I have begun to believe my mind is full of tiny little topics that act like pimples.

No one can predict the order they start to fester in, or when they’ll get ripe and burst.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Things Change- Medical Marijuana is now a Lost Cause

I’ve Made  Major Changes in This Blog’s Direction
I began this blog at Year end with the big idea I was going to start a revolution. The Harper Governments’ proposed changes to the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations will abolish the right to grow a personal supply of Medical Marijuana. They intend to force Licensees to purchase from a contracted production system yet to be designed. Now 4 months later I realize any revolution is out of the question. Personal and Designated Growth is too piss-ant a problem to survive in the Harper directed sea of stupidity. The whole point of the Marihuana Medical Access Program seems to have been missed not only by the incumbent Cons as well as the Liberals who created it. 

The Marihuana Medical Access Program was a brilliant and compassionate idea that never ever had a chance of succeeding from the start. The Government as usual, failed to consider the financial position of the clientele they were trying to help. As I have pointed out previously in The Information Blackholeno one knows what the demographics of the Licensees are, but I think we can safely conclude that given the fact they have been sick enough for long enough to warrant a License, they are probably at the poverty level and mostly dependant on Pension or Welfare income. The bureaucracy in its infinite wisdom decided to set the price of Legal pot at 50% of the $10/gram street price

Statistics Canada defines the "poverty line" (or low-income cut off) for a single person living in a major city in 2007 as $21,666 (before tax). Or $1805/month. The majority of all Licensees are single individuals’ dependant on fixed pension income from the Government. Licensees are all sick and either retired or disabled, or one of the very few still able to earn an income. These single individuals have only OAS and CPP as income and in the best possible income is available only to a retired recipient who is collecting maximum OAS of $537.97, and is so physically destroyed by illness to qualify for the maximum CPP Disability of $1,153.37. These fortunate individuals qualify for $1691.34/month before tax and almost make it to the poverty line: Almost but not quite.

The government issues Licences to Possess for daily use of amounts from anywhere from a minimum of 1 gram/day to way more than 50 grams. Regardless of the number authorized a one gram minimum plus HST and shipping costs $186 for a one month 30 gram supply. This is more than 10% of the maximum income available to Licensees from pension as well as those still able to work. A full time minimum wage job yields the same before tax income as the best case retiree. Very few Licensees can afford to purchase the amount they are authorized to use for symptom relief and wind up short changed on a sufficient amount to relieve their suffering.

The only way a Licensee can now obtain a supply of legal marijuana at anywhere near an affordable level is via the Personal and Designated Growth options of the Marihuana Medical Access Program. The Government is eliminating these options and that destroys any possibility of obtaining affordable pot through legal channels.
They were selling at $5/gram and losing money. Somehow it doesn’t seem realistic to conclude that by turning this non-profit monopoly into a contracted competitive profit oriented production system burdened with all the overhead of complying with ridiculous Government Regulations over every miniscule operation that call for masses of certification and administrative requiring professional accountancy skills and massive additions to overhead. 

That unfortunately is only half the problem with growing your own.  What Ottawa decides to do with the Marihuana Medical Access Program has nothing to do with the ability to legally grow your own personal supply. Even if pot was legalized there would no place to grow it except in non-residential, commercial, or industrial zones and comply with Municipal regulations. Therein lays the blockade to growing an affordable supply of a much needed medication. It’s simply a matter of short sighted by-laws creating a structure of costs that is virtually impossible to meet.

More to follow shortly