Making changes requires forethought

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It wouldn’t be the first time a government introduces changes before it has all its ducks in a row.

Did the federal government seriously think it wouldn’t run into discontent when it legislated changes to the way medical marijuana is grown?

With the new regulations taking effect today – and this is no April Fool’s joke – a Federal Court injunction granted weeks ago will allow medical marijuana users to continue obtaining their supply under the old rules. That means growing it themselves or getting it from licensed growers.

That injunction was put in place partly because the new system isn’t up and running. Also, a full challenge of the new law is in the works, since patients say it would deny their rights to an affordable supply.

But the federal government has indicated it will contest even that temporary injunction – a waste of public resources in addition to a disregard of how demand will be met.

In the meantime, proposals are in the works – including a venture in Stellarton and one by a Colchester County business – to establish medicinal marijuana growing facilities. Operations in places across the country are at different stages in getting started to produce the medical herb. Why couldn’t the federal government think more realistically about timelines and other practicalities that entrepreneurs would face?

We must acknowledge the government’s concerns in wanting to change the system. It claimed that producing marijuana at home poses hazards including mould, fire, toxic chemicals and the threat of home invasion by criminals.

But that doesn’t address the fears of many users that they will be forced to buy elsewhere and are in no way assured it will be affordable.

Instead of challenging an injunction, why doesn’t the government tackle this and other outstanding issues? Another would be seeing that doctors are provided the latest research and information, since prescribing marijuana to treat conditions is still hit and miss in the medical community.

Organizations: Federal Court

Geographic location: Stellarton, Colchester County

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