Article by Kyle Duggan, iPolitics
Toronto’s board of health is asking the Trudeau government to change medical marijuana rules so pharmacies can dispense pot to patients.
The pitch is aimed in part at deterring people from going to illegal dispensaries, which have spread across Toronto over the past year.
The board passed a motion this week telling the federal health and justice ministers that the government should allow pharmacies to dispense medical marijuana with the “intent of providing patients with improved care and safety, and providing municipalities, including Toronto, with needed support in addressing issues associated with illegal dispensaries so often posing as legitimate medical operations.”
Under current Health Canada regulations, medical marijuana can only be distributed by mail.
The motion was prompted by Eglinton-Lawrence Councillor Christin Carmichael Greb, who said in a letter that police in Toronto are “struggling to manage the real danger of illegal dispensaries” and that immediate reforms are needed.
“As more and more of these criminal operations open, patients and residents are increasingly confused and put at risk,” it reads.
Parkdale-High Park Councillor Sarah Doucette said this week that patients probably wouldn’t “completely stop” going to dispensaries if Ottawa lifted the prohibition on marijuana sales through pharmacies, but it would help speed up access so patients don’t have to wait for days to get their cannabis through the mail.