Police suspect that med licenses are being used to sell marijuana.
According to a recently published article in the Regina Leader Post, police suspect that citizens are abusing the medical marijuana licensing program by using it to produce marijuana and selling it on the black market. The police are concerned that people with criminal records are obtaining these licenses and that it is encouraging the criminal behavior to repeat.
To obtain a license to grow marijuana however, a criminal record check is mandatory unless you are growing the marijuana for yourself.
Many criminal charges root from marijuana possession or trafficking, but it is often the result of not obtaining the license in due time.
For example, citizens who suffer from severe back pain often use marijuana for years before they are even aware that they can be using the herb legally. This means years of illegally purchasing and possessing it for a completely legitimate reason. Many of these people weren’t be lucky enough to get through those years without at least one confrontation with police, often leading to a drug conviction. One possession charge can redirect the path of their life dramatically, be it through lost job opportunities or traveling opportunities. It also prevents them from legally growing marijuana for at least 10 years, even for a fellow citizen who has been prescribed it.
When someone gets sick, their right to good health should not be jeopardized by past drug convictions. If they have been prescribed marijuana by their physician, they should also have the right to produce their own medicine, despite potential past history of possessing what may now be considered their medicine.
When someone is looking to be a designated grower, but has countless drug trafficking charges and convictions, it seems the license could be a “home-free” card to continue the illegal trade. These people however, are denied the ability to grow for someone else for at least 10 years after the last drug charge because the likelihood of repeating black market trade is high, especially because they don’t personally need the product they are growing. The mandatory criminal record check is then exercised and unless these citizens are growing for themselves, they are in a “10-year time-out” of the marijuana grow game.
With every government program, there are bound to be people who abuse it. There ability to abuse it is reflected by the structure of the program. Because the medical marijuana program is a grey area in itself, many are tempted to push the boundaries. Marijuana is sought out on the black market and in the medical community, drawing a fine line between it being legal and illegal. This makes it very difficult to control or distinguish who can legally possess it and who can’t , and the constant demand from the medical community and the black market makes distribution almost effortless for those seeking to sell.
The drug laws revolving around marijuana has torn up many families, friends and even communities through break and entries, house raids, drug charges, arrests and prison sentences. The herb itself has proven to have medical benefits for countless conditions and has never directly killed anyone. Despite the concern of illegal distribution by those abusing the medical marijuana program, the potential that the herb has to harm most people is very small, and is without a doubt far less harmful than legal products sold everyday across the country such as alcohol and cigarettes, which appear to have little to no medical benefits at all.
Despite concern for citizens abusing the medical marijuana program, the harm rooted from this theory remains minute. Designated growers must be free of drug related charges for at least 10 years before they acquire their license and someone growing for their own quality of life has that human right.
Law enforcement would undoubtedly benefit from educating citizens while they are young in regards to marijuana use and the medical marijuana program to prevent unnecessary drug charges from happening in the first place. Those with interest in growing would be given the proper avenues to do it legally and legitimately, providing medical users an avenue for acquiring safe access to legal cannabis.
The medical marijuana program has potential to discourage criminal activity by allowing people to legally grow marijuana and others to legitimately possess and use it. It encourages people to get legal with their medications and is overall a very positive thing for our country.
Focusing on the few citizens who may abuse the program and blaming the program is like focusing on the crooked policeman for abusing his power and blaming it on the police force as a whole. One rotten apple does not mean the apple tree is a bad thing, but instead perhaps that the bad apples sometimes get mixed up in the bunch and need to be filtered out with time.
The program as a whole, helps citizens improve their quality of life. The potential for criminal activity is through the result of the mixing of the legal and illegal aspects of marijuana.
Instead of re-considering the program’s role in supporting black market trade, perhaps marijuana’s role in our drug laws and society could be reconsidered, as the re-scheduling of it could potentially benefit more citizens than it’s classification currently does.
It is time to recognize the black market trades as symptoms of a bigger problem and to begin treating the real roots of the problems, instead of these symptoms.
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