Pubdate: Thu, 14 Jul 2016
Source: Innisfil Journal (CN ON)
Copyright: 2016 Metroland Media Group Ltd.


It was always clear that many hurdles will have to be jumped before 
legal marijuana can become a reality in Canada.

Pot advocates won't be too pleased with the latest one.

Ottawa, which recently struck a marijuana task force led by former 
deputy prime minister Anne McLellan, is sending strong signals 
legalized pot will be so strictly controlled that homegrown weed 
(even for medical purposes) may remain an illegal substance.

For advocates, this will come as surprising and unwelcome news.

Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott says the government wants to 
treat pot like tobacco. She may or may not be aware, however, that it 
is actually legal to grow your own personal-use tobacco in small 
amounts in Ontario.

Liberal MPP Bill Blair, justifying a heavy-handed approach, told the 
Toronto Star last week: "Unlike (growing) tomatoes, (marijuana) is a 
substance that poses ... significant ... social and health harms and 
risks to Canadians ... the science is overwhelmingly clear that 
marijuana is not a benign substance."

On that basis, it doesn't exactly sound like something that should be 
legal, does it?

Except that doctors are prescribing it for glaucoma, anxiety, pain 
relief, muscle spasms caused by MS, nausea, arthritis discomfort, 
Crohn's disease and more.

And we all know recreational use is widespread. A 2015 survey showed 
20 per cent of Canadians indulge and another 10 per cent will light 
up once it appears in stores.

A Conservative attempt to prevent medical users from growing their 
own pot has already been tossed out by the courts. It stands to 
reason then that preventing non-medical users of a legal substance 
from growing their own plants could amount to discrimination. Perhaps 
that is the wrench in the gears.

As we have seen with the emergence of medical pot dispensaries, 
declaring you are making it legal amounts to letting the horse out of 
the barn. You will have an industry, you will have people growing 
their own, for medical uses or not. The notion you can police every 
user who may have a few plants in a pot at home is absurd.

The Liberals seem intent on following through on this promise. It 
just seems like they forget why they made it in the first place.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom