Article by Mike Hager, The Globe and Mail
Medical cannabis patients are urging the federal government to make marijuana more affordable by encouraging insurers to cover it and dropping the sales tax once it is legalized.
Earlier this week, 15 patients from across Canada spoke with four members of the government’s legalization task force about how medical cannabis helps them with a variety of ailments. They told the panel that the cost of medical marijuana often causes financial hardship, according to event facilitator Hilary Black, founder of Vancouver’s oldest dispensary and current director of patient services at the licensed commercial grower Bedrocan.
The event was sponsored by the Arthritis Society, Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana and the Canadian AIDS Society, and attended by patients from different backgrounds, including a police officer, a veteran, and a woman whose epileptic son uses cannabis, said Ms. Black.
The nine-member task force, led by former justice minister Anne McLellan, must submit its final report next month and so far has met youth and experts in relevant fields such as health care, substance abuse, criminal justice, law enforcement, economics and the legal and illegal production of cannabis.
But it hadn’t yet talked directly with patients until Tuesday, Ms. Black said.