CANNABIS CULTURE - I managed to catch the opening statement by the government lawyer in the Allard vs. Canada medical marijuana trial.
What I heard had me wishing they allowed the vaping of the stinky, stigmatized herbal antiemetic in the courtroom itself because the lies he told just about made me throw up in my mouth a little.
He said many things that were untrue, but three in particular stood out. I'm paraphrasing, but basically he said:
1) "... strict control, as all medicines are subject to"
He had to have been ignoring head lawyer for the Allard side, John Conroy Q.C., and his statement not five minutes earlier that there are already regulations for herbal medicines called the Natural Health Product Regulations.
There's nothing in these regulations that would even come close to limiting one's right to grow any herbal medicine one's self, or to require the $200,000 minimum in security and accounting features the Government of Canada says is required of the licensed cannabis producers under the new MMPR regulations.
This whole "let's make up some excuses to prevent average people from growing their own medicine" game dates back to the 1500s and it's getting a bit tiring by now. If even King Henry the 8th could figure it out, what excuse do they have?:
Sithence the making of which said Act, the Company and Fellowship of Surgeons of London, minding only their own Lucres, and nothing the Profit or ease of the Diseased or Patient, have sued, troubled, and vexed divers honest Persons, as well Men as Women, whom God hath endued with the Knowledge of the Nature, Kind and Operation of certain Herbs, Roots, and Waters, and the using and ministring of them to such as been pained with customable Diseases, …
2) "Home growing is being phased out in many places such as Holland"
This is not actually true. While it is true that there has been an attack on grow shops that sell equipment like grow lights and some home gardens, the officially tolerated standard – five plants without lights – is not under attack. Growing five plants on one's balcony has been excluded from the "under attack" narrative in the mass media as recently as February 22nd, 2015.
Darpan Van Kuik, a cannabis activist in The Hague and manager of "The Canna-Embassy" (a sort of a crash pad for pot activists from other countries) has been growing five plants on his terrace every year since 1983. He said in an email to me:
First of all growing is still illegal, but if you grow five plants outdoor and there is no nuisance (sound, or other problem making towards neighbours) the police leave you alone. Outdoor growing without manipulation in the most cases the police leave you alone. The only problem is that the most new rent contracts have written black and white that if you grow cannabis they can throw you out!
Growing more than five plants could still be a problem. Van Kuik, in 2003, was under fire for growing eight plants instead of five and was forced to pay fines. His five plants have been left alone by police since.
In terms of the war on growshops, which actually came into effect at the beginning of March, Darpan said,
A lot of growshops are closed down now, or sell only stuff for vegetables. By example in The Hague, two stores are checked and are still open, but a lot have closed by themselves, or the police, because of very tough penalties.
Nol van Schaik, another cannabis activist who works in Haarlem, reports that
They did shut some growshops, one in Maastricht, but I think those cases will fail in court, the shops were no longer registered as growshops, but as a garden centre. In The Hague, former growshops, now garden centres, were checked by the local police and all was in order; they are still open. In Amsterdam, no checks, former grow shops operate as garden centres now, no problems so far. Home growing in the Netherlands is tough these days because if you get caught growing in your HOME, you can be evicted with your family! Some banks have contracts for mortgages including a 'no grow clause', so, if you are caught growing with such a contract on your mortgage, the bank takes your house. Home growers have mostly been caught, or they are so intimidated they stopped. We do not grow enough in the Netherlands a the moment, so we are importing 'Nederweed' from all over Europe, mainly from Belgium, Poland and Spain.
Nol has helped to introduce the Hallmark coffee-shop regulation system – what he calls "the best policy" in Holland:
There was a decision in 2011 in a Dutch high court that said that you could grow five plants with no risk of criminal charges – no matter how big the plants were – but you got to hand them over if you get an official visit from the police.
Please check out our photo gallery of Dutch home cannabis gardens – some photos from 2014:
You notice how there doesn't appear to be any real risk of fire or mould or theft? If every adult in Canada could grow their five plants, then the risk of theft would be reduced because everyone could supply themselves. It's far less risky to grow on a balcony, in a back yard and/or in a greenhouse in terms of health. This is the obvious solution that the government wants to pretend doesn't exist.
3) "The price of cannabis provided by the Licensed Producers has been reduced to as little as $1.75 per gram"
Yeah, for "shake".
Prices for actual bud varied from a low of $5 dollars per gram to a high of $15 dollars per gram (see below). Delta9 offered a 50% discount on it's cannabis for low-income people but the fine print said it was based upon their "capacity to subsidize" and that it wouldn't be for a "patient's entire prescription."
I hope the lawyers for the patients call these jokers on their BS, and I hope the Judge notices the government's attempt to bamboozle everyone again.
For more information on the MMPR and the Licensed Producers, check out these other articles I've written about them:
Pricing information from all 16 of Canada’s official Licensed Producers:
Ranges of prices per gram of dried cannabis
$6 to $8.20
"Each strain is priced at $7.50 per gram plus applicable taxes."
$6.25 to $9
$7.50 to $11
$1.75 to $3.50 for shake
"CanniMed products are priced per gram and range from $6.00 to $13.50 per gram. We offer a 25% discount for online orders using a credit card, bringing the prices down to $4.50 to $10.13 per gram when you use the CANNIMED25 coupon online. For phone orders using a credit card we offer a 10% discount."
The one $6 gram, according to the website: "is the product Health Canada distributed for 13 years as the sole supplier of medical marijuana in Canada."
In other words the high-in-metals, high-in microbes, low–in-THC, irradiated shwag PPS has been selling all this time.
$7 to $12
"Price varies based on the strain and quantity purchased. All of our products are priced and sold on a per gram basis and range between $5/gram to $9/gram based on the cost of production."
At Delta 9 providing compassionate care and service for Canadians from all walks of life is a top priority. That's why we've created a Compassionate Pricing Program that will help subsidize the cost of medicine for eligible clients on disability and those with low income. Under this program, registered patients will be able to access any variety in Delta 9's products portfolio at a 50% discount off regular pricing. For more information on the terms and conditions of our Compassionate Pricing Program please view our pricing policies section."
After your information has been received our Compassionate Pricing Committee will meet to determine how we can help. The committee's decisions are based on, but not limited to, the following factors;
The Patient's needs come first. If you qualify and need a subsidy we will provide one.
Our company's capacity to subsidise our cannabis medicines. We're a start-up business and subsidising the cost of medicine can be an expensive undertaking. We will provide everyone on our Compassionate Pricing Program with as large a subsidy as is possible based on our ability. As our company grows so too will our ability to provide larger subsidies.
The overall goal of our Compassionate Pricing Program is to do as much good for as many patients as possible. Subsidizing a patient's entire prescription (especially very large ones) is difficult and doing so would mean that we cannot help a number of other patients.
"In The Zone is not currently registering patients. Please check back in mid-2015 for additional information on patient registration."
"We will provide qualifying patients with a 20% discount off list price. No other discounts apply. In order for us to be fair to all our potential customers we may have to limit some Gram per day licensees to ensure product availability for as many as possible."
$5 to $15
$2.50 for trimmings
$5.60 to $9.60
$3.60 for trim
Price not listed
"At OrganiGram, we are focused on the needs of our clients, recognizing and acknowledging that they could be low-income individuals or recipients of a variety of income assistance programs. We like to keep things simple, so we have available an across the board 25% discount for those eligible. The discount is offered on all regular priced products and orders every month for your full prescription amount."
$6 to $8.50
$4.50 to $5 milled
entire stock sold out – nothing currently available (as of Monday, February 23, 2015)
"Prices vary by strain potency and range from $8-13+ per gram."
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