It was not so long ago that someone suffering from extreme nausea as a result of chemotherapy or struggling with severe pain from debilitating disease could not legally access marijuana in our country.
As little as two decades ago pot was not considered a viable healing drug. For folks desperate to try anything to be able to eat or sleep it was a case of having to risk a criminal record every time they bought some cannabis. Like a bad Monty Python skit it was a case of meeting the local pusher on the corner and hoping like heck that he didn’t turn out to be an undercover drug officer.
So how have things changed?
Canada has accepted pot therapy as a legitimate drug for some patients but it’s still not an easy drug to access. People with the necessary permission from their doctors can grow the drug for their own use. Which sounds good on paper until the local hood shows up and breaks down your door to share in your crop. Or your disease symptoms worsen to the state where you’re hard pressed to stand up never mind be a marijuana farmer.
In fairness to our government, there are pot plantations out there run with Ottawa’s blessing. An old mine in Flin Flon, Man. was converted for cannabis cultivation, again nice on paper, but according to the users the government stuff wasn’t strong enough. It is difficult to imagine the morally upright Conservatives sampling the crop for quality control, so this could be a tough problem to overcome.
This past week the District of Sechelt council and mayor decided to put out feelers to the public to see if there’s support for a medicinal grow-op in a commercially zoned area of the district. The proponents of such a bylaw say it would allow those people who cannot grow the medicine for themselves a safe source of a needed drug.
The issue is by no means an easy one to decide. On one hand we have people like Coun. Doug Hockley who believe growing the stuff in a highly regulated, easy to patrol location would make control of the crop easier.
Conversely we have Coun. Chris Moore who favours legalizing marijuana and having it grown on acreages away from the industrial areas.
And Mayor John Henderson opines that folks with the necessary permission will still be able to grow their own pot which won’t alleviate any of the concerns fire fighters or the police force have about wiring and attracting the attention of criminals.
The public meetings will prove interesting. We hope the solution doesn’t go up in smoke.