It must have been weird for a Conservative cabinet minister to push for “clinical trials” and “scientific evidence” but I guess when the choice is between the Supreme Court of Canada and government scientists, Health Minister Rona Ambrose chose the lesser of two evils. In another loss to the government in their dealings with the Supreme Court, a unanimous decision by the Justices has opened the door medical marijuana users to be lawfully allowed to ingest their medicine in other forms like edibles.
The case stemmed from the 2009 arrest of Owen Smith, the head baker for the Cannabis Buyers Club of Canada, who was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and possession for the purpose of trafficking. The police busted his apartment and found pot infused olive oil and cookies. After a victory by Smith, a B.C. appeals court gave the federal government a whole year to remove one word – “dried” – from Marihuana Medical Access Regulations, but instead the government thought they’d try their hands at the Supreme Court to get that appeals court decision overturned all together, a maneuver that’s had absolutely no success for them so far.
After the Court’s ruling was announced, Ambrose went on damage control. “So frankly, I’m outraged by the Supreme Court,” she said. “We have this message that normalizes a drug where there is no clear clinical evidence that it is, quote-unquote, a medicine.”
The bad news for Ambrose is that pot is getting quote-unquote normalized without the help of what I’m sure she’s calling in private quote-unquote activist courts. When a reporter suggested that perhaps marijuana should be put through the rigorous testing that Ambrose suggested, she said, “That’s not my job as health minister. If there is clinical evidence, and a company decided to submit it to the regulatory approval process then it would be looked at. But that has never happened.”
Ambrose tied to turn it around by going into Helen Lovejoy mode and making it about the children, and won’t someone think of the children, and then she made it political by saying, “The larger issue is that come October 19th, during our election, we are going to have a choice. This is what we’re looking at, we’re looking at a society, like in Vancouver now, where we have more pot dispensaries than Starbucks locations.”
For the record, their are 49 Starbucks locations in Vancouver according to the coffee shop’s website. According to BNN, the number of dispensaries is 93. Of course, if you type “Coffee and Tea” into Yelp Vancouver, you’ll get nearly 10,000 results, which suggests that Vancouver has a much bigger caffeine problem than pot problem, but I doubt Ambrose is worried about the kids drinking a double-double.
Check out Ambrose’s scrum below courtesy of the Pot TV YouTube page.