June 11, 2015

Question of the Day: Should Canada’s highest court expand the legal definition of medicinal needs?

Emily PrattRebel Correspondent
 

Canada’s highest court redefines medical marijuana. A unanimous ruling today now allows patients to use the drug in all forms including brownies, teas and oils.

I hit the streets to see what you think of the legal expansion of medicinal weed.

 

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Comments
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commented 2015-06-18 00:18:36 -0400
THC can cause too much dysfunction in certain genetically predisposed individuals. Arrested emotional development being one of them, in chronic smokers, but not all. As well as psychotic episodes. Smoking it isn’t even the best way to deliver the many important properties of cannabis. THC is what gets you stoned, and it is the least medicinal, sedating yes, medicinal no. If you are serious about this herb for medicinal purposes, you don’t smoke it. Smoking it is a delivery method used for very few ailments. Most people who smoke it for health reasons are full of sh*t.
commented 2015-06-13 00:27:56 -0400
THC can cause too much dysfunction in certain genetically predisposed individuals. Arrested emotional development being one of them, in chronic smokers, but not all. There is huge medicinal value to cannabis, Joan points out some of the different properties, especially pertinent to specific ailments. There is more to pot than THC, much more. Seems to me the Supreme Court shouldn’t have anything to do with it. It should be a Health Canada issue, but it looks like they aren’t taking the reins.
commented 2015-06-12 14:06:25 -0400
“All drugs should legalized, regulated and taxed.” And as pointed out by another poster, tax the snot out of them! No qualification under public health care plans either! We already have agitation from the West Coast of drug users not only wanting unfettered use, but to be paid for by the taxpayer. Alcohol and regular smokes could be considered a form of “drugs”. We don’t foist these bills on taxpayers for the product acquistion. So it should be the same for Cannabis, et al. B.T.W. Elected Gov’t’s should be making these decisions, not an unelected body of “appointees”!
commented 2015-06-12 06:31:41 -0400
Jimmy Da Silva, kudos. My mother agrees with you entirely. I’m leaning there, but still a bit on the fence.
I’d be more comfortable with decriminalization, licensing, and taxation of federally AND provincially/locally approved zones, specified controlled drugs, well-vetted corporate entities, and profit/non-profit societies, all directly regulated and monitored by the particular province/municipality/local resident/owner association in accordance with their own local, constitutional laws. As an aspect of health care, it should be a shared responsibility, and final licensing by the feds must be contingent upon receipt of copies of certificates of title and all registered documents, along with written satisfaction of any legally required conditions precedent found therein, such as municipal or board approval in the case of production licences.
commented 2015-06-12 03:38:51 -0400
Excellent point Belinda Cardoso… Parliament in Canada has no “advise and consent” function in appointing judges to the comfy little cabal called the Supreme Court… We just have to remember back to Oct. 3rd of last year when Judge Marc Nadon was precluded from joining their lofty ranks because they didn’t like the cut of his jib. Their legal arguments were an indication of the way the winds were blowing under the Beverley McLachlin, and very evidently still are… The latest decision on marijuana cookies signals that open warfare has evolved between the highest court in Canada and our ELECTED government. It’s time to clear the decks once and for all lest this evolve further. At least in the United States the public gets to vote on judges, sheriffs and even dog catchers…
commented 2015-06-11 23:28:15 -0400
Most folks can’t see the forest for the trees – the Supreme Court is crossing boundaries – these are just paid employees in essence higher paid lawyers – who gave them all this authority. I don’t recall electing any one.
commented 2015-06-11 22:50:08 -0400
Joan, here’s a contrary opinion, published 15 or so years after the study you referenced: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1104848. The American Medical Association, 20 years of data, no association of negative pulmonary effects due to marijuana use. Now, as far as street pot is concerned, if bikers are the only people you can find who are selling it, I’d suggest looking a bit more. I live in rural Saskatchewan, and I’d have no problem finding my choice of sources if I had a day to look. I know a couple of people who make oil, edibles, and salves to help their friends and family with various medical issues, they have a pretty good idea what works for what ailments. The knowledge was always there, just not quantified and qualified by some government lab. As is evidenced by several of the new pot outlets in Colorado pretty much any staffer there has a pretty good idea what strains work for what problems. What I actually propose is a complete and total legalization of pot. It should have the same legal status as cucumbers. You should be able to grow your own, belong to a co-op, or buy it from a store. See – no bikers involved! Legalization would completely shut out the criminal element, except those that would sell to minors. And those would be a lot more visible than they are now, as minors are just another category of customers to those who are selling it on the street now. If it was legal, minors would be pretty much the only category of customers the criminal element would be selling to. And before you start jumping up and down with “But what about the CHILDREN!!?” consider how it is now. If pot were legal, there might be some negligent parent – types who don’t control their kid’s pot intake, just like there are some parents today who don’t care much about how much their kids drink, or smoke tobacco. And yet, those things happen today all over and society doesn’t crumble. Go figure. Do I need to provide links to data showing pot use among teens in Holland and Portugal decreasing? Finally, it’s A Token, not A Tokin’. My interest has always been more of a libertarian cause, we spend over a billion taxpayer’s dollars a year, just in Canada, because of this law. It just makes no sense to me to spend that money to force an unjustified and unjustifiable law on taxpayers. The pro-pot argument that the only victims of the war on drugs are the hundreds of thousands of non-violent unfairly criminalized users convicted of possession of a plant is one that I agree with wholeheartedly!
commented 2015-06-11 22:10:51 -0400
‘A Tokin’ – During the 1990s Alan Rock government, University of Toronto got funding for a medical marijuana research centre (that later became the Toronto Compassion Club). St. Michael’s Hospital did a ten-year longitudinal study of marijuana smokers during that same period. That study concluded marijuana smokers were three times as likely to develop lung cancer and other lung diseases such as chronic bromchitis than tobacco smokers. Three times as likely.

What I suggest is hardly doomsday. Have you ever tried the spray? It’s a clean product that users absorb through the tissues of the mouth and it acts as quickly on the system as the dirty smoked pot. Cannamist was developed by a BC city councillor who uses it to treat the pain associated with Hep C he contracted theough a blood transfusion when he was 9 years old. Sativex is widely prescribed in Britain and its users say it works the same as the smoked product.

One of the major problems I have with the street product is that there is no quality control. Some pot is grown outside, some is grown hydroponically in methamphetamines. Some has a high sativa content, others a high indica content.

People who use cannibas for pain need a high indica count, whereas parkinsons responds better to high sativa count. With street products you get whatever the bikers sell.

I also object to the organized crime element. The TTC finally got busted at U. Of T. Because they were selling pot upfront but cocaine (and blow jobs) in the back. Aside from that, persons with medical conditions and disabilities can be in danger when they go looking for street drugs. And they can be coerced into commiting crimes if they cannot pay the price. Not like health insurance covers it.
commented 2015-06-11 21:35:04 -0400
All drugs should legalized, regulated and taxed. The war on drugs has completely failed in every way possible.
commented 2015-06-11 21:31:43 -0400
So, the left wing officially support legalization. The far right, defined as libertarian, wants to legalize it also. I’ve seen polls that show that a majority of conservatives in Canada would like to see some form of decriminalization. And an on – the – street poll on this site has one (1) person saying, maybe, the court got it wrong, but it really didn’t sound like a solid disapproval to me, with everyone else approving. So, it appears that the only Canadians who want to continue prohibition are Brian, Bishop Coren, Rona Ambrose, Steven Harper, and a handful of confused right wingers giving the Conservative brand a bad name. I bet anyone in Canada, in any community in Canada, on any day of the week, would get the same kind of responses. Please; Rich, Joan, et al, consider this: you guys keep on posting these doomsday scenarios like they’re etched in stone by the finger of God and therefore sure to happen if we devolve into the type of society that allows (GASP!) marijuana use. But – there’s absolutely no evidence to support it in the real world. It’s been legal (or just as good as) in Portugal and the Netherlands for decades now, and there hasn’t been increases of pot use among teens or children (just the opposite), crime has gone down (also in Colorado), there hasn’t been epidemics of mental health issues, or lung issues, or skin issues, or hangnails! Not one single thing that the doomsayers were guaranteeing would happen has happened there or anyplace else that pot use has become normalized in some way. And… there still has yet to be a single provable death due to marijuana ingestion, ever, anywhere! What has to happen before you guys accept this?
commented 2015-06-11 21:29:10 -0400
So, Token Conservative, your point is that you’re in favor of this legalization? Or what? Your last comment was rather broken and vague…
commented 2015-06-11 21:13:57 -0400
People, really! Is there some point that we will stop just automatically believing every word of a story that just happens to agree with what we already believe? I checked out that story from the Daily Mail. Really. 30K deaths a year from pot. Did any of you actually read it, or just re-post the headline with a thumbs up? That rather alarmist number comes from their supposition (not only unproven, but actually disproven a couple of times now) that pot smoking can, might, maybe harm the lungs in the same way and at the same rates as tobacco smoking. So, if a certain percentage of tobacco smokers dies from lung issues, then with a little extrapolation we can come up with that ridiculous “30 thousand” number. The whole supposition is so easily destroyed it’s almost not worth the effort! It’s the “society falls apart after legalization” argument, and it’s never happened (not even close) in any place in the world that pot smoking’s been prevalent, including Canada and the U. S. Then there’s the equally alarming “Pot Deaths increase in Colorado” headline. Anyone read that one? Mysteriously, not one of those deaths are a result of overdosing on pot. The jury’s apparently still out on one of the cases, and in the other two it appears the deaths happened as a result of mental illness, which may or may not have been the result of pot ingestion (biased medical reports notwithstanding, it’s a label I believe I could fight successfully in court if given the opportunity). I wonder, in the same time period as these two tragedies, how many people in Colorado died from alcohol poisoning? How many suicides happened after a bottle or two of scotch? How many suicides from ingestion of prescription drugs? How many accidental deaths from the ingestion of prescription drugs? How many suicides in Canada because people can’t, by law and your intransigence, legally use the medicine they need in order to deal with their pain? All sacrificed on your altar of political expedience, because Trudeau. Worth it?
commented 2015-06-11 21:08:37 -0400
So was my post, Rick :)
commented 2015-06-11 20:42:44 -0400
Actually there have been cases where people have dies in Colorado from indigestible THC overdoses. Pot heads just want legal access and pretend they are only supporting medicinal uses. I wonder how many of the people interviewed are chronic users.
commented 2015-06-11 20:32:07 -0400
“Why do we need a Parliament, then?” That is the ultimate goal of the regressive progressives. Remove power from the population and hand it over to a totalitarian regime! Then “we” all become equal as under the Soviet Empire (sarcasm).
commented 2015-06-11 20:00:30 -0400
How about the Supreme Court stick to what its mandate is: enforcing the law. How about the Supreme Court hand Parliament recommendations on what should/should not be done with medicinal marijuana? Then Parliament can debate and create a law, and the Senate can provide the “sober second thought” on this law-creating system?

Oh, I forgot — this was 100 years ago, not now. Now we have a Court that creates laws. Why do we need a Parliament, then?
commented 2015-06-11 18:37:48 -0400
Joan. Thanks for those links. I guess in the near future there may be another link regarding pot related deaths in Canada. Sad.
commented 2015-06-11 17:36:53 -0400
Rick, I too had a friend who inadvertently ate some marijuana edibles. He couldn’t stop vomiting and we had to take him to hospital.

Edible pot is metabolized differently than smoked pot and the dose is much harder to control. For this reason and because of the cancer risk associated with the smoked product, I wish the government and/or court would ban all street-available products and make available the spray products like Sativex and Cannamist that users with MS and cancer say relieves their symptoms just as well as inhaled pot.

Deaths associated with edible pot: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2015/03/third-death-in-colorado-linked-to-edible-marijuana/#.VXn94nD3arU
commented 2015-06-11 17:19:41 -0400
Ultimately, it should be the medical community that determines treatment, and the methodology as well as potency. Parliament can then set out the regulations governing use. The SCOC should not be opening this up as a “free for all”. I was once fed by mistake a marijuana brownie. I was sick for two days afterwards. Clearly there was something else in that brownie! This is what happens when the field is opened wide. No quality control or inspection of what goes into these items. As one respondant said, no deaths from marijuana use. Now with this ruling, just give it time before a death occurs. And guaranteed with the Socialist Media, there will be no blow back on the Lieberal Appointed Judiciary that enabled this!