Pubdate: Sun, 03 Dec 2017
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Cam Tait
Page: 8


Proposed cannabis tax another hurdle for medical marijuana users

Dick Sobsey slowly walks into a meeting room for an informative,
thought-provoking and, really, a scratchyour-head conversation that
evades the parameters of conventional thinking.

"I may be retired," Sobsey said, referring to his distinguished career
as Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta.

"But," he paused before, almost theatrically, lowering the boom, "I'm
still complaining."

Quite on the contrary, to be brutally honesty. Aside from Sobsey's 
intellectual prowess, the role, I think, he tightly embraces the most is 
father to David: a 27-yearold grown man who lives with intractable epilepsy,

David has shown signs of great improvement over the past two years.
The reason - and, it unfortunately is surrounded by a social stigma -
is CBD (Cannabidiol). It's percsribed by a physician, although doesn't
come cheaply.

The medical marijuana mantra.

"It costs us about $1,000 a month," Sobsey said. "Luckily, our family
can find a a way to pay it."

But that investment, which it most profoundly is, could face a hurdle
from the federal government. Sobsey points out to the Proposed
Canadian Cannabis Excise Tax the folks in Ottawa are contemplating
about implementing.

"It would add more than an additional $1,000 per year for his CBD,"
Sobsey said. "So naturally, I am not keen on the idea, but because he
needs it our family will find a way to manage it."

And, then he drives the point home: "The supposed rationale for taxing
medical cannabis is that if they tax recreational cannabis and not
medical cannabis, recreational users will claim to be medical users to
beat the marijuana tax," he said.

"In my view this is a poorly conceived rationale. It is like moving
all the accessible parking spaces to the most distant and inaccessible
locations so that people without disabilities won't park in them. It
punishes innocent people with genuine healthcare needs for potential
misdeeds of of others."


Now, to be clear: this isn't set in stone and is hundreds, maybe
thousands of kilometres away. But time is of the essence.

The federal government is accepting feedback on this matter until
Thursday, Dec. 7.

The struggles Canadian with disabilities and their families face seem
to continue to be increasing every day. Sobsey's issue and the
deadline for submission is somewhat ironic since Monday is
International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a day set aside to
celebrate community accomplishments.

Those very accomplishments only occur when proper supports - financial
issues at the top of the list -are in place.

Dick Sobsey and his family aren't complaining. They are dutifully
performing their parental role, which has the powerful potential of
helping so many others.

Provide your comments to the proposal to:

MAP posted-by: Matt