Health Minister Rona Ambrose has vowed to punish groups illegally advertising cannabis. She also re-stated the Conservative party’s pledge to keep storefront dispensaries illegal.
“Today I directed Health Canada to create a task force to crack down on illegal marijuana advertising,” Ambrose said in a statement. “This task force will ensure that those who engage in such illegal activities are stopped, and should these illegal activities continue, promptly referred to law enforcement.”
Health Canada issued the statement, saying it will begin actively monitoring cannabis advertising instead of acting on complaints. Under current law, only regulated parties such as licenced producers are allowed to advertise basic, non-promotional information.
Although medical cannabis can be legally obtained with a prescription, the Conservative government has made no secret of the fact that it disapproves. “The Government of Canada does not endorse the use of marijuana, but the courts have required reasonable access to a legal source of marijuana when authorized by a healthcare practitioner,” Health Canada’s statement reads.
Ambrose has been especially vocal on the issue, saying that, “Dispensaries, whether they are online or a store-front, are illegal and they should not be allowed to advertise these illegal services.”
Most agree that the Conservative government’s approach is ideological rather than scientific.