Marijuana initiative will increase cost to patients, says activists
By Alessandra Micieli
A new system for the legal distribution of medical marijuana but forbidding patients to grow their own, has cannabis advocates angered by what they call unfairness to patients.
The Conservative government will launch on Tuesday a $1.3 billion dollar initiative to provide an open market for licensed distribution of commercially produced medical marijuana.
Amy Anonymous, co-host of the 420 Radio Show on lifestyle.ca and cannabis advocate, believes that the initiative will gouge the people who need access to the drug most.
“It’s preposterous,” the co-host told Humber News, stating that patients who would need to pay a lot more for their regular doses.
Anonymous said it would cost a person $1.50 per gram to grow the marijuana plant on their own, while the new system would force patients to pay $9 to $12 dollars per gram.
According to a consultant from Grow Legally, a group committed to helping people obtain their medical marijuana license to produce their own, the new legislation doesn’t extend rights but reduces them.
“People have a right to grow it for themselves,” a Grow Legally spokesperson told Humber News.
Until the new initiative, patients for medical marijuana could go through a process to get government approval, starting with a doctor’s prescription and signed off on by Health Canada.
According to Grow Legally, a person will spend roughly $6000 a month, depending on their dosage, with the new system.
Nelson Wiseman, an associate professor at the University of Toronto specializing in Canadian government and politics, told Humber News he’s not sure why the Conservatives are taking action now, but thinks it may have to do with Liberal leader Justin Trudeau confessing he has smoked the drug and urging legalization.
Wiseman also said he is “surprised at the initiative,” given the current federal government’s longstanding opposition to the party being opposed to marijuana use.