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Steaming Mad Over Cost Of Medical Weed


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Tony Beare shows off the 'Volcano' vapourizer he uses to vapourize the cannabinoids in his medically grown marijuana he needs to 'function normally'. The the Halifax man has a host of medical ills including kidney stones and severe bladder problems. (ERIC WYNNE / Staff)




Tony Beare would like to know where Health Canada is getting its weed.

And how come it’s getting its customers ripped off worse than a teenager buying their first gram.

The medical marijuana user’s logic goes like this:

If the black market price for a pound of illegally grown marijuana is about $2,000, then that works out to about $4.40 per gram.

Health Canada recently sent Beare a letter saying he will have to buy his marijuana from a private distributor licensed by the department at a cost of $8 to $12 per gram, plus shipping.

“Now if the guy growing it illegally in his basement or in the woods, with all the extra effort and costs that that entails, can sell it in bulk at a profit for under half the price, then why is it they need to charge so much?” said Beare.

“I’m one of the lucky ones because I have a decent income, and even I won’t be able to afford this increase to the cost of medication.”

Beare, who lives in Sambro, worked as a nurse for 21 years before a rare medical condition that has resulted in a shrinking bladder forced him to go on disability.

That was eight years ago.

He was urinating 120 to 150 times a day, and he has had 42 kidney stones since the onset of his condition.

“It was no life — just washroom, couch, washroom, couch,” said Beare, 55.

Two specialists and his family physician signed for him to get a prescription for medical marijuana. Smoking five grams a day has resulted, Beare said, in him urinating 60 to 90 times a day.

“So that at least lets me live a little bit,” said Beare.

“I recently went and sat through an entire movie without urinating. I can go visit my grandkids in New Brunswick.”

But that five grams a day, at $12 a gram plus shipping, will end up costing him about $2,700 a month, said Beare.

Under the previous incarnation of the marijuana medical access regulations, enacted in 2001 by Health Canada, Beare and all medical marijuana prescription holders were able to grow their own.

Beare estimates that during the coldest winter months, when his heating costs were highest, growing his own cost him about $400 a month. Plus, he enjoyed doing it.

As of March 31, subscription holders will have to buy medical marijuana from private growers licensed by Health Canada.

A Health Canada spokesperson pointed toward the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement created by the federal department when asked about why the changes are being made.

The statement, archived on Health Canada’s website on Dec. 15, 2012, points to security concerns heard by Health Canada over allowing people to grow their own marijuana.

“Their specific concerns relate to the potential for diversion of marijuana to the illicit market due to limited security requirements, the risk of violent home invasion by criminals attempting to steal marijuana, fire hazards due to faulty or overloaded electricity installation to accommodate high-intensity lighting for its cultivation, and humidity and poor air quality,” reads the statement.

The statement agrees with Beare that the greatest financial burden of the changes will be borne by users of medical marijuana who chose to grow their own.

That analysis assumes the cost to users would rise from $1.80 a gram to $8.80 per gram by 2014, resulting in a cumulative increased cost to all users of about $166.1 million annually. However, by getting out of the growing business and by reducing the administration costs of not having to monitor people growing for personal medicinal use, Health Canada will save about $149.8 million annually.

These savings, combined with the security concerns, justify the changes, states Health Canada.

Beare wants to know why Health Canada, if it is so concerned about security, would notify medical marijuana users through a letter that stated their status on the envelope where anyone could see.

He said the result is that criminals may find out Canada Post will be delivering medical marijuana to particular homes.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” said Beare.


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Phucking prohibitionists will never let it go. If they can't stop marijuana by spreading outrageous lies and keeping it illegal, they will resort to regulating it and pricing it out of reach for people.


These are some really stupid people who depend on their "feelings" to make decisions. Religion is to blame for a lot of the anti-reason attitude extant in society these days.

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