ADVOCATE SUPPORTS RESIDENTIAL BAN
Posted 21 August 2012 - 10:52 AM
An advocate for medical marijuana users offers qualified support for MP Ron Cannan's idea of changing the way people can legally get their pot.
People who grow their own marijuana in their home for their personal use should always be able to do so, said Don Schultz of Greenline Academy.
"I would hate to see people lose the right they have to grow their own medicine," Schultz said Thursday. "And there'd probably be a lot of lawsuits coming forward if the government tried to take away that right."
But so-called designated growers - those who can grow enough pot for up to four people with medical marijuana licences - should no longer be allowed in residential areas, Schultz said.
"They should be moved into commercial, industrial, or agricultural areas," Schultz said. "With the larger volumes of the plants do come questions of security."
Police say the larger, legally-permitted grow-ops can become targets of home invasions.
And they say the current regulatory system does not provide them with timely, accurate information on the location of legal grow-ops.
"It's very difficult for the police to find out where the medicinal marijuana grow-ops are," said Cannan, Conservative MP for Kelowna-Lake Country. "There should be better co-ordination between the RCMP and health authorities."
After meeting with a number of community leaders and representatives of social service agencies on Wednesday, Cannan said he'd like to see current rules changed so no legal grow-ops could be maintained in residential areas.
Those with medical marijuana licences should obtain their pot from central, government controlled distribution points, Cannan said.
That is one option currently available to users, but it's not one favoured by most of those who have medical marijuana licences, Shultz said.
Pot grown under government supervision is "terrible," he said, and most users much prefer to grow their own or buy it from designated growers.
For the past year, Health Canada has been holding meetings to discuss possible changes to the way medical marijuana is made available to those with a licence to use it. Based in Kelowna, Schultz's firm puts on seminars across the country advising people on all aspects of the medical marijuana industry.
Kelowna Daily Courier
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