Re: Cannabis and the need for policy reform. I have enclosed an editorial from a national newspaper which outlines the case for legal regulation, taxation, and management under a public health model for cannabis. I also note that Minister Aglukkaq is bringing in legislation to tighten up on the production facilities for medical marijuana.
This seems a very good step forward. It will be important to utilize the knowledge of those already producing for the medical market. A frequent complaint is that the government-produced product is not the strength needed for proper control, and the user then goes elsewhere to the illegal supplier.
It will also be important to have market-based pricing that competes favourably with the black market or else there will be a tendency for users to go there.
Because management under a public health model offers a much greater prospect for success in the long term in reducing the recreational and addictive use of cannabis I would urge our MP to support new policy in this area.
Recent polls have repeatedly shown the majority of the public are firmly behind such change. You will have noticed that both Washington State and Colorado have voted to introduce the kind of plan I have mentioned, and President Obama has used language that indicates a shift is coming federally as well.
The Federation of BC Municipalities has voted in favour of change, and their motion is now going forward to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
In the Guardian News Dec. 14, 2012 Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said, “If you were waging any other war where you have 2,000 fatalities a year (U.K.), your enemies are making billions in profits, constantly throwing new weapons at you, and targeting young people — you’d have to say you are losing, and it is time to do something different. It is important now ( for leaders) to pluck up the courage to speak.”
As our elected representative Mr. Mayes, please act on the evidence before you and move your government in the direction of common sense and evidence-based legislation — you have a majority of the population behind you, and it is time to end the violence associated with gang-controlled management of cannabis.
David M. Kennedy, MD (retired)