Medical Marijuana Users Concerned About Effects of Canada’s Legalization Plans

For decades the war has been fought on the streets and in the courtroom, with the result being chronically ill patients winning the to use Cannabis as medicine.  Now with the impending legalization of recreational cannabis the medical MJ community wants to make sure they are no losing ground in the face of progress on other fronts of the fight for overall legalization.

The biggest concern comes from how taxation will effect pricing.

A government group tasked with creating a framework for legalizing and regulating cannabis published its report in November 2016. Among the suggestions is that medical marijuana be taxed equally with recreational use.

“People who are quite sick, who have not found relief elsewhere, to force them to pay potentially premium taxation on these products—for doctor-prescribed medicine—doesn’t make any sense,” says Ronan Levy, lawyer and director of Canadian Cannabis Clinics.

Jonathan Zaid agrees. Director of Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana, he says it’s unfair medical cannabis be subject to taxes, despite tax code exemptions for prescription drugs. “Patients need measures to help with affordability,” he adds, pointing out that even now many struggle to afford it.

While the recommendations suggest keeping medical users’ needs in mind as legalization proceeds, it will be up to patients, advocates, and the public to make sure it happens.

full story: