Tuesday January 14th, 2003
By BEVERLEY WARE
The Daily News
Think of them as McDoobies or Bong King — franchise outlets across the province where you can buy marijuana.
That’s what medical-marijuana advocates are calling for as they seek improved access to pain-relieving pot.
Debbie Stultz-Giffin smokes four grams of pot a day to alleviate pain and symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis.
Her husband was convicted four years ago of growing marijuana, even though it was for his wife, who is legally allowed to use it.
“Health Canada has put us in the situation where many exemption holders are driven to the black market to purchase their marijuana at inflated prices,” she said.
It also puts patients at risk because they can’t be sure of the quality of the drug, Stultz-Giffin said.
John Cook operates Cook’s Compassion Club out of Harrietsfield. He sells pot at reduced prices to people who have a doctor’s note.
He supplies marijuana to patients from Cape Breton to Yarmouth, and both he and Stultz-Giffin would like to see local outlets opened across the province.
“They should be set up in each county, or at least regionally, with local legitimate growers who support us in our quest for legal marijuana,” Stultz-Giffin said.
Cook said if marijuana was legal, he’d like to sell it to both recreational and medical users through clubs that also offer herbs and massages for the sick.
He also favours selling it through liquor stores or franchises of his own business: “Oh sure, I’d give anyone help who wanted to do that.”
It could be a lucrative business, but Cook said medical-marijuana users should get their pot free, because for them, it’s medicine.
Both the recent Senate committee on drug use in Canada and the Ontario
judge who ruled this week the federal government’s Medical Marijuana Access
Regulations are unconstitutional recommend regulated distribution centres
or licensed compassion clubs that allow users open access to quality-controlled
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