Tens of thousands of Canadians are worried over the current medical marijuana access regulations under Health Canada’s authorization, and with the recent police targeting of medical marijuana dispensaries, or “compassion clubs” in recent months across the country.
With current Health Canada application backlogs, the average applicant must wait at least three months from the time of their doctor’s approval until they can either begin to order marijuana from the government, have it grown by a friend or acquaintance, or grow it for themselves. Once they receive their approved documentation in the mail, they must wait another two months for Health Canada’s supply to arrive, or closer to four months for their own medicinal crop to ripen.
Until recently, individuals in Toronto, Guelph, Montreal and Quebec could apply for a membership at a medical marijuana dispensary, so that while they wait for their permit to arrive they can begin to access medicine through those clubs. These businesses have been open in their respective locations anywhere from a few months to several years, in plain view of the community, with full police and politician awareness, and in some cases with their support.
Several have recently been closed or inhibited by recent police actions, however. That has resulted in many Canadians being cut off from their supplier of medicine and significant police and Crown prosecution expenditures.
This matter deserves far greater attention than it has received.
Eitan Gallant, Guelph
– Letter to the editor from GuelphMercury.com.