Advocates say Ottawa's proposed excise levy will simply penalize the
The federal government has angered proponents of medical cannabis and
the opposition by announcing that its planned excise tax on
recreational products will also apply to marijuana that is used to
treat various illnesses.
A large number of groups had been calling on Ottawa to remove the
sales tax that is currently imposed on medical marijuana. Instead,
they were shocked to learn on Friday that sales taxes will continue to
apply on medical marijuana, but also that an excise tax of $1 a gram
will be added on the product.
[continues 885 words]
Ottawa will charge GST on recreational marijuana in addition to the
planned excise tax of $1 a gram, threatening to make legal cannabis
more expensive than its black-market competition.
The federal government's plan to legalize marijuana by July 1 is
designed to replace the illegal market with a heavily regulated
industry, but experts say the final sales price will be key to its
eventual success or failure. Parliamentary Budget Officer Jean-Denis
Frechette warned Wednesday in a blog post that an excise tax would
likely push the price of legal marijuana above black-market prices
observed in 2015-16.
[continues 654 words]
Medical pot viewed as safer, less addictive than painkillers; health
A Nanaimo-based researcher believes cannabis could help reduce opioid
overdoses and help people overcome addiction.
Philippe Lucas, who works for medical-marijuana producer Tilray,
published an academic paper in the Harm Reduction Journal that
explores cannabis as a substitute for opioids.
Lucas said doctors should consider prescribing cannabis as a safer,
less addictive alternative to opioids for treating chronic pain.
"The evidence is clear at this point that medical cannabis is far less
addicting and has
zero risk of overdose compared to opioids," said
Lucas, who has been researching the therapeutic use of cannabis for
more than a decade. In a case where an opioid addiction has already
taken hold, cannabis can be used alongside opioid-replacement
therapies such as methadone or suboxone to improve results, Lucas's
[continues 404 words]
A Nanaimo-based researcher has found medicinal cannabis can reduce or
prevent opioid use and can even offer addicts an exit strategy.
In an academic paper published this month in the Harm Reduction
Journal, Philippe Lucas concluded governments and health care
providers should immediately implement "cannabis-based interventions"
in the opioid overdose crisis.
For Lucas, years of research have rebutted government lines that
cannabis is a "gateway drug" and have instead shown it can be an "exit
drug" for problematic substance use.
[continues 435 words]
Dr. Caroline MacCallum wants doctors to know that cannabis "isn't the
taboo medicine" they might think it is. Not only has she used it
successfully to treat more than 50 conditions, she has also seen how
it has helped her patients stop using prescription opioids.
MacCallum, a specialist in complex pain and cannabinoid medicine, is
the medical director at Green Leaf Clinic in Langley, where she
assesses patients for their eligibility for Canada's Access to
Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations program.
[continues 922 words]
Medical marijuana may assist in keeping addicts off dangerous
The patients at Dr. Mark Ujjainwalla's methadone clinic are trying to
beat their addiction to heroin, narcotic painkillers and other opioid
drugs, but most of them still smoke pot.
He estimates that 90 per cent of his patients at the Recovery Ottawa
clinic on Montreal Road already use marijuana, and he's begun writing
prescriptions so they can buy it legally.
Medical marijuana, used appropriately, can reduce insomnia, anxiety
and cravings for opioids, says Ujjainwalla. Marijuana cannot replace
methadone or suboxone, the drugs he uses to treat addicts, he says.
[continues 1146 words]
Two years before Canada's medical-marijuana sector became embroiled in
a tainted cannabis scare, the trade organization representing the
majority of commercial growers explored using banned pesticides on
their products, according to newly obtained documents.
Meeting minutes and confidential e-mails sent in 2015 to more than a
dozen companies on the subject, show that some industry members
supported using prohibited chemicals such as myclobutanil - a
pesticide that produces hydrogen cyanide when combusted and can lead
to serious health problems.
[continues 1021 words]
More than half the medical-marijuana patients in a new study said they
use cannabis to help them get off heavier prescription drugs, with the
largest percentage saying pot acts as a substitute painkiller for opioids.
The new research, published in the peer-reviewed International Journal
of Drug Policy but funded by a licensed cannabis grower Tilray, adds
to a small body of science that suggests patients are effectively
using marijuana to replace opioids, a class of legal and illicit
painkillers that has led to an ongoing crisis that killed hundreds of
Canadians last year.
[continues 541 words]
People age 18 and up should be allowed to legally buy marijuana
through storefronts and mail-order but probably not in the same
locations where alcohol and tobacco are sold, a federal task force is
Vancouver Island's cannabis industry is welcoming recommendations from
the task force for legalization of marijuana, but the B.C. government
is urging Ottawa to proceed with caution.
The task force, headed by former federal Liberal cabinet minister Anne
McLellan, recommends allowing dedicated places such as lounges for the
consumption of cannabis products, and calls for restrictions on public
smoking of tobacco products to extend to cannabis.
[continues 938 words]
Clinical trial to assess whether medical marijuana serves as effective
treatment for PTSD
UBC Okanagan is teaming up with a Vancouver Island-based producer of
medical marijuana to host Canada's first clinical trial studying the
effects of treating PTSD with the drug.
"Research suggests that PTSD affects over nine per cent of men and
women in Canada, and many more worldwide," said Trev Bungay,
vice-president of Trauma Healing Centers. "Treatment is necessary in
order to help those who have served their country or experienced an
unfortunate traumatic event find coping methods or continue to live a
full and normal life."
[continues 258 words]
Some Canadian veterans and their supporters, including long-time
cannabis crusader and former Victoria city councillor Philippe Lucas,
are petitioning Canada's Parliament for marijuana in pills.
The group says marijuana can help veterans suffering from chronic
pain and in dealing with the psychological and emotional residue of
combat tours, generally known as post-traumatic stress disorder.
They point out that Veterans Affairs Canada refuses to pay for
marijuana extracts or in pills, covering only raw marijuana leaves or
buds to be smoked.
[continues 479 words]
Despite a Top Court Decision Giving Canadians the Right to Use
Extracts, Ottawa Only Reimburses Veterans for Dried Products
Despite a Supreme Court of Canada decision that gives sick Canadians
the right to use medical cannabis oils, Ottawa is reimbursing the
country's veterans for dried pot only, potentially pushing them to
less healthy options of smoking or vaporizing the drug.
That has prompted a group of commercial medical marijuana growers to
urge Ottawa to expand medical marijuana coverage for former soldiers
- - a small but lucrative patient base for Canada's two dozen licensed
producers - to include the ingestible oils.
[continues 666 words]
In another sign that Canada's booming marijuana industry has gone
corporate, dozens of companies have registered as paid lobbyists ahead
of Ottawa's plan to legalize the drug's recreational use next spring.
As of March 19, the federal government's lobbyist registry listed 88
paid positions with interests in marijuana or cannabis. The companies
named range from small, independent businesses like Vancouver's Eden
Medicinal Society to large corporations, including the Loblaws chain
of more than 2,000 supermarkets across Canada.
[continues 455 words]
B.C. cannabis producer hopes to give the straight dope to
Western Canada's largest licensed medical cannabis producer is
launching a cross-country tour next month to put potential customers
in touch with doctors who can prescribe it on the spot.
Tilray, a federally licensed medical cannabis producer based in
Nanaimo, is sending its Mobile Cannabis Clinic across the country to
offer Canadians increased access to physicians knowledgeable about
"We've found there are a lot of regions in Canada where patients have
had trouble finding a supportive physician to access medical
cannabis," said Philippe Lucas, vice-president of patient research and
advocacy for Tilray, based in Nanaimo.
[continues 415 words]
Is eating a pot brownie each day to help with your chronic pain as
bad for you as regularly lighting up a cigarette? Canadian life
insurers say the two activities pose the same risk and demand the
same higher premiums from clients.
The insurance industry's national trade association argues the
standard policy among insurers of tacking on increased costs to
marijuana users - regardless of whether they smoke, vape or eat the
drug - is based on available research. The group also suggests
pricier premiums could be due to the severity of a medical marijuana
patient's underlying conditions.
[continues 610 words]
While Canada engages in complex dialogue about how best to regulate
the sale of cannabis for adult use, tens of thousands of Canadians are
currently authorized to use cannabis to treat a variety of symptoms
and medical conditions. They have obtained this authorization from a
physician or nurse practitioner, the only way they can use it legally
under current regulations.
Research funded by the University of British Columbia's Institute for
Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention has shown that for many
Canadians with chronic medical conditions, a lack of affordability can
be a barrier to using cannabis for medical purposes. Sales tax on
medical cannabis only adds to the financial burden.
[continues 462 words]
Businesses hope to clear haze of dated perceptions surrounding
TORONTO - You won't find brightly coloured bongs or bubble
gum-flavoured rolling papers displayed against the backdrop of exposed
brick and modern, industrial-style furnishings at Tokyo Smoke.
Instead, the shop - located in a former shipping dock nestled between
two warehouses in Toronto's west end - carries high-end pot
paraphernalia befitting the pages of a design magazine while also
serving up cups of artisanal coffee.
Pipes handcrafted by California-based ceramicist Ben Medansky sit
alongside a pricey portable vaporizer; a reimagined version of the
French press coffee maker launched via a Kickstarter campaign and a
selection of what shop owner Alan Gertner calls "museum quality
collectibles" - items such as vintage Barbies and a vintage Hermes
[continues 495 words]
Pot: Mail-Order Delivery Model Is ' Too Restrictive'
The federal government should use a court decision ordering it to
rewrite the rules on medical marijuana as an opportunity to legalize
the storefront sale of such medicine, experts and commercial growers say.
A Federal Court judge in British Columbia ruled earlier this week
that patients have a right to grow their own medical marijuana,
overturning regulations that forced them to purchase the drug through
federally licensed producers.
Justice Michael Phelan gave the federal government six months to
rewrite the current regulations.
[continues 738 words]
Canada's licensed pot producers are pushing Ottawa to exempt patients
from paying any sales tax on their products, which would give medical
marijuana the same tax status as prescription drugs.
The Canadian Medical Cannabis Council, a trade group representing
three commercial producers, argues the tax change would allow them to
compete with illegal dispensaries, which have exploded in number
across the country.
Philippe Lucas, executive director of the council, said he met with a
policy adviser to Finance Minister Bill Morneau during pre-budget
consultations last week.
[continues 638 words]
With plans for a major expansion looming, Delta 9 - a local Health
Canada medical cannabis producer - has joined the Canadian Medical
Cannabis Council (CMCC), the association announced Tuesday.
"We wanted to further the interests of our patients, address
insurance coverage and make sure our patients were getting a good
enough supply of medicinal marijuana," Delta 9 vice-president John
"Delta 9 is very excited to join CMCC in creating and implementing
the highest standards of safety, quality, and patient access within
Canada's medical cannabis industry."
[continues 303 words]
Change of Government Brings Issue Back to the Forefront
Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper sparked considerable debate
following an election campaign stop in Montreal where he described
cannabis as "infinitely worse" than tobacco.
Many media organizations were quick to find experts willing to
discredit the claim. Critics said it was out of step in a climate
where a growing number of U.S. states are now legalizing the drug,
while cashing in on the resulting tax windfall, and slashing police
and prison costs. Some countries in Latin America are going the same
way. And the new Liberal government successfully campaigned on a
promise to legalize marijuana.
[continues 1036 words]
Rehab clinic seeing greater numbers of youth addictions
The growth of marijuana dependency is a troubling issue for Calgary's
youth, according to a director at a local clinic.
"It's alarming to the point that we're treating more marijuana-
dependent youth across North America than (all) other illicit drug( s)
combined," said Dr. Jackie Smith at the Alberta Adolescent Recovery
Centre, adding the majority of her clients are addicted to and
dependent on pot.
Smith's comments come as popular stances on weed continue to change,
with Vancouver selling it through dispensaries and the Liberals
promising to legalize it if elected.
[continues 192 words]
Be honest: Four years ago, could you have envisioned the Conservatives
on the same side of the law as an industrial-scale marijuana grow-op?
But weird as it seems, that's the situation in Nanaimo, where
medical-marijuana producer Tilray finds itself on the establishment
side of the pot debate.
With $3.2 million in annual payroll, Tilray became one of the bigger
employers in town when it opened in 2014. This spring, it announced
plans to quadruple the size of its 65,000-square-foot Duke Point
production facility, adding 275 jobs.
[continues 1390 words]
TORONTO - A number of Canada's medical marijuana growers are poised to
release cannabis oils for authorized patients who don't want to smoke
or vaporize the dried herb to relieve symptoms.
In July, Health Canada gave growers the green light to begin producing
the plant-based extracts, which are expected to be approved for sale
in the coming months.
About a dozen of the country's 25 medicinal pot producers have sought
expanded licences to produce and market cannabis oils and/or fresh
marijuana buds and leaves under the updated federal regulations. Among
them are Ontario companies Tweed and Bedrocan Canada Inc., and
[continues 368 words]
A licensed medical marijuana producer in B.C. is getting closer to
selling marijuana extracts such as oils and liquid capsules, products
traditionally in the realm of still-illegal dispensaries.
Nanaimo-based producer Tilray got a licence to produce cannabis oils
from Health Canada in August. The federal regulator is letting
licensed producers make - and eventually sell - fresh marijuana and
cannabis oil as well as dried marijuana in light of a Supreme Court
decision that patients have a right to these forms of the drug.
[continues 203 words]
Your Essential Daily News Research Shows Cannabis Stands in for
Marijuana's label as a gateway drug could go up in smoke, at least
according to a study published this month by University of Victoria
and University of British Columbia researchers.
The study published in Drug and Alcohol Review indicates medical
marijuana could be an "exit drug" since many people choose to use it
instead of prescription opiates, alcohol and other illicit drugs.
The study used UBC data from more than 400 medical cannabis users
collected between 2011 and 2012.
[continues 109 words]
DNA Testing Finds Mismatch Between Reality and What's Claimed
When the product is called Atomic Haze, you might expect a
description of its contents to be rather fuzzy - and a team of
Canadian scientists has found just that.
"The genetics of cannabis are muddled at this point and we need to
spend some time doing research to figure that out," says Jonathan
Page, a University of B.C. botanist who co-wrote a study published
Wednesday in the online journal PLOS One. "There's a lot of confusion
and a lot of chaos in the system now."
[continues 466 words]
Parliamentary committees undertake studies dealing with various
topics and then write a report. If Opposition members on a particular
committee do not agree with the report, they usually put together
what is called a Dissenting Minority Report.
The House of Commons Health Committee recently did a study on all
aspects of marijuana policy and use in Canada. The NDP believes that
this study was unbalanced and was designed to focus on the harms of
marijuana policy and use in Canada.
According to our Health critic, Libby Davies and other NDP members of
the committee, the study and resulting report did not allow for an
unbiased assessment of both harms and potential medical benefits.
[continues 607 words]
'Looking for Answers'. Producer Hopes to Begin Next Spring
British Columbia researchers and a medical marijuana producer have
joined forces to conduct Canada's first-ever clinical trial to back
up anecdotal evidence in using cannabis to treat post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD) with hard facts.
Pending regulatory approval, the University of British Columbia
Okanagan and Tilray, a Health Canada licensed producer under the
Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, hope to begin the world's
first large-scale clinical trial examining cannabis for a mental
health disorder as early as spring 2015.
[continues 319 words]
Marijuana producer and UBC are pitching a clinical trial on the impact
of the drug on people with post-traumatic stress disorder
After developing post-traumatic stress disorder during his second
deployment in Afghanistan in 2007, Canadian army veteran Fabian Henry
tried numerous anti-depressants to quell his suicidal thoughts and
violent rages. For three years, he was on as many as nine pills a day.
But only one drug worked for him: marijuana.
"It literally gave me relief and changed my life," says Henry, who now
vaporizes 10 grams of medical marijuana a day. "I went from suicidal
and homicidal ideation, to DUIs, to threatening to kill people, to
beating people up, to doing yoga seven days a week, using cannabis and
spending more time in nature with my kids."
[continues 968 words]
The medical marijuana sector is exploding as speculators, penny stock
promoters and get-rich-quick investors buy in. But regulators are
warning buyers to tread carefully
The question flickered through Paul Rosen's mind: "Is this the day I
The 50-year-old merchant banker was on his way to tour a medical
marijuana facility two years ago, when the men driving him to the site
made an unusual request. They handed him a blindfold and told him to
put it on.
[continues 3425 words]
Health Canada Warns Canadian Pot Producers About Misleading
Information In Advertising
Health Canada has issued what some are calling a wake-up call to
licensed medical marijuana producers that may be pushing the envelope
when it comes to advertising.
The memo, obtained by the Citizen, was sent June 30 and tells the 13
producers that have been licensed under the regulatory system brought
in April 1 to immediately remove any inappropriate advertising from
"websites and company materials."
"The purpose of the letter was to inform licensed producers that the
Government of Canada is concerned about advertisements that are false,
misleading or deceptive and those that advertise marijuana and remind
them of their obligations, specifically that the advertising marijuana
is prohibited," Health Canada told the Citizen.
[continues 827 words]
President's Views On Medical Use Unfair, Some Say
Some doctors are raising concerns that the national body representing
them has outdated views on medical marijuana that are creating
barriers for patients who could benefit from the herb.
Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti, president of the Canadian Medical
Association, recently told the Citizen there isn't enough medical
evidence to support medical marijuana use, and that people who seek
the drug in doctors' offices are just looking for "dope."
Dr. Marcia Gillman, a physician who specializes in palliative care at
Montreal's Jewish General Hospital, said Monday that Francescutti has
a duty to be well-informed, which is "clearly not the case here."
[continues 548 words]
New Nanaimo business says customer list burgeoning, plans to hire
another 40 people for operation
Business is budding at Nanaimo's industrial producer of legal medical
Since Tilray put its first shipment of pot on a delivery truck from
its Duke Point plant in late April, its customer list has grown to
more than 1,000.
It's good news for the Seattle based company, and for Nanaimo's tax
base and labour force.
With the buyer list now topping the 1,000 mark, company officials are
pleasantly surprised - that's about 10 per cent higher than
[continues 190 words]
Cannabis dispensaries offer different strains of marijuana as
treatment for a variety of substance-abuse problems, including
alcoholism, and harder drugs like heroin.
BRYAN ALLEYNE LOST a lot of time to drugs before he found an unlikely
cure that he says freed him from dependence.
"I was an addict for at least 20 years. Heroin, cocaine, and every
kind of pill I could," he told the Georgia Straight at a coffee shop
on East Hastings Street. "But it's been eight years and I haven't
gone back to hard stuff."
[continues 1390 words]
A Nanaimo medicinal pot factory received its license from Health
Canada last week and is now officially able to distribute cannabis
Tilray, located at Duke Point, has been busy trimming, photographing
and testing marijuana as it prepares for its first shipments,
according to company vice president Philippe Lucas.
Tilray has also had a steady stream of interest from locals, with over
1,000 applications being taken in since the company started accepting
"We're settling into a really nice groove," said Lucas.
[continues 109 words]
Nanaimo's new medical marijuana producer is on the search for skilled
Tilray, the face of B.C.-based Lafitte Ventures, is looking to hire up
to 60 employees as it prepares to open its new production facility at
A job fair will be hosted this weekend for positions ranging from
horticulturalists and trimmers to customer service representatives,
security and marketing management.
Work at the new medical marijuana facility has been underway since
rezoning was approved by Nanaimo city council last December. According
to Tilray, total investment to buy, renovate and create a
state-of-the-art facility will reach more than $10 million once it's
[continues 276 words]
It is the dawn of Marijuana Inc. and dollars have begun to flow into
Nanaimo by the millions.
A Duke Point construction site was abuzz with activity on Tuesday as
contractors worked to transform an industrial warehouse into a legal
growing operation that is expected to supply medical marijuana users
across the country.
Health Canada will formally launch its new medicinal marijuana program
on April 1, but in the meantime marijuana producer Tilray says the
construction budget for its Nanaimo facility exceeds $10 million.
[continues 503 words]
Former Victoria councillor's firm offers two cheap, prompt
Former Victoria Coun. Philippe Lucas is hoping to cash in on the
increasing need for quality control in the lucrative cannabis industry.
"What we've got right now is a multi-billion-dollar industry. In B.C.,
the estimate is $6- to $9-billion with virtually no quality control,"
said Lucas, a marijuana advocate.
Lucas's Victoria-based Compassionate Analytics has just launched two
new products to test levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and
cannabidiol (CBD) in cannabis.
[continues 587 words]
Former Victoria councillor Philippe Lucas is hoping to cash in on the
increasing call for quality control in the lucrative cannabis industry.
"What we've got right now is a multibillion-dollar industry. In B.
C., the estimate is $ 6 to $ 9 billion with virtually no quality
control," said Lucas, a marijuana advocate.
Lucas' Victoria-based Compassionate Analytics has just launched two
new products to test levels of tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC) and
cannabidiol ( CBD) in cannabis.
THC is the active ingredient that provides the psycho- active effect
( the high) from marijuana. While it was initially thought that CBD
served simply to counter the effects of THC, recent research is
showing that it has substantial medicinal qualities. CBD is being
seen as promising in the treatment of conditions such as Crohn's
disease, posttraumatic stress disorder and multiple sclerosis.
[continues 138 words]
The recent announcement that the Victoria Police Board is initiating
a search for a new police chief presents an opportunity to
significantly improve public health and public safety.
Strategies to reduce the harms associated with substance use are core
components of provincial and municipal substance-use policies, as
well as those of the Vancouver Island Health Authority.
These strategies - which can include needle exchange services,
supervised consumption facilities and overdose-prevention protocols -
are well-known means to enhance health and safety, both for people
who use illicit drugs and the general population.
[continues 329 words]
Ayahuasca Research Shows Unparalleled Addictions Support
Ayahuasca might just sound like an exotic plant with a tricky name,
but one group of researchers and one performer is discovering that
the South American substance could have more miraculous properties
than science may have realized - namely, as a medicine that can
actually coax people out of their addictions.
A new report published this past month by the Journal of Current Drug
Abuse Reviews exposes the details of a study on ayahuasca-assisted
treatment in a rural First Nations community in B.C. The preliminary
observational study, which was completed by researchers affiliated
with UVic's Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia,
looked at the work of world-renowned addictions specialist Dr. Gabor
Mate and his use of ayahuasca to treat "problematic substance use and
stress" in the rural community.
[continues 792 words]
What: T.J. Dawe's Medicine
When: Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. (also tonight at the Nanaimo Art
Gallery, 150 Commercial St.)
Where: Metro Studio, 1411 Quadra St.
Tickets: $20 advance ($25 door) www.eventbrite.ca
For Vancouver actor/writer T.J. Dawe, it's been one long, strange trip indeed.
The University of Victoria theatre grad brings his latest one-man
show, Medicine, to the Metro Studio this weekend. The
autobiographical piece details his experiences with a psychedelic
concoction known as ayahuasca.
[continues 615 words]
It's 2 p.m. Monday and Victoria's Cannabis Buyers Club is hopping in
a way that would make any retailer green as grass with envy.
Half a dozen people are lined up to buy cookies, oils, capsules,
whatever. On its busiest days, this cramped little Johnson Street
rabbit warren will serve 400 customers.
Off in a side room, Ron Yayahkeekoot is here not to buy, but to join
a discussion on vapourizing techniques. The holder of a Health Canada
medical-marijuana licence, he purchases his pot elsewhere, paying $5
a gram to a designated grower - and he worries that new rules issued
by Ottawa on Monday are a step backward.
[continues 587 words]
Just before Christmas, I was hanging out at a CounterAttack roadblock
when one of the cops pulled a big bag of pot out of a van.
It looked like about six ounces, enough to make Woody Harrelson go
weak at the knees. Driver busted, right?
Wrong. He produced a Health Canada letter saying he was allowed to
hold 180 grams of medical marijuana.
"You know," grumbled one of the cops as the driver and his dope
disappeared into the night, "when I went for a root canal the dentist
prescribed me some T3s - but he didn't give me 100 of them."
[continues 649 words]
Sensible B.C.'s campaign to decriminalize marijuana is coming to SFU
March 14 and it's bringing a group of panelists that are sure to
impress, including Burnaby's own Mayor Derek Corrigan.
The forum, which is the fifth of fifteen scheduled events, is
expected to be yet another lively discussion on the ever-popular
"It's been a terrific show of support for cannabis reform here in
B.C.," said Philippe Lucas, a former Victoria city councillor and one
of five members of the campaign's advisory board.
[continues 431 words]
Local municipal officials are welcoming proposed changes in federal
legislation surrounding the production of medical marijuana.
Both the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Union of B.C.
Municipalities have raised concerns about illegal grow-ops being
converted to medical grow operations, said Victoria Coun. Chris
Coleman, who sits on the federal group's board.
The proposed changes - Health Canada plans to take itself out of the
production and distribution of the substance and open up the
commercial market to companies that meet "strict security
requirements" - appear to address that concern. Production of the
substance would no longer be allowed in private homes.
[continues 468 words]
The federal government has ignited a great debate with its recently
announced plans to overhaul the 13-year-old medical marijuana program
because it is far too popular.
The numbers and the burgeoning size of the legal pot market are so
staggering Ottawa is trying to slow it down and at the same time
eliminate home growing.
If registration continues apace, Health Canada estimates that by 2014,
more than 50,000 people will be authorized to legally possess pot for
[continues 669 words]
Medical marijuana may be an effective substitute for prescription
drugs or alcohol, just as methadone is used to treat heroin addicts,
says addiction researcher and former Victoria city councillor Philippe Lucas.
"The fastest rate of addiction right now is to pharmaceutical
opiates, and it's also the fastest rising rate of morbidity and
mortality. In other words, people are [overdosing] on pharmaceutical
opiates," said Lucas, who recently published a research paper online
in the Journal of Addiction Research and Theory.
"This is the second paper I've published this year that suggests
cannabis can significantly potentially reduce the amount of
pharmaceutical opiates that particularly those who suffer from
chronic pain need."
[continues 323 words]
The Stop the Violence BC campaign and advocates for the legalization
of marijuana are responding to comments made in last week's
emotionally charged city council meeting.
"I think the mayor [John Dooley] is well meaning," said Dr. Evan Wood
with the campaign. "But really we need an evidence-based and factual
discussion. Clearly his views are inconsistent with the Chief Medical
Officer of BC, the Health Officers Council representing all major
regions of this province, let alone the voices of law enforcement and
supreme court justices and other legal experts."
[continues 982 words]