Making Hash of Pot Laws

Article excerpt

Making law has been compared to making sausage. If so, it could be said the Harper government could run seminars on the similarities, given the hash it has made of Canada's ill-advised medical marijuana legislation.

Five distinct court rulings have attacked federal marijuana laws. Four of those decisions have struck down various regulations of medical marijuana access and production. The last ruling, in 2011, found that requiring physicians to authorize medical marijuana for individuals effectively obstructed access, as few doctors felt they had the science to support prescribing marijuana.

There is lots of evidence that pot is as benign as alcohol, in wide legal use in Canada. But rather than accepting the obvious conclusion of that fact, the Harper government has devised yet another set of regulations to restrict the use of medical marijuana. Health Canada is getting out of the business of selling pot -- at $5 per gram, it amounted to an expensive subsidy, with fewer than 3,000 of the 22,000 authorized users buying from the government.

The new regime means the cost will soar for medical marijuana users, as pot will be grown and supplied by licensed factories and sellers. …