Medical pot dealers sing blues
The business of dispensing marijuana to ailing people isn't turning out to be all smiles for fledgling Toronto-area pot "clubs." Warren Hitzig can't find a landlord willing to rent him office space for his Medical Marijuana Resource Centre. And his hopes that pot growers would donate some of their crop to help keep prices low for medicinal users have, so far, died on the vine. "People grow it in huge amounts. Give us some please," Hitzig pleaded yesterday.
Hitzig was among eight southern Ontario club operators who held a news conference almost three weeks ago to say they're going to start openly selling pot to people with AIDS, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and other ailments. They said they're disgusted medicinal users have to sneak around and risk arrest to buy pot, even though a recent court ruling-now under appeal-said the government can't deny pot to a Toronto epileptic helped by its effects. Since the announcement, Hitzig said he's sold pot to about 20 people who have given him doctors' letters confirming their ailments, bringing his total membership to near 50.
Other operators say a major problem is people who try to pass off phony doctors' forms that take time to check out. Despite the problems, people such as Anne, 33, who says a few puffs of pot help her crippling back pain, continue to call. "I just feel my liver cannot process the amount of medicine my doctors are asking me to take," said Anne, who asked that her last name not be published.