I wrote my member of Parliament, did you?

Canadians are ready for change in more ways than one. The current Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) are failing Canadians: they are inhibiting a guaranteed growth industry with the potential to create hundreds of jobs, while restricting our access to effective health care. The whole program seems to be an attempt at re-inventing the wheel. Let’s make sure our candidates understand what Canadians really need.

An earlier version of this post appeared on 11 May 2015.

Contrary to the marijuana myths that informed policies in the past, legally-accessible marijuana actually reduces the likelihood of people abusing or overdosing from harder drugs and increases their chances of stopping such use. In May 2013, The American Journal on Additions published a formal study on the use of cannabis for opioid addiction. Furthermore, in August 2014, Newsweek reported that regions with medical marijuana have fewer problems with prescription painkillers and a drop of overdose-related deaths by 25% in less than one year.

Alcohol is not subject to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, nor does its use require doctor’s approval, despite their many similarities:

  • Humans learned of them by watching animals;
  • They have been used as medicine for centuries;
  • Some humans enjoy their use while others resist;
  • They are not appropriate for everyone;
  • There are different producers and varieties, with different overall effects; and
  • Regular people can easily produce small quantities.

So why do we have two completely separate sets of laws and enforcements?

CBD is an effective analgesic, whether users apply it topically, ingest it orally, or inhale it. It is long-lasting and has a litany of reported benefits, including the ability to reduce the psychotropic effects of THC. On its own, CBD is legal today in most parts of the world due to its presence in industrial hemp, and is available in a product known as Dew Drops. Canadians should be have access to this medication alongside Acetaminophen in drug stores.

Canadians are intelligent, educated, and aware that policies stem from political lies, not real evidence. Marijuana is less hazardous than tobacco, alcohol, and countless other drugs available in drug stores and pharmacies. The current drug policies related to marijuana in many countries are the result of rampant racism in decades past, not medical evidence. Canadians are knowledgeable on the real issues related to medical marijuana and are clear on our stance: we should be able to access this plant without adding burden to our overloaded health care systems. Canada (and other countries that criminalized a flower) are missing a huge opportunity to increase tax revenues and create jobs under the current regulations. Any GST or provincial taxes applicable to MMJ cannot come close to the costs to our health care system for the excessive patient-doctor interactions required under MMPR.

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