The seized marijuana all came from designated growers who were licensed to grow for up to two patients each under the old system. These are the same home gardens which Health Canada ordered to be shut down, claiming that they are all mold-ridden, unsafe and unhealthy. Yet at the same time, it's allowed for these growers to sell their product to the newly licensed producers, who can then flip it to patients at a profit? How does any of this make sense?
Some say that the proliferation of home cultivation licenses has also helped to drop prices, but I don't think this has had a major impact. The amount of cannabis being produced by all licensed patients is not that significant when compared to the total level of underground production in Canada. It's shrinking U.S. demand that is driving prices down here.
I want to point out that not a single one of the new licensed producers has ever come out publicly in support of patients' rights to grow their own. And certainly none of these multi-million dollar operations has donated so much as one cent towards this ongoing legal challenge. Why would they? They stand to reap greater profits if patients are forbidden to compete by growing cheaply for themselves.
Kerrisdale residents Ray and Nichola Hall know too well the tragic outcomes of easily accessible illicit drugs. Both their sons, now in their mid 30s, were addicted to heroin and other drugs. They were raised in one of Vancouver's most-exclusive neighbourhoods, proving that the drug trade and addiction have no boundaries.
With dozens of different companies providing medical cannabis, each with different labels and packaging, it will be impossible for an officer to tell if the cannabis in question is really from a licensed producer. I predict widespread proliferation of fake prescription bottles with fake labels and fake contact information. I predict that police will quickly become frustrated in trying to figure out who is valid and who is not.
The most important project for Jodie and I begins on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. That day kicks off our Election 2015 Canada-wide speaking tour, where we will speak at rallies in thirty cities in nine provinces, until Monday Oct. 18, 2015, the day before Canada's federal election. The intent will be to impress upon the Canadian cannabis culture to get out and vote - and vote against the currently-governing prohibitionist Conservative party.
The Economist got quite a few things wrong in their recent smug editorial chronicling the various ways Canada has ceased to be "cool." But no paragraph displayed a starker ignorance -- and a more disingenuous effort to snip and censor facts until they could be shoehorned into a pre-determined Harper-bashing conclusion -- than the one about how Harper has tightened the rules on marijuana. Canada's current government has not been a radically anti-pot administration by any stretch. As is the case on so many issues, the Prime Minister has handled the cannabis file with caution and pragmatism.