HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Senator Tells Feds To Buy B.C. Bud
Pubdate: Fri, 10 May 2002
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Peter O'Neil, Vancouver Sun
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


OTTAWA -- B.C. Senator Pat Carney is urging the federal government to buy
"B.C. bud" for its official marijuana supply. 

"Marijuana is considered British Columbia's biggest cash crop, and revenue
sources are dim these days," the Progressive Conservative senator said

The federal government revealed earlier this week that its first batch of
pot was too impure to be used for medicinal purposes.

It was grown from seeds seized by police during criminal investigations and
contains 185 different varieties of marijuana.

"I'm appalled at having seeds confiscated by the police and grown in an
underground mine in Flin Flon. As a British Columbian that's offensive to
me," Carney said.

B.C. marijuana "is grown in the fresh open air of the Gulf Islands and the
Interior valleys of British Columbia," she told the Senate during question

Manitoba Senator Sharon Carstairs, the government leader in the Senate, said
she'll pass on Carney's advice to Health Minister Anne McLellan.

"I will bring representations of the honourable senator from British
Columbia to the minister of health that she believes the crop from British
Columbia is among the best in the world."

Carstairs said some of the marijuana produced for Ottawa "has proven to be
not of the variety necessary for the treatment of certain individuals in
this country who have been given permission not only to use marijuana but
also to cultivate it themselves."

In an interview, Carney said her pride in the high quality of B.C. marijuana
doesn't stem from personal experience. Her drug of choice, she said, is
single-malt whisky.

But as a long-time sufferer of arthritis, the former federal cabinet
minister said she wouldn't preclude the possibility that she might take up

"You always want to keep your options. As someone with arthritis -- I'm
serious -- I do want to keep my options open."

McLellan said earlier this week there will be a delay of several months in
producing quality marijuana for Canadians, and said the problem rests in
Ottawa's inability to obtain standardized seed from the U.S. government.

McLellan said the government must ensure the quality and consistency of
marijuana that would be used in clinical trials to determine whether the
claims are true about the medicinal benefits.

Without a standardized crop, she said, researchers monitoring the ill would
have no way of knowing whether the marijuana is having the desired effects.

Many B.C. pot-growers were among the hundreds of failed bidders in 2000 for
the five-year Health Canada contract to produce government-sanctioned

One bidder, Gary Halls of Prince George, questioned at the time Health
Canada's initial plan to obtain seed from U.S. authorities.

Halls said numerous B.C. strains -- such as B.C. Skunk -- are of much higher
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