Government should not be in the business of growing dope.
But it does need to regulate and tightly control production of medicinal marijuana - just like production of any other pharmaceutical.
You wouldn't buy cholesterol medication out of some guy named Bob's basement on the recommendation of a friend of a friend.
So why should patients be expected to buy their medicine from potentially shady growers who might have links to organized crime?
Except that's what happens now, and - amazingly - that's the way medicinal tokers seem to want it to stay.
It's not much of a secret that more than a few licensed medicinal pot growers have been busted for growing much more than their quota.
So where do you think the excess marijuana goes?
It's sold by gang-affiliated drug dealers, of course.
The potheads among the legitimate patients don't seem to realize how this weakens their argument for more liberal marijuana laws. But, then again, they don't call it dope for nothing.
That's why the federal government's changes to the way medical marijuana is produced and sold make a lot of sense.
No more home grow-ops smelling up the neighbourhood and lowering property values.
Instead, licensed commercial companies will grow medical weed in secure locations that meet fire and building codes - and pay municipal taxes.
West Kelowna and Kamloops have already voted to restrict such operations to industrial areas, and Kelowna and Summerland are drafting up their own regulations.
These are changes to a shadowy industry that couldn't come too soon for those unfortunate enough to live next door to a grow-op site.
- Managing Editor