I sit here on my couch, legally entitled to use medicinal cannabis under the ACMPR (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations).
I buy my cannabis through the mail now, tracked digitally — as is the credit card payment for said regulated product.
I had hoped to be able to slow down on that, hoped I could grow my own as ruled by the Supreme Court of Canada. It never ever occurred to me, or to any of my friends, that we’d once again be stuck searching for a doctor to sign for us.
But here we are.
I got legal through a clinic called Canna Connect, who have now decided across that board to refuse to sign anyone to do what our highest court has ruled is a human right.
I pay $5 a gram for my medicine but, if I grew it, I could get that price down to $1 or less.
Others pay $8 to $15 as different medical conditions require different strains.
Imagine what your monthly medical cannabis bill would be if your condition were only helped by the cannabinoid ratio in a $15 strain. It’s not even like it costs that much more to grow that strain. The seeds may be more rare and thus more costly, but when you’re talking lights, water and nutrients, one plant does not require that much more money to grow it when compared to another — time, yes, money, no.
I was one of the lucky ones to get a year long prescription with no THC cap. But, if I want to grow my own cannabis, I risk running into a doctor with more conservative ideas about what’s safe and what’s not. I run the risk of having my daily dose lowered and being burdened with a THC cap where I would be forced to purchase strains having THC below a certain percentile, in turn making it even more difficult for me to find an affordable strain.
Tetrahydrocannabinol and I are buddies, I need no protection from this compound. I sat last week with some comfort that at least I’ll be able to find a designated grower to grow the strains I choose and sell to me at a reasonably agreed-upon price. But the designated growers are also searching for that document to send to Health Canada with their application to grow.
I grew up with gardening genius parents who still start hundreds of seeds indoors every February. It starts in the basement, works its way up to the window sills, then eventually to the greenhouse and finally to the gardens. What a process — and one that my father and millions of Canadians have safely excelled at for hundreds of years.
What happens when the powers-that-be start taking away the right to grow petunias and marigolds, tomatoes and squash? What if they win in convincing law-makers that growing any plant indoors is a hazard to our health and the framework of your property? What if they say that you have to buy your seeds and plants from only certain authorized dealers? What if they start controlling what you grow?
Sounds so awful doesn’t it? Welcome to our lives — today our cannabis plants; tomorrow it could be your tomatoes or your cukes, herbs too.
The doctors are citing concerns of quality while activists are crying capitalism as this clearly places an almost contractible value on every patient’s head. In fact, this stance is completely counter to that of our Canada Health Act, which states:
“It is hereby declared that the primary objective of Canadian health care policy is to protect, promote and restore the physical and mental well-being of residents of Canada and to facilitate reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers. 1984, c. 6, s. 3.”
The good news is that some doctors are indeed signing, and applications to grow have indeed been approved. But not quickly enough. Patients in need of legal access to cannabinoid therapy are not getting legal quickly enough either. We have an overly bureaucratized legalization and registration process for a plant that in terms of toxicity remains the safest and most versatile medicine known to man. And, frankly, it’s putting Canadian lives in danger.