Catch 22: Medicinal Pot Legal But Not Available

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. By John McDonald, Staff Reporter
    Source: Kelowna Capital News

    If all you do is scan the headlines when you read the newspaper or get your news from television sound bites, it would be tempting to think that Canada has solved the problem of medicinal marijuana.
    It made headlines a couple of years back when the Chretien government finally gave in to pressure from many directions and created the Office of Cannabis Medical Access, ostensibly to give access to those in dire need of legal marijuana.

    Indeed, the government went a step further and started growing its own stone in an abandoned mine shaft in Manitoba.

    (Never mind the typical government inefficiency of setting up shop in Manitoba when the best dope in the world is already being grown in the basements and attics of B.C.)

    The move was fodder for many a stand-up comic and political cartoonist but it seemed to show the government was serious about providing pot to people suffering from a variety of illnesses, some of them terminal.

    Problem solved, or so it seemed. Then the feds seemed to contract cold feet last fall when it did an abrupt about face.

    No longer was the Manitoban home grown going to find its way to sick people. It had been for research purposes all along and was not meant for public consumption.

    But the genie was already out of the bottle with hundreds of Canadians already given their section 56 exemption allowing them to possess marijuana for medical use.

    Unfortunately, the federal government has proven to be the least of their worries for, in typical high-handed fashion, the feds while changing the law seemed to have forgotten to consider all the other jurisdictions and governing bodies that might have be involved.

    Pharmacists won't touch pot because it's a controlled substance. Welfare won't pay for it for the same reason. Word is that doctors across Canada have recently been told to not fill our prescriptions for medical marijuana because of the legal limbo it seems to be mired in.

    Meanwhile, people who could benefit from the proven medicinal qualities of marijuana are left to deal with the black market to fill their own prescriptions.

    It's hard to miss the irony in the fact that many legal drugs are abused while a so-called recreational drug can be used to help sick people.

    Pot has been used for many years by people in medical crisis and that's not going to change.

    Like people who fly to exotic countries seeking desperate cures for cancer, those in need will find their weed.

    It's just a shame that the government can't finish what it started and clear the decks for the legal-and simple-procurement of medical marijuana.

    Source: Kelowna Capital News (CN BC)
    Author: John McDonald, Staff Reporter
    Published: March 7, 2003
    Copyright: 2003 West Partners Publishing Ltd.

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