As a disabled medical marijuana user for four years (I have MS), I would like to make a few comments from my point of view concerning the legalization of marijuana.
I started by vaping dry marijuana, but have lately moved to two types of marijuana oil capsules (daytime with higher CBD, nighttime with higher THC), along with vaping a concentrate if I need extra pain or insomnia medicine. This has made my quality of life so much better. However, the ridiculously harsh penalties for marijuana possession over one ounce and idiotic provincial government monopolies mean that I will no longer be able not legally get my medical marijuana:
- I can not legally get oil capsules. Right now I have them sent from dispensaries in BC. These "grey market" products are available from trustworthy and knowledgeable providers. As the federal and provincial governments crack down to ensure provincial monopolies, these dispensaries will be shut down. As far as I'm aware, no licensed producer has oil capsules for sale (certainly mine doesn't, and the rules make it a hassle to change providers). In order to have my own made, I have to buy dry weed, give it to someone who can make it into oil, then into capsules. I'm allowed 2 ounces of dry weed per month. If I hand that to someone to make the oil capsules, we are both doing something illegal. Ridiculous.
- Some legal producers have started making marijuana oils. These cost at least 50% more than if I get them from the grey market, and each licensed company has a small number of types (strains, sub-strains, THC/CBD %, etc). I would have to get what I need from more than one producer... yet I'm only supposed to use one licensed producer.
- Many licensed producers don't even indicate what strains are used in their dry weed or oils. Some grey market products don't either, but I don't buy those products. I want to use sativa-dominant strains during the day, and indica-dominant strains in the evening.
- No licensed producer has shatter. Waiting until 2019 for relief is not an option. Edibles won't be available 2019, probably at ridiculous prices. Edibles aren't that important for me, but for some folks it's their preferred method. Many cannot make hard candies or jellies themselves.
- CBD is not psychoactive, yet to get a true CBD oil (there are "hemp" oils in health food stores, but we don't know how much CBD is in it) we have to go through a licensed producer. Again, the price is way higher, the provenance is not provided, all for a non-psychoactive product that should be available to anyone without any prescription. CBD oils (even with a smattering of THC) should not be a controlled substance at all. The same goes for CBN and all the other 80 or so non-psychoactive cannabinoids.
I'm happy weed is going to be legalized, because there won't be people charged or fined for using something that is so benign compared to alcohol and tobacco. I am not interested in using marijuana recreationally, but other people do, and I'm fine with that. We do need to find ways to catch THC-impaired drivers, but we have had that same issue for years with illegal marijuana or legal drugs, and before breathalyzers, we had that problem with booze. All this hoopla about huge increases in policing is just a way for provincial governments and police departments to greatly increase their budgets on the backs of buyers.
I would hope that sober second thought will lead to a better law and regulations. As it is right now, medical marijuana users are collateral damage. We'll no longer have access to the meds we need, while ridiculous laws and regulations mean that, at the discretion of police and prosecutors, people can still be sent to jail for getting their meds.