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Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Further Useless Enterprise: The Proposed Medical Marihuana Amendments

January 8, 2013
With all of the known damage that Carbons are doing to the climate, I'd like to suggest that the time has come for us to limit what I call Further Useless Enterprise, or in other words, manufacturing businesses that serve no productive purpose but the creation of wealth for their owners.  As I alluded to last week, we have enough environmentally damaging transport truck traffic as it is serving our existing commercial businesses, we don't need any more.  What we need, instead, is tougher sanctions on who can open up production businesses and why. 

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That's where limitations on Further Useless Enterprise would come in.  Before being granted a license to open production businesses that manufacture items, companies would have to pass a certain 'usefullness rating' to prove that what they want to produce is actually necessary in terms of Earth's sustainability, because at this point anything that isn't useful merely speeds us up in the race to the end of the resources.
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The Canadian Government's proposed Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), open  for public comment until Feb. 28 2013, is a document that details the needless creation of one such enterprise.  I put a link below to the incredibly long and nearly impossible to find page of the Canada Gazette where the MMPR is published in full, but for now, let me give you the highlights:
Under the current legislation, people that have been given approval to use cannabis for medical reasons (predominantly cancer or chronic pain paitients) can apply for licenses to either grow their own plants or designate a person to grow for them.  Until now, this has been a surprisingly self sufficient policy on the Government's part, in that the people who actually need and use the product produce it for themselves with no packaging or shipping involved.  It's no wonder the Government is in such a hurry to amend it.  What the MMPR wants to do is take that system away and have them purchase the substance - at a whopping five times the current price - from companies.  They want to make medical marihuana into a production enterprise, with all the shipping, packaging, facility-building, and resource burning that entails.  The MMPR states that "The analysis assumes a price increase from an estimated $1.80/g to $5.00/g in the status quo to about $7.60 in 2014, rising to about $8.80/g with a corresponding average annualized loss to consumers due to higher prices of approximately $166.1million per year for 10 years."

To rephrase that paragraph in layman's terms, users of medical marihuana are generally on the 'bottom rung' of financial status.  Many are too ill to work.  They are living on the income from their benefits, and the government proposes to take ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SIX MILLION dollars from them over the next ten years and give it to commercial businesses.

The MMPR claims three so-called reasons for doing this: indoor grow ops are fire hazards, they are mould producers, and the threat of violent home invasion to steal the goods exists to users.  Because of these risks, the MMPR states that patients are better off purchasing their supply from companies.
The report also comments that if medical marihuana continues to be grown on residential properties, lawmakers are concerned that it will make it's way into the illicit market.  I argue that if companies grow the product, that risk still exists.  If I was a criminal intent on stealing someone's medical marihuana, I think the onerous nature of waiting until their crop is ready, breaking in, stealing X number of large and heavy plants, bringing them home, cutting and drying the bud and disposing of the evidence would be a far greater deterrent to my crime than merely waiting around their front porch until the neatly dried and portioned package shows up from the growing company and running off with it.  Yoink! 

In December, the CBC published a statistic that in 2011 in the province of B.C. alone, around 3000 people were convicted of marihuana possession offences, which in turn cost the Canadian taxpayer God knows how much to patrol for, arrest, process through the court system, and incarcerate these people.  If the government would just simply release the ban on marihuana, (apart from the stipulation of growing it inside if that's so important to them), since after all even they  have acknowledged it to have medical benefit, all of that expense to the taxpayer would be eliminated.  They could take all of that taxpayer money and release it back into the incessantly cut public services like health care and education, institutions that are actually important to Canadians. Doing so would eliminate the need for indoor grow ops, since if everyone could grow it, the price would fall so that indoor grow ops would not be worth the effort.
 
For the purposes of Self Sufficiency, if there is a plant that I can grow myself that produces a pain-relieving effect, I would like the option to grow it.  It might just eliminate the need to purchase plastic encapsulated, chemically derived OTC pain medications, and think of all the little money bags THAT would take off of the up escalator of capitalism, not to mention how many transport trucks it would take off the roads.
One final thought: Canada is still technically a democracy, although the Harper government often makes that difficult to notice.  If you're going to open up a substance to be grown for profit by commercial businesses, then why continue to keep it illegal for the individual?  Doesn't seem fair to me.

If you would like to read the proposed MMPR regulations, you'll find them here:
http://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2012/2012-12-15/html/reg4-eng.html

and here:
http://hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/marihuana/future-avenir/index-eng.php

If you would like to give the government your opinion on the subject, you can do so before February 28, 2013 by email at:        consultations-marihuana@hc-sc.gc.ca



Vegetable Patch Update
WP_002064.jpgThe Strawberry seeds had a kind of disappointing performance as far as germination goes.  I only got one tiny sprout.  It's tough to see in the picture, but it's there.  However, I took it, and the remainder of the moistened seeds as well, and sowed them in a repurposed yogurt container with holes punched in the bottom and set it in the window sill.  I don't know if this is the appropriate method or not, all I can do is hope for the best. 


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Sandwiches All the Way
Thanks Jackie, for your comment, and yes, you're right, I do intend to cost out the price of the lunches that I send from home and subtract them from the total spent last year.  Last week's lunches, however, were leftovers from the turkey dinner that I made on New Year's Day, so as far as a cost figure that I could reasonably arrive at, it's hard to do in that I would have spent the money on the turkey, etc. regardless.  For fairness's sake, I'll cost each meal of leftovers at $2.50, and since he only worked two days, that makes for a total of $19. 77 that we saved over the course of week one.  For week two, his total spent was $34.16.  Stay tuned next week fo the results of the savings once we cost out what he's had.

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