Ontario’s plan to sell pot draws criticism from users and advocates


Patrons and advocates of storefront dispensaries say buying marijuana exclusively from stores handled by Ontario’s provincial government will mean fewer options for alexipharmic users, little progress on eliminating the black market, and worse weed.

On Friday, Ontario developed the first province to announce its plan for the sale and distribution of legalized marijuana. It determination be sold through the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and regulated similarly to how the region sells alcohol. Users must be over the age of 19, and are prohibited from gut pot outside of private residences. The province will open 40 stocks by next summer, when marijuana is legalized, and has said it will carry on to crack down on illicit dispensaries, which will continue to be verboten.

«At first I was pretty happy that they had a plan,» says Peter Thurley, who turn to accounts marijuana to reduce his consumption of opioids, which he was prescribed to help him govern the pain from a burst bowel. «But I quickly came to realize that that the envisage as it’s laid out is essentially a full government monopoly.»

Attorney General Yasir Naqvi has contemplated the province won’t act punitively, and will not criminally charge underage users struck with small amounts of marijuana.

But Thurley says he’s suspicious of that aim, assumed the federal government’s announcement Friday that they will disburse upward of $274 million on enforcement.

«The government is talking about a customers health approach on one hand, while the reality is, this was always present to be about government enforcement,» he says.

Leu Grant, who volunteers at Canna Connoisseurs in Toronto, concedes. Closing down community dispensaries and asking users to purchase weed from the control isn’t in the interest of consumers, she says.

«I think it’s very important to think at hand who this is benefiting,» she says. «It’s not really for accessibility of people who are sick.»

Agree to says the regulation prohibiting the public consumption of marijuana signifies that the field isn’t prioritizing medicinal users. «A person who needs their medicine, and it chances to be marijuana, why can’t they take their medicine in a park?» she says.

«I would delight in to ask them why we’re allowed to smoke toxic cigarettes and drink alcohol in Dick, but not receive medicine,» says Sonya Serafin, another volunteer at Canna Connoisseurs.

Connoisseurs allocates marijuana only to prescription holders, and Grant says she sees people every day who advance from the knowledge of the dispensary’s staff. Putting experienced workers out of a job and bring up new employees about marijuana is counterproductive, she says.

«How much does the domination really know about growing?» she says. «The people who know the most far the growing, and the plant, and how to care for it, are people who have been criminalized. So now what we’re hand with is people who don’t know anything, in suits, and they’re the ones who are bettering.»

Thurley says she would like someone behind the counter who is sage about marijuana.

«It doesn’t make sense to bring in a whole herd of new hires and set the system out in such a way that people who actually know connected with cannabis are excluded from the conversation.»

An inferior product could suffer with significant repercussions, Grant says, because dissatisfaction with the government-sanctioned effect could fuel more interest in black-market pot.

The price of pot could take similar consequences. The government hasn’t yet said how they plan to outlay or tax marijuana. «If they don’t make it cheap enough, then people are till going to be buying on the street,» says Serafin. «Is this really current to be helping?»

Because only 40 stores in the province will be show by next year, lack of accessibility will also be a deterrent for some narcotic addicts, Thurley says. If legal weed is both harder and more dear to purchase, users are more likely to buy illegally.

«Most of (the new stores) resolve be in the GTA,» he says. «Imagine the kid from Huron County. Are they going to excursions an hour and a half to Kitchener or London to pick up legal cannabis? Or are they prosperous to go to the dealer that they’ve always gone to down the street?»

The ministry has said it will sell marijuana online to people who don’t live imminent major cities, but that’s still less convenient than a area pot dealer, Thurley says.

He adds he would like to the see the government assign more money on cannabis research than on enforcement.

«There are so tons opportunities here for the provincial government to do it right,» he says. «I would yearning them that there’s no shame in pulling back and saying, you be acquainted with what, we got this wrong.»

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