Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Destroy Banned Marijuana by Mixing It with Water, Kitty Litter: Health Canada

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Destroy Banned Marijuana by Mixing It with Water, Kitty Litter: Health Canada

Article excerpt

Mask banned pot with kitty litter: feds

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OTTAWA - Users of medical marijuana will soon be prohibited from growing their own pot -- and the federal government is suggesting they turn to their feline friends for help in properly disposing of leftover stashes.

Health Canada recommends blending marijuana with water and mixing it with cat litter before tossing it into regular household trash.

"The primary option is to break down the materials, mask the odour and dispose of it in the garbage," department spokesman Sean Upton said in an emailed response to questions.

Health Canada has announced a complete reworking of the medical marijuana system -- in part due to concerns about the risk of criminal infiltration.

Under the existing program, to be phased out by April 1, people like Jason Wilcox of Abbotsford, B.C., are issued licences to grow marijuana for their personal use to help ease the symptoms of painful conditions.

Wilcox and thousands of others who cultivate their own pot have until the end of March to render any remaining weed "unfit for use or consumption."

Under the new system, only licensed producers will grow marijuana for postal distribution to patients whose health-care providers agree it is the appropriate treatment.

More than 30,000 people across the country are authorized to use the drug for medical purposes, and many have licences to produce their own strains of marijuana.

Internal government briefing notes released under the Access to Information Act say that such users in possession of homegrown plants as of April 1 will be violating the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, "which becomes a law enforcement issue."

The order to destroy leftover pot is "ridiculous" and a "travesty," said the HIV-positive Wilcox, who is licensed to grow marijuana that helps diminish painful side effects of treatment.

"It just goes to show what the government's done with this whole program from Day 1," he said. …

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