Saturday, March 11, 2017

On Medical and Recreational Marijuana.

Someone was telling me about medical marijuana. I’m a bit of a skeptic in terms of some of the claimed benefits.

It might reduce inflammation, it might kill pain or restore the appetite of someone wasting away from the nausea related to chemotherapy. The marijuana liquids may be of some use to those whose lungs are shot, and yet I strongly doubt that it has much ‘healing powers’. It’s not going to cure your cancer, in spite of stories on Facebook that claim otherwise. Corporate interests will be producing a product. Their claims for the efficacy of this drug aren’t very credible in my opinion, especially when it is presented as a be-all, cure-all sort of a product.

Nothing is ever simple, is it?

The legalization of marijuana for medical purposes is one aspect of an ongoing debate, the legalization or decriminalization is another.

If medical marijuana is a legitimate medical expense, then it will also be a legitimate medical deduction on your income taxes. The world really has changed, when people are saving their receipts for an income tax deduction. And if a person is a client of the Ontario Disability Support Program, at some point, one must expect that it will turn up in the ODSP Approved Drug Book, which all physicians in Ontario refer to when prescribing for clients of the ODSP. That’s because medications are expensive. ODSP clients are covered for the Ontario Hospital Insurance Plan, (OHIP), there are drug benefits, and there are also eye-glass and dental benefits. Simply put, doctors don’t want to prescribe something the patient can’t afford and probably won’t buy, and so they refer to the book. The other thing is, they're looking for generics, as the ODSP buys on price--hence the prevalence of bug-juice like Larazepam.

So, at some point, the ODSP will be buying medical marijuana for those who have been prescribed the drug. People’s insurance companies will be paying for medical marijuana.

Hospitals may have to dispense it to in-patients, and provide smoking areas, or more likely rely on the liquid forms of the drug.

If police pull over a vehicle and the driver has medical marijuana in their possession, and the proper medical license to show the officer, there’s not much they can do except make an assessment of the level of impairment. Does the car smell like smoke? Are they slurring their words, are the eyes all pink? What answers have they provided to certain basic questions? 

Did they seem evasive…are there other drugs or alcohol present? What about persons of minor age in the vehicle. The list goes on.

Many prescribed meds can lead to diminished capacity to operate motor vehicles and heavy machinery. If you are impaired, the marijuana might be legal—what you did with it may not be.

You can still get in trouble, you can still break the law, and presumably, you can still lose the license to consume medical marijuana. Attempting to enter another country where it is not legal will still be an offense in that country.


Some (or much) of the same holds true for the legalized or decriminalized use of recreational marijuana.

The day that recreational pot use is legalized, the typical corporate landlord will probably be sending all tenants a letter and a legal document. They will lay out a new set of rules (more accurately, the first set of rules), regarding the growing of recreational marijuana in their buildings. If tenants refuse to sign and return such a document, the landlord may very well initiate eviction proceedings. Because they know what you’re going to do, don’t they?

Bear in mind, you don't have to actually grow dope to get evicted. All you really have to do is refuse to sign the document.

Homeowners may have the legal right to grow four pot plants on their own property.

Proposed legislation states that it must not be visible to the public. If someone can see into your backyard and they see pot plants, you may very well get a visit from the police or by-law control officer.

This goes double for people that want to grow pot on the apartment balcony—it must not be visible from the street, presumably from other tenants’ balconies, and not easily accessible to children or underage persons.

Now, if you want to grow pot in the bedroom closet, imagine, if you will, how the landlord is going to enjoy paying the electricity bill on that. While some apartments have separate meters for each unit, many don’t.

The landlord already has the right of inspection. It’s in the typical lease.

With 24 hours notice, they can come in, inspect the smoke alarm, change the battery, etc. If you’ve given notice, they can inspect, or they can show it to prospects with proper notice.

In the future, staff will be using their noses. They’ll try and determine if you’re growing pot, ‘against the terms of the lease’. This is all no-brainer stuff and yet a lot of the more immature or irresponsible tenants will be inclined to take a chance. Landlords are just going to love the jury-rigged, lash-up electrical systems that will be used in some cases. Their insurance company won't like it much either.

They’re not going to like the smell of pot plants wafting through the entire building.

The pressure on the landlord to jack rents across the board will be considerable given that their electrical bills are going up, up, and up some more…

A simple little change in the law reveals a rat’s nest of further implications, all or most of which must be anticipated before the law can even be written.


Read this previous post on marijuana legalization in Canada.

Thank you for reading.

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