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CN BC: PUB LTE: We Agree Cannabis Is Medicinal (1 of 3)

Pubdate: Fri, 02 Apr 2004
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 The Province
Contact: provletters@png.canwest.com
Website: http://www.canada.com/vancouver/theprovince/


WE AGREE CANNABIS IS MEDICINAL, WE ARGUE OVER WHO WILL DOLE IT OUT

As a legal user of medicinal cannabis who has tried the government-grown cannabis, I can assure you columnist Susan Martinuk ( Gov't wrong to push medical marijuana ) is right about its poor quality.

Unfortunately, nearly everything else in her column is either wrong or misleading.

First, Martinuk states that Canada should not be following the Netherlands in its drug policy because it is a "a land notorious for its expansive population of drug users and abusers."

Actually, Holland has a much lower drug-use rate than North America, and although cannabis is de-facto legal and readily available, its rate of both teen and adult cannabis use is significantly lower than our own.

Second, cannabis is medicinal; supported by millenniums of safe, therapeutic use and thousands of clinical trials.

Finally, no Canadian pharmacist will be forced to distribute cannabis; like those who dispense the "morning after" pill, they would have to receive special training in order to legally distribute cannabis.

The question shouldn't be whether cannabis is a safe and effective medicine that merits distribution through drugstores, but rather why Health Canada doesn't save time and money by licensing and regulating groups experienced with its medicinal use and dispensation, ie. compassion societies. Canada's compassion societies currently help more than 7,000 critically and chronically ill Canadians access a safe supply of medicine.

Philippe Lucas,

Canadians for Safe Access, Victoria



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