How Ottawa created the ‘wild west’ of medical marijuana

Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose can’t seem to catch a break. First, Kimberley, B.C., grants a business licence to a medical cannabis dispensary and then Vancouver City Council votes to regulate and license medical cannabis dispensaries. Coupled with the recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling that patients can possess all forms of cannabis for medical purposes, Ms. Ambrose is left with feelings of sheer “outrage.”

But that outrage is misplaced. Pushing aside both scientific literature and the personal experiences of Canadians, the Health Minister still refuses to acknowledge cannabis as a medicine. By refusing to take a leadership role and create a medical cannabis-access program that could serve the diverse needs of patients, the federal government is responsible for what we are seeing in the “wild west” of Canada – a disconnect between realities on the ground and sound public policy.

While Vancouver has always been known for...

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