Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Prohibition Promotes Predator Pricing



I never wanted to be legal.  I always thought that putting my name and address on a list that Heir Harper could see, was crazy.  In fact, when I recently met my new Doctor, I told him that I would never ask him to sign for me.  I said that I didn't want to be legal until everyone was legal ... as in full Cannabis legalization.

But my opinion has changed.

The Supreme Court of Canada recently ruled that legal Cannabis users MUST be allowed to grow their own medicine.  That's a big deal.  Depending on how much of these dried plant flowers you consume in a day, the costs can be choking.  For instance, it's said that the average legally prescribed dose is 5 grams per diem.  

The math:

5 grams x 30 days = 150 grams per month

If the average price per gram (through LP or green-thumbed friend) is $7 then ....

$7 x 150 grams = $1050 per month

**if you're buying through a Licensed Producer, you're also paying tax and shipping.

Now before you start ranting about how that's too much Cannabis per week or month, realize that many patients do not necessarily smoke those flowers.  Many of us make other medicines out of them. Let's just say that when it comes to converting this plant product into medicine, the ratios are similar to sap and maple syrup:  it takes a shitload of sap to make a pancake's worth of syrup and it takes a shitload of dried flowers to make medicinal oils, butters, tinctures, and baked goods.

The past few months have been rough for me.  I have depression that doesn't respond well to pharmaceuticals.  It responds well to cannabinoids though, pulling me out of the cyclical negative chatter in my brain.  But because of prohibition, lack of societal education, and capitalism, many people still smoke their flowers.  It's the cheapest way to get the cannabinoids in and get them working.  I'd like to be getting even more cannabinoids in my system by way of a vaporizer but I can't afford one of those.  I'm eager to medicate my blues with whole plant cannabis oil too, but the moolah isn't available for that much sap ... er flowers.  

Speaking of those flowers, there are a few hundred different strains of this flowering plant and more being bred every day.  Each one has a unique cannabinoid profile with differing amounts of healing cannabinoids like THC, CBD, CBC, CBN, and the list goes on.  Each of these compounds assists the body in some way via our already existing endocannabinoid system.  Legal growers grow the strains to treat their ills or the ills of the patients they're growing for.  But I don't have that luxury.  I take what I can get and save my seeds for someday.  

What if that someday could be sooner rather than later?  What if I got legal too?

You see, prohibition creates and promotes predatory pricing that could rival the greed of even douche-bag Martin Shkreli who raised the price of his company's HIV pill $736 PER PILL. Prohibition and restrictions on growing raise the price astronomically for those of us who use Cannabis daily. After equipment and seeds or clones are purchased, many legal growers boast a cost of mere dollars per gram.  One friend says she grows her medicine for 50 cents per gram. 
Let's do that math shall we?

.50 x 150 grams = $75 per month

Do you see what I'm saying?  The mark-up on this product is huge!  By simply legalizing this plant and giving its users the same respect we give tobacco users, we'd be saving ourselves so much money! When the Liberals implement the regulations for growing, as instructed by the supreme court decision, legal patients could pay their rent with the money they'll save each month.  That would leave a lot of extra spending money so we could help build that sacred economy.  

To speak plainly, it's disgusting how much we pay for Cannabis.  It's so valuable that it's being traded on the stock market, or at least some of its legal growers like Tweed are.  That's gross isn't it? While children with Dravet's and Epilepsy die around us because the plant that helps them remains illegal, players in the stock market can line their pockets trading stocks in the medicine that could save them.

And for those of us wanting to catch a buzz, $10 will get us 4 tall boy beers or 1 measly gram of cannabis, enough for 3 modest joints.  To save money, those beer and even wine drinkers can brew their own at home, but they can't grow this plant.  It's a complete double-standard and it's harming society as day after day we educate ourselves via google and choose the safer option. The fact that we pay so much more for weed than we pay for booze is thanks to prohibition.  

Legalize it please.  Legalize cannabis for me and for every person who has asked me where to get Rick Simpson Oil.  Legalize it for the children and the parents fighting for their lives from diseases that Cannabis treats.  Legalize it for the addicts who don't want to be on methadone forever. Legalize it for the chronic pain sufferers who don't want to feel drugged out anymore.  Legalize it for the Veterans we said we'd take care of.  Legalize it to set precedence that science trumps financial or political gain. 

And finally, legalize it for that enormous part of our country that still believes in personal rights and freedoms.