The time has come to remove the fog that surrounds medical pot. We need to sort the misinformation from the truth and to examine this issue from several viewpoints. In doing so, we must guard against emotional responses. First, we will look at it from a medical perspective. Secondly, we will examine it from a legal aspect. Finally, we will consider the criminal activity which licensing of pot shops will inevitably bring. For now though, irrespective of what Justin Trudeau’s federal government might do in the future, this is NOT the future. Therefore, we must live by the laws as they NOW exist. This is why I applaud when I read that the Nanaimo RCMP will enforce federal pot laws.
Here is what you need to know to have an informed opinion about this Nanaimo RCMP enforcement action
Certain weed definitely has a medicinal value. However, other weed does not. When uncontrolled weed outlets pop up everywhere, the medicinal weed gets crowded out of the marketplace. The result is that legitimate medical weed providers lose business. As well, organized crime reaps huge profits.
Understanding how pot works (The quotes below are from the National Institute on Drug Abuse)
THC is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. “It acts much like the cannabinoid chemicals made naturally by the body“.
“Cannabinoid receptors are concentrated in certain areas of the brain. These areas are associated with thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination and time perception. THC attaches to these receptors and activates them. It affects a person’s memory, pleasure, movements, thinking, concentration, coordination, and sensory and time perception“.
“THC is one of many compounds found in the resin secreted by glands of the marijuana plant. More of these glands are found around the reproductive organs of the plant. Other compounds unique to marijuana, called cannabinoids, are present in this resin.
One cannabinoid, CBD is non-psychoactive“, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. “It actually blocks the high associated with THC”.
ONLY marijuana high in CBD has a medicinal value.
The idea of pot being used as a medicine is widely talked about. It almost seems to be a mission of Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Cable News Network Medical Consultant. There can be no rational debate as to whether or not pot has a medicinal value. The empirical data is absolutely unquestionable. This is especially true with pot treatment as it relates to certain types of pain control and seizure control. The same is also true for many other chronic diseases. It is a fact. Pot has the ability to favorably alter the quality of life for many individuals. These truths about pot are recognized, begrudgingly, by Health Canada. Also, they are even agreed with by the somewhat paranoid FDA, Food and Drug Administration in the United States.
By closing down those outlets that sell pot high in THC, as opposed to high in CBD, the Nanaimo RCMP is actually stopping them from stealing medicine from the sick. This is because those rogue outlets sell a fake cure. At the same time, they feed the coffers of criminals and criminal organizations.
Would you fill your prescriptions at a pharmacy which buys its medicine supplies from a criminal organization? Would you use medicine that is produced to give the exact opposite effects of what you need? The Nanaimo RCMP is trying to protect you from doing so.
So, the next time you want to get in the emotional argument about pot, you should know what you are talking about. Criminals are deeply involved in the sale of pot for recreational use [pot high in THC]. Accordingly, pot is mired in misery, steeped in violence and surrounded by death. From that standpoint alone, it is not a harmless drug. This criminal involvement is now an equal threat to the medical pot industry. Thus, if you ever hope to see medical pot gain wide acceptance in Canada, you need to regulate to whom pot outlets sell and from whom they buy.
The Nanaimo RCMP realizes that cross border trade in pot and guns fuels more crime here.
The various gangs smuggle their pot south of the border to the U.S. There they trade it for cocaine and weapons which they then smuggle back to Canada. They then sell the cocaine at a high profit margin because of the even trade, ounce for ounce, of BC bud for cocaine. This creates a very large profit margin.
Why the guns? They use those to control the drug trade.
These are the gangs that Stew Young’s policies have invited to Langford. They are being allowed to entrench themselves into that municipality because Stew keeps sending its citizens false hopes by challenging their presence with bylaw infractions. Instead, he should be working with other municipalities to institute a policing model that might actually succeed in staving off much of the coming violence there.
Gangs are seizing control of the medical marijuana industry
For at least the past year, I am personally aware that gangs have been actively buying up and/or otherwise taking over the licenses of individuals who have the right to grow pot for their own personal, medical use. By combining the yield from those licenses, and also by forcing individual licensees to grow more than they are permitted, these gangs are infiltrating and taking over the medical pot trade. Accordingly, they are converting what was originally a compassionate, but ill conceived program, into an organized criminal enterprise.
Gangs goals in the production of pot versus medical goals
Let us look at two simple, yet undeniable, facts:
- As we learned earlier, two of the main active properties of pot are THC, the psychoactive chemical that produces a high, and CBD, the chemical principally responsible for the physical, medical benefits thereof. Thus, the ideal strain of pot for medical use would be one low in THC and high in CBD.
- Far more individuals use pot for recreational purposes than use it for medical purposes.
Gangs, and we are talking about motorcycle gangs and gangs like the Red Scorpions, are in the business of maximizing their illegal profits. They don’t care that they create misery for society. To them it is simple math. Since by far, the largest number of pot buyers comes from the recreational users side of the spectrum, they produce without concerns for the medical side. Therefore the gangs produce and sell a pot strain high in THC, the psychoactive ingredient, and low in CBD, the physioactive and curative ingredient.
Thus, with gangs selling pot to the plethora of “supposed” medical pot dispensaries that sprout like weeds, and will continue to do so unless some sanity is brought to the medical pot industry, these dispensaries will be selling pot with the exact opposite properties of what is medically needed.
Do not fall for the ill-conceived argument that by closing down these outlets the RCMP is putting people out of business and costing people jobs. The RCMP is actually saving jobs. It is also ensuring that those who require medical pot will get what they pay for.
Sure, there will be some criminals on television and in the newspapers whining about losing their business and having to let people go. But the truth is that the Nanaimo RCMP realizes those outlets run illegal businesses. RCMP knows that these outlets cost those who choose to comply with the law to lose their jobs. Tilray is an example. Tilray is a federally licensed marijuana grower that doesn’t feed criminals and criminal organizations. It was one of Nanaimo’s largest employers. However, it was recently forced to lay off some 1/3 of its staff.
Tilray is leading supplier of medical pot. The news article quoted herein from CBC does not specify the illegal supplying of pot to its customer base. However, I have it on reliable inside information that that is precisely the reason for the layoffs cited in the news article. In fact, a careful reading of that news article certainly lends itself to such a conclusion. It says, “…serve patients and the MMPR [medical marijuana] market as it exists today…”
“One of Vancouver Island’s largest medical marijuana growing companies announced Thursday it is laying off 61 employees. Tilray opened its Nanaimo facility in 2014 and at its peak employed nearly 200 people, giving it a high profile as a major employer in the region.”
“The company insists the layoffs will not have any impact on the thousands of patients we serve”. “Tilray is making changes to our operating model to more efficiently serve patients and the MMPR market as it exists today,” Engel wrote.
“Tilray is well-capitalized and confident in our long-term business strategy, and we are operating more efficiently than ever before.“
Whether for or against the legalization of pot, you should be both concerned and alarmed at the proliferation of illegal pot outlets. It makes no difference whether they call themselves Compassion Clubs or whatever euphemistic terminology might be developed. They are illegal establishments which deal in a controlled substance. Their existence and the activist judges and municipalities who condone them are a large part of how and why marijuana threatens to destroy our youth. We must find the answer to safely navigating our medical marijuana dilemma.
Do you have any idea of the real costs to you of these illegal pot outlets?
- Conservatively, it costs about $120,000 a year to put an RCMP Member on the street. If you assume one Member could police three outlets, that means that three members would be required to police these ten outlets. That is $360,000 out of your pocket. These are dollars that could have gone to parks or schools.
- How many Nanaimo RCMP Members are required to monitor the crime that emanates from these outlets? There is no way to estimate that.
- What about the costs to you in lost tax revenue? Tilray will pay taxes. Motorcycle gangs and other criminals will not.
- What about the lost revenues as stores surrounding these illegal weed outlets lose customers and the areas surrounding them begin to deteriorate?
- What is the real cost of these pot shops funding criminals who then use their profits to fund even more illegal activities?
These outlets have already cost you tens of thousands of dollars, or more
Do you seriously think that the Nanaimo RCMP just decided to kick in doors with the hope that Crown Counsel would appreciate the evidence gathered? WAKE UP. Crown obviously approved these police actions in advance.
What happened here occurred only after weeks or even months of undercover surveillance. It required undercover buys and extensive consultations with Crown Counsel as to exactly what evidence might be required. We are talking about ten locations being surveilled over an extended period of time. This created extensive costs to do so.
Do you think Crown Counsel operates with no costs? What about the hours of depositions by Nanaimo RCMP? Have you considered the time they spend testifying in court?
I assure you that money was not spent without agreement between RCMP and crown.
Why would the Nanaimo RCMP hand out letters telling the pot dealers that they are committing a crime?
That one is simple. The first thing these dealers are going to say when they get to court is, “I didn’t think I was committing a crime…“. Or maybe they’ll say, “I didn’t know I was committing a crime…” In response, the Crown will hold up a copy of the letter given that individual. It will also show the sworn affidavit from an RCMP Member saying that he/she gave the dealer a copy of the letter. Then Crown will ask, “Didn’t you get a copy of this letter?” OOOPS, there goes the “I didn’t know” defense.
I have one last note to include from CTV
“At a recent meeting of the Union of B.C. Municipalities, cities voted in favour of a resolution to declare they have the authority to license dispensaries.” In other words, the cities gave themselves the right to violate federal laws. Hmm!