It didn’t take long to get used to the convenience of walking into a store to buy some weed; the majority of our society acclimated pretty quickly. It made it easy to forget the very real fact that the laws surrounding cannabis remain unjust and that the rights of the people who rely on this medicine the most are at the most risk.

Bureaucracy was moving slowly and in the meantime, the government and police kept their eyes closed…until now.

It started with dispensaries getting cease and desist letters; then, more government shops started to pop up. On October 17th, the big green monster woke up and the risks are getting real for those who dare threaten the plans for profits.

The most recent hits to the industry

  • Vancouver will tell you that there are no set dates for closures but Cannabis Culture is planning to close their 3locations by January 31st, 2019.
  • Licensed Producers are beginning to set up their storefronts; Canopy Growth has an approved development permit right beside Cannabis Culture Headquarters on Hastings.
  • A dispensary in Victoria that wishes to remain anonymous, received a letter from the City asking them to cease and desist all operations by January 15.

So we can’t buy weed unless we buy it from you eh, Justin Trudeau??

There seems to be too many mistakes with the cannabis regulations; it’s almost as if all facts, data and research got ignored in favor of an ulterior agenda, such as greed and corruption.

Thanks to the irresponsible cannabis regulations in BC, we are facing:

  • Medicine scarcity – a huge part of our community cannot get access to their medicine anymore, especially those relying on edibles and extracts
  • Legal purchase only available for those with a credit card and mailing address
  • The elimination of thousands of local jobs in local communities
  • Harm-reduction barriers – Cannabis is an effective tool in the treatment for opiate addiction
  • Outrageous amounts of garbage from the redundant and excessive packaging
  • Supply of cannabis relying on Canada Post…in the middle of a strike
  • the pollution and carbon emissions now being made in order to accommodate mass delivery by mail
  • Poor product quality – With preference being given to those with money as opposed to cannabis knowledge or experience, LP’s have been selling the bad to the dangerous… legally.
  • Price gouging – according to Statistics Canada, its $3 cheaper per gram on the black market.

Canada has really screwed this one up. It seems unfathomable that in this day and age, our government would prioritize getting the country high over healthcare, yet, here we are.  

I thought we had rights in Canada

As a child, I would hear about foreign countries in civil wars and couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like having to go through their experience. In my naivety, I would take comfort in the fact that those struggles for our human rights seemed to be so far away from me; that I could curl up in my bed, lucky to be safe in Canada. I never imagined that I was wrong.

The people that need this medicine the most cannot fight for themselves; they are too sick to stand up for their rights and they need the healthy and able to do it for them.

Regardless of what the Provincial Government does, there will still be activists fighting to ensure that sick people get their medicine (thank god). Our laws need to reflect facts based on science in addition to the current needs and wants of the people; if they don’t, we have a responsibility to break them. For many dispensaries still open, its business as usual…the question is for how long?