Pubdate: Wed, 07 Oct 2009
Source: Surrey Leader (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Surrey Leader
Author: Kirk Tousaw


Re: UBCM rejects tighter leash on medical marijuana users

Kudos to the UBCM for rejecting Surrey's privacy-invading and
unnecessary request that Health Canada provide them with lists of
licensed medical cannabis users. Surrey, long a leader in cannabis
hysteria, has no business snooping into the private health data of its
residents. And its justification for that invasion doesn't pass muster.

How on earth does having a list of legal medicinal growers help a city
chase out illegal growers? It makes no sense at all.

Police already can call Health Canada 24 hours a day to check on
whether someone has a license. That is all that is needed and all that
should be allowed.

Do cities need to know who in the neighborhood starts tomatoes indoors
in the spring?

Because growing any plant indoors uses exactly the same system as
cannabis. Check out the latest copy of Urban Garden magazine and you
will see systems far more intensive than the average medicinal
cannabis grower.

The so-called risks of cannabis production are, in any event, vastly
overblown. I represent dozens of licensed growers and none of them
would put themselves and their families at risk by growing unsafely.

In my experience, cities like Surrey use the excuse of fire and
building codes to harass legal growers out of a general bias against
them, not out of any real safety concern.

The bottom line is that if Surrey wants to get rid of cannabis growing
in homes it needs to call upon the federal government to end cannabis
prohibition and, instead, enact sensible regulations so that our
farmers can legally produce this unique medicinal plant.

Kirk Tousaw, J.D., LL.M.

Executive Director, Beyond Prohibition Foundation 
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