While grow-your-own potheads won't like it, the federal government's move to get out of the medical marijuana business makes complete sense.
Why should the government be involved in the sale of a drug which - at least for now - is still illegal in Canada?
Instead of growing and dispensing dope, the government will hand over production of the drug to private companies that meet strict security requirements.
It's a sensible step toward limiting organized crime's dominance of the drug trade. And if pot is eventaully
legalized, there will already be a network of suppliers.
Most importantly, the changeover will do away with the current system of individual permits, which allows users to grow their pot at home.
Potheads are already campaigning against the move, slated to take effect in March, arguing everyone should have the right to affordable, quality cannabis for medical use and be able to legally produce it.
But the real problem is, a great many of the 26,000 permit holders across the country have abused their privilege and conduct illegal activity by exceeding their quota and selling dope on the side.
Managing that many files is unwieldy, and police and fire officials say that the system wide open for such abuse. There have also been many cases in which police unknowingly raided legal medical grow-ops.
Marijuana should be handled like other medicines and grown in large-scale, commercial operations with all the proper safety precautions.
In residential neighbourhoods, it is both a safety and fire risk.
- Managing Editor