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Police need to lay off pot
To the Editor,
Twenty per cent of our city budget goes to policing. I think we get good return on the dollar although we do need more focus on prevention. Given the shortage of tax dollars and the many victims of real crimes, I cannot support the idea of local police wasting resources assisting prime minister Stephen Harper in the stealthy criminalization of medical marijuana.
Eighty per cent of Canadians support medical marijuana. It was legalized because the Supreme Court of Canada determined that access to the medicines we need to avoid suffering is a basic human right, protected by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Yes, the government can regulate, but not in a way that denies access. Harper’s new rules do exactly that.
It seems impossible for adequate supplies to be available by the end of the month. Also, patients need particular kinds of marijuana for their particular symptoms.
And there is no provision to delay the start date of the new rules for those people, many on disability, who have invested thousands of dollars in their home-based grow operations. They cannot afford to forego the fruits of that investment and pay prices that may well be higher than the black market.
They are businesses and should be treated with the usual consideration when business rules change.
Now that the whole matter is before the courts again, I hope our local police will take a wait and see attitude, and not waste resources denying sick people their medicines.
That is Harper’s agenda, and local police, whatever their uniform, are answerable to the local community that hires them, not to anyone in Ottawa.