Pubdate: Fri, 18 Mar 2011 Source: Langley Times (CN BC) Copyright: 2011 Langley Times Contact: http://www.langleytimes.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/1230 Author: Travis Erbacher PHARMACY DISPENSED POT NOT THE SOLUTION Editor: The problem with the current state of medical marijuana is not the "legal grow-ops" but rather prohibition itself. On the surface, dispensing medical marijuana through pharmacies sounds like a good idea. However, they would have to avoid the pitfalls that the current system could not. For example, each individual person has certain strains that work for them. Medical marijuana works in a similar way to anti-depressants, some swear by Prozac, others Zoloft and others yet, Paxil. A person with multiple sclerosis will need something that focuses on muscle relaxation and pain relief, whereas someone with migraine headaches or cancer will need a strain with strong anti-nausea properties. The current Health Canada system is a dismal failure. HC itself only provides one type of marijuana that is poorly grown and by most accounts, unusable. Medical marijuana patients have to re-apply every year and wait months to hear back. Sometimes their applications lag behind so long that they can be subject to harassment by law enforcement despite being a totally legitimate medical user. Licensed users face regular discrimination as to where and when they can use their medicine, and (non-medicinal) tobacco smokers are often given better treatment. Then there's the problem of prohibition itself. Marijuana prohibition causes a tenfold (at the least) increase in price for medicine that is needed by thousands of Canadians every year. Sick people often cannot afford their medicine because of our draconian pot laws. If pharmacies were to distribute medical marijuana, would they carry all of the hundreds of strains? If not, who would be discriminated against? Will pharmacies have strains for MS, but not for AIDS? Back pain but not cancer? Who will be left out? What about the people who can't smoke, but could eat marijuana cookies, such as people with lung cancer? Under the current system those people are at risk of being thrown in jail, even if they have their licences. The current system makes life more difficult for patients across the board. I welcome the mayors of the Langleys to have an open forum on this question, and to invite experts and patients to give their opinion. We can agree on one thing: the current system just isn't working. Travis Erbacher Langley - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.