The Politics of Medical Marijuana: An Upcoming Look at Canadian Political Party Platforms

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The Politics of Medical Marijuana: An upcoming look at Canadian Political Party Platforms

 -with Respect to the 2015 Canadian Federal Election.

The 2015 Canadian Federal Election quickly approaches and the future of Canadian Politics will soon become a place for debate, election promises, justification of platforms and pandering for votes from Canadian’s across the country. This election season there is a new topic of concern that is being pushed to the forefront, and it is one that some find quite controversial. The coming election season in Canada involves platforms from the three most popular parties which involve divided opinions upon the management of a plant that the Federal Government considers dangerous and addicting, but are they wrong to make such claims?

Marijuana, (or Marihuana as written in Canadian legislation) has become a major divisor in political stance due to its recent legalization in Colorado and Washington during the past year which has changed the landscape for the management and perception of marijuana. The Progressive Conservative party of Canada  (PC) presently holds a majority government, led by Stephen Harper, and in recent years has strengthened the laws around marijuana by making them harsher for those convicted. The New Democratic Party of Canada, led by Thomas Mulcair, seems to support the idea of decriminalization of marijuana which would remove many of the legal consequences of possessing marijuana and using marijuana. Lastly, the Liberal Party of Canada, headed by Justin Trudeau lists the legalization of marijuana and the development of regulations for selling marijuana similar to alcohol sales in Ontario – under the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) which regulates the sale of alcohol.

Upcoming ElectionThe time is nearing where political interests will take hold and the opportunity to vote will fall upon Canadians. Presently, medical marijuana is legally accessible to patients who qualify for the MMPR program which Health Canada must regulate (regardless of their stance on the subject). Health Canada itself does not consider medical marijuana as a medicine or having any particular medical use, and because of this it restricts the Licensed Producers within the program to their limited grasp of the subject rather than allowing for thorough investigation or….scientific inquiry. Imagine – the branch of Canadian Government that manages the activity of Health related subjects in Canada lacks a liberal background on scientific investigation, inquiry and development.

Whether or not you support the current political party in charge of Canada or another I strongly urge investigation into the topics that greatly effect Canadian lives on a greater scale. To put this in perspective 1 in 100 Canadians suffers from seizures, which equates to approximately 351,600 Canadians, yet the Government does not see a legal need to investigate the potential for seizure-reducing effects in relation to marijuana (medical or otherwise)  Source.

The Federal election for 2015 will be close and I urge all Canadians to vote and to consider how the medical community could potentially benefit from changes in regulation of marijuana.

 

Alexander Watchurst