Con­sider ban on grow­ing pot in homes: B.C. doc­tors’ group

Times Colonist - - Front Page - AMY SMART

Doc­tors of B.C. is ask­ing the provin­cial gov­ern­ment to con­sider ban­ning in­di­vid­u­als from grow­ing recre­ational pot at home when it be­comes le­gal in July.

The group was one of more than 130 stake­hold­ers of­fer­ing feed­back to the B.C. gov­ern­ment as part of its con­sul­ta­tion on cannabis reg­u­la­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion. The va­ri­ety of sub­mis­sions points to the com­plex de­ci­sions gov­ern­ment faces.

Doc­tors of B.C. pro­vided a list of “con­sid­er­a­tions” since there isn’t enough ev­i­dence to make strong a rec­om­men­da­tion, said pres­i­dent-elect Dr. Eric Cadesky. “There isn’t a con­sen­sus amongst doc­tors. The feed­back we got con­tained many dif­fer­ent points of view.”

He said that’s be­cause there are no clear guide­lines on how to safely grow and use cannabis.

Un­der fed­eral Bill C-45, adults would be al­lowed to grow up to four cannabis plants per house­hold. Doc­tors of B.C. cited a Cana­dian Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion rec­om­men­da­tion that iden­ti­fied po­ten­tial health risks with home cul­ti­va­tion, such as high hu­mid­ity and tem­per­a­tures, risk of fire and pes­ti­cide use. Chil­dren might also have ac­cess to the plants and there’s a lack of qual­ity con­trol for po­tency.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment has set July 1 as the date for mar­i­juana le­gal­iza­tion and it’s up to prov­inces to fig­ure out how it will be reg­u­lated and dis­trib­uted in each prov­ince.

That means de­ter­min­ing mat­ters such as le­gal age for con­sump­tion, pos­ses­sion lim­its, home cul­ti­va­tion rules and who will be al­lowed to sell mar­i­juana.

B.C. So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral Mike Farn­worth has said the gov­ern­ment won’t have any word on reg­u­la­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion mod­els be­fore the spring ses­sion of the leg­is­la­ture.

The B.C. As­so­ci­a­tion of Mu­nic­i­pal Chiefs of Po­lice is ask­ing for more fund­ing to sup­port train­ing for drug-recog­ni­tion ex­perts and field so­bri­ety test­ing for cannabis-en­force­ment teams and a seed-to-sale in­spec­tion strat­egy.

The po­lice as­so­ci­a­tion also rec­om­mends pric­ing that is com­pet­i­tive with the black mar­ket, set­ting the con­sump­tion age at 19 years and cre­at­ing penalty struc­tures for pub­lic con­sump­tion sim­i­lar to al­co­hol.

It says only li­censed com­mer­cial pro­duc­ers should be al­lowed grow it.

The B.C. Phar­ma­cists As­so­ci­a­tion wants the prov­ince to crack down on the use of the word “dis­pen­saries,” for non-medic­i­nal pot shops. Only fa­cil­i­ties with a phar­ma­cist should be able to dis­trib­ute medic­i­nal mar­i­juana, it said.

“B.C.’s com­mu­nity phar­ma­cists be­lieve our prov­ince is in a unique po­si­tion re­gard­ing the en­trenched and far-reach­ing pres­ence of ‘medic­i­nal’ cannabis re­tail­ers. Un­like other prov­inces, where the ap­pear­ance of cannabis ‘dis­pen­saries’ has been rel­a­tively re­cent, B.C. has had pot re­tail­ers for many years in sig­nif­i­cant num­bers,” the phar­ma­cists as­so­ci­a­tion said.

“We are strongly of the view that B.C. has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to ad­vo­cate for a speed­ier time­line to im­ple­ment a widely ac­ces­si­ble medic­i­nal cannabis pro­gram through le­git­i­mate phar­ma­cies,” it said.

Land­lordBC said it is con­cerned about the con­sump­tion and grow­ing of recre­ational mar­i­juana in rental units. The or­ga­ni­za­tion says smok­ing mar­i­juana should be banned wher­ever to­bacco is banned and that land­lords should have the power to ban it. Grow­ing mar­i­juana should be banned in multi-unit dwellings and rented dwellings of any size, it said.

Land­lordBC is con­cerned that grow­ing recre­ational pot at home could cre­ate safety haz­ards be­cause of elec­tri­cal over­load­ing and ex­cess hu­mid­ity, might bother other ten­ants with the strong smell and cre­ate po­ten­tial li­a­bil­i­ties for land­lords.


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