EDITORIAL: Personal Production Under Attack

Andrew Brown

With another recent push by the Harper Government to make it clear that medical patients will be loosing the right grow their own medicine, there is a fair amount of anger and anxiety in the med pot community. First and foremost, we need to be honest about the true cause of the problems that have resulted from personal grow licences—the illegality of the product for the general public.
Cannabis is a plant with a long history of religious, medical, and recreational use, and is currently by far the world’s most popular recreational “drug.” When a product, like cannabis, has a high demand with limited availability, it creates a valuable commodity—the issue of supply and demand—and the black market fills the void.
In 2001, when the MMAR program was implemented, it gave the opportunity for ill Canadians to have access to medical cannabis, with one of the supply methods being personal production. Now we have a small handful of the population legally able to produce a product that a huge percentage of Canadians want. Lets not lose focus that the large majority of people licenced to produce cannabis legitimately need it—many of which are on permanent disability with very low incomes, and can not afford to purchase meds, but can indeed afford to grow them. But with this, there are a few rogues who are looking for blanket protection from the MMAR in order to produce for the black market. This is no different than people seeking prescriptions from doctors for opiates that they can sell on the black market. The only reason abuse of the program exists is because it is exclusive to those able to get a doctor’s signature on some forms. Many people who need the medicine can’t even get their doctors to sign, either.
What will happen to the legitimate medical users? Many will not be able to afford their meds, they will lose the therapy of gardening and producing their own meds, and some will likely be targeted by criminals who want to intercept shipments or rob them of their meds. Couriers and mail delivery people may also be put into harms way. Prices are said to be set by the distributer, so won’t likely be much different than current street prices.
I know this all sounds obvious and redundant, and damn it it should, but for some reason the obvious solution—full legalization—is eluding our elected officials. We need to stop making a simple issue complicated. Our government is throwing all this propaganda about the dangers and abuses of grow licences in order to distract the public from the giant polka-dot elephant dancing in the room—prohibition doesn’t work!

Andrew Brown
Andrew Brown is the editor of the Cannabis Digest.

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