
communities, young people and the law than are dispensaries.

Matthew M. Elrod, Victoria
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MAP posted-by: Matt