It beats me why so many American conservatives have smartened up about when it makes sense to send people to jail when Canadian conservatives -- at least the ones who count -- clearly haven't. The average cost of keeping a Canadian in prison for a year is more than $113,000, which is money well spent for violent offenders. But why spend it locking up minor drug offenders? Why are we hell-bent on this backwards way of thinking?
As part of their struggle with budget realities and the growing cost of health care, Canada's provinces continue to work on bulk purchasing agreements for pharmaceuticals as a way to save money. Unfortunately, the recent release from the Council of the Federation (the council of Canada's premiers) suffers from the typical one-sided approach that characterizes much of the drug policy discussion. Yes, there are up front savings to be had. But there's no such thing as a free lunch.
Living in Vancouver, I'm no Rob Ford fan. I'm not even sure what that is. Media outlets across Canada and around the world reported on what the Star published while their reporter Robyn Doolittle has gone Hollywood. Drug dealers, no video proof, there's nothing right about this whole thing. Folks, prepare yourself for the new normal.
This week has been an emotional roller coaster for Canadians who follow the news. Lost in the shuffle were two stories that were of no particular importance, relatively speaking, to Canadians. One of them is about the way well-heeled Manhattan moms have worked the lineup system at Disney by hiring a disabled person to be a "family member" for the day.
Marijuana has become an important issue in this provincial election. Questions about marijuana policy have been raised by the public over and over again, at all-candidates meetings across the province, and even during the televised debate.Together with the replies we received from candidates, and other comments about marijuana made in the media, we have compiled this Sensible BC Voters Guide, to help you better understand where B.C. parties and candidates stand on the question of marijuana policy and decriminalization in our province.
If you're like me -- a person who doesn't drink or smoke -- people assume you're a recovering drug addict. I definitely experimented, dabbled, even habitually enjoyed for some time, and had a general all-around blast. My main reason for smoking marijuana in the first place was only to enjoy the music. So put this list on and just enjoy, you lucky bastards.
On Friday, the puppet poultry establishment, Chick-fil-a, released another statement opposing same-sex marriage, this one printed on Mike Huckabee's website. Honestly... you're a chicken store. You sell undercooked squawk. Nobody cares what you think about gay marriage so stop shoving it down our throats.
At the recent Council of the Federation meeting, Canadian provinces announced that they will begin bulk-buying different generic drugs to reduce health care costs. Bulk-purchasing is not an option anymore, it is a necessity. Under the current system, patients who pay for drugs out-of-pocket, or those who pay a co-insurance or a deductible, are still paying the full price, and smaller provinces are disadvantaged.
What you probably don't know: Many of us, right now, may be unintentionally over-dosing on our medications. In some cases, as little as one quarter or one eighth of the original recommended dosage ends up being shown to be either equally effective or at least to provide an important benefit -- with fewer side effects. So how can you know what's the best dose for you?
A Toronto Star article recently identified three potential areas of savings under bulk purchasing of drugs that amounted to $2.48 million, $968,000, and $325,000. While these amounts are significant, it is just barely scratching the surface of what the potential savings could be from bulk purchasing and tendering of medications in Canada.
The action that is currently being considered by the Conservative government is to extend the patent protection on brand-name drugs. The fact that the government would impose higher costs on Canadians, particularly for something as essential as medication, would be nonsensical even if the cost of medication were affordable.