Thursday, 13 February 2014

What did Health Canada expect?

What did Health Canada expect?

A few bad apples in the friendly city of Woodstock are giving a bad name to legitimate medicinal marjuana grow-ops after an explosion detroyed a home known to have a licence to produce pot.

Four people have been charged with drug offences following the fire on Alberta Ave last weekend. While still unconfirmed, the house was a legal grow-op. (I believe authorities are withholding this fact to use as evidence in the case.)

Under the licence to grow marijuana for medicinal puposes:

"A person is eligible to be issued a designated-person production licence only if the person is an individual who ordinarily resides in Canada and who
  • (a) has reached 18 years of age; and
  • (b) has not been found guilty, as as adult, within the 10 years preceding the application, of
    • (i) a designated drug offence, or
    • (ii) an offence committed outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would have constituted a designated drug offence."
      And further if the proposed production site is not owned by the applicant, a declaration dated and signed by the owner of the site consenting to the production of marihuana at the site.

      The legislation also stipulates the number of plants you can grow and amount of dried MJ you can store on your property. However, what it doesn't stipulate is any type of regular inspection of the premises or production methods.

Here's your free pass to grow pot. See you in a year when you renew.

There is a certain level of risk growing and producing marijuana. Should that not be assessed when issuing licences, especially in densley residential areas. The home on Alberta was known by Woodstock Hydro as an "approved high consumption" location. If an illegal grow-op is a safety concern for authorities, then why isn't a legal one?

Maybe Health Canada should have required regular mandatory inspections by local authorities? Fire Departments do regular inspections on numerous other facilities, require fire safety plans etc. It's a matter of prevention. Legislation should have reflected this.

Perhaps if this location had been inspected, they would have found evidence of some illegal production/activity... (although cause is unconfirmed, it is widely accepted hash oil was being produced out of this home).

And what did Health Canada expect... you give out meatless licences to produce marijuana to people in residential areas and think they will ALL stick to the rules.

We are scruitizized more over obtaining our driver's licences!

This week a public education campaign encouring students to clear snow from fire hydrants was shot down because of safety concerns. We worry more about the liability of that, than that our neighbours are given a relatively unregulated pass to grow an illegal substance.

I know there are legitimate medicinal marijuana growers and users (I know one personally) and I think they should have access to medicinal marijuana. And with proper inspections and "check-ins", production should be permitted.

These suspects (allegedly) abused their licencing priveledges and were doing far more than producing dried marijuana, but will undoubtably shed a black shadow over all - legitimate producers.

In addition to those charged, I think Health Canada was also irresponsible in handing out production licences in the first place... and to individuals living in residential areas. While I am not entirely sure of the details, I believe it is more difficult to secure a registration certificate to produce raw leaf tobacco -- a controlled, but legal - subtance in Canada.

Thankfully, tighter restrictions are coming.

"The Marihuana Medical Access Program ends on March 31, 2014. This is also the date that all Authorizations to Possess, Personal-Use Production Licences and Designated-Person Production Licences expire. As of April 1, 2014, the only legal access to marihuana for medical purposes will be through licensed producers under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, even if you have an authorization to possess or a licence to produce that has a later date.
Effective October 1, 2013, to comply with recent changes to the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations, Health Canada is no longer accepting the following types of applications:
  • Applications for new Personal-Use Production Licences and Designated-Person Production Licences;
  • Applications to increase the number of plants associated with a licence to produce; and
  • Applications to change the production site address associated with a licence to produce."

Either way, the Criminal Code still states it is illegal.

Some other questions came to mind while reading and hearing the rumours surrounding this residence. Neighbours suspected it was a "drug house" . Different people were often seen coming and going. One person said cars had been smashed in the driveway.

Had these concerns been reported to police? If it was on the radar of the residents in the neighbourhood, was it under police radar? If so, it's unfortunate there was not enough evidence to allowlawful entry to the home.

Again, another negligent fire could have been prevented. Our emergency responders would not have been put at risk... and an innocent dog would not have died.

***My opinions are mine alone and do not represent any organization or place of employment I am associated with.  I do not pretend to know everything. I believe there is a story behind every story and information I am not privy to, nor know at this time.

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