Get pot legalization right: Start by limiting spread of dispensaries

Our new federal government has made it clear that legalized marijuana is just a matter of time. A visitor to Canada would be forgiven for believing legalization has already taken place: Cannabis dispensaries have been popping up across the country, especially in the past few months.

Many of these dispensaries are geared toward providing cannabis to people with a prescription from their doctor. But recent reports from Toronto show that many dispensaries sell cannabis with little more than the customer’s signature on a waiver form. Although illegal, the outlets seem to be operating more openly, presumably on the assumption that if legalization is coming, enforcement will leave them alone. Thus far, with a few exceptions, they seem to be right.

There is good evidence to support cannabis as an effective treatment for a small number of conditions, most notably nausea and vomiting, spasticity and certain types of pain. But the...

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