Thursday, February 19, 2004

While we've been occupied elsewhere, the Canadians have been quietly bringing common sense to the table and medical marijuana may soon be available in Canadian pharmacies.

Officials from Health Canada met behind closed doors yesterday with pharmacists, medical experts, police and medicinal pot users to discuss access to medicinal marijuana.

...Ray Joubert of the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacies said that there was a lot of support for bringing marijuana into local pharmacies.

...Richard Viau, an official with Health Canada's controlled-substances program, said the department has wrapped up a series of consultations on the issue. The findings from those meetings will be part of a series of recommendations to be published later this spring.

Viau expects the proposals to land in cabinet for final approval by the end of this summer. After that, a pilot project to get marijuana distributed through pharmacies could begin.

It would have to be enacted by each province separately. Nonetheless, I think it stands a good chance of being passed, if this quote is indicative of the mood of the committee.

"It would only seem reasonable that patients would want to avoid having to obtain access through an illegal source which brings with it all its inherent dangers," said Chris McNeil, who chairs the Canadian chief of police drug abuse committee.

Contrast this to our own government's singleminded mission to not only deny the dying this medicine but also arresting them in wheelchairs and hospital beds and persecuting their doctors for trying to alleviate their pain. Seems kind of barbaric and inhumane in comparison, don't you think?


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