Medical Marijuana Dispensaries: Benefits of the “Canna Clinic” in Canada
Published on December 05, 2016
Within the past five years, many countries have either legalized or taken steps toward legalizing marijuana by decrimininalizing possession or permitting cannabis use and growing for medical purposes. Although marijuana is still illegal in Canada, it has been decriminalized and possession for small amounts is largely ignored.
This has led to the emergence of medical marijuana dispensaries in many large Canadian cities. Although there have been several busts - leading to closures - many Canadians feel that the presence of these dispensaries is actually hugely positive and beneficial for Canada as a whole.
The benefits of medical marijuana dispensaries or “Canna Clinics” are numerous. The most significant being the decrease in strain on the healthcare system, the natural alternative that medical marijuana offers to patients, and the reducing pressure on the criminal justice system.
Medical marijuana dispensaries have the potential to significantly diminish strain on the Canadian healthcare system. Cannabis can be used to treat a variety of different health conditions including pain, anxiety, mood disorders and sleeplessness.
Cannabis is also being studied as a form of cancer treatment and as a therapy for patients who suffer seizures. New members will be assessed by onsite healthcare professionals to determine whether they are in need of treatment. These professionals are also able to establish whether or not marijuana is a suitable therapy for their condition. This means that these patients will no longer require a doctor’s care. It will increase a doctor’s productivity, as well as reduce waiting times for both walk-in clinics and appointments with a family doctor. It will also cut costs to Health Canada by offering the consumer an alternative to medical intervention.
Also, there is currently no single company that holds a monopoly over the medical marijuana industry; so rival dispensaries must keep prices competitive in order to remain in business. This means that medical marijuana will remain an affordable treatment option for users.
While reducing strain and improving Canada’s already exceptional healthcare system, accessibility to medical marijuana offers a natural alternative to pharmaceutical drugs. While clearly necessary in some situations, pharmaceutical drugs have the potential to be over-prescribed, abused and can be harmful and addictive in the long run. This is especially concerning considering that this global news article reported that Canada was second only to the United States in teen deaths from prescription medication overdose, which they usually acquired by stealing from their parents.
While people may argue that the burning of marijuana in order to smoke it can be harmful to the lungs, dispensaries acknowledge this negative implication and offer many alternative ways of consuming cannabis including ingestion, topical application and vaporizing. With these alternate ways of consuming the product, the risks of using medical marijuana are negligible when compared with the risks of, for instance, long-term pain killer use or addiction to sleeping pills.
Cannabis has been called a “gateway drug” but, in fact, it has been found to be helpful in aiding people to kick other harmful addictions, such as alcohol, cocaine and prescription narcotics. Many Canadians find that marijuana is the only thing product that can ease their suffering and their symptoms and it is unethical to deny them this product or to drive them to criminal activity to obtain it.
Finally, access to medical marijuana through legal cannabis dispensaries helps reduce crime and lessens strain on our criminal justice system. Whether they have access to it legally or not, many Canadians smoke pot. Prohibiting the use of a substance doesn’t mean people will stop doing it, it just means that they will acquire it through illegal means.
Amsterdam is a great example; almost anything goes, but they have some of the lowest crime rates in Europe. The legal injection site in Vancouver is another great example. The benefit to society of operating this site is greater than the benefit of criminally prosecuting users. Legal access to medical marijuana through dispensaries means people know where to go to get pot and they aren’t meeting a potentially dangerous drug dealer in order to acquire their medication.
It also means that instead of funding criminal organization, cannabis users are supporting a local business owner, who not only pays business taxes, but also employs people. Medical marijuana dispensaries are also strict about age restriction. To become a member one must provide valid government photo I.D., meaning in Ontario, no one under 19 can use a dispensary. Drug dealers are much more lenient in this respect.
The standard of quality in a dispensary is also higher because there is accountability and a business is at stake if they provide consistently subpar product. Lastly, it means that police officers aren’t wasting their time arresting or imprisoning medical marijuana users, because it is being acquired through legal means. This breaks down the strain on our criminal justice system, ensures fewer people have a criminal record, and is a more productive use of our taxes.
In conclusion, “Canna Clinics” are an improvement to Canadian society. Not only do they provide a safe, legal, and trustworthy alternative to buying from a drug dealer, they also ensure a better society by making more productive use of police time and tax dollars. Medical marijuana offers a harm-reduced, natural substitute to potentially dangerous pharmaceutical drugs. Cannabis can help users shake much more destructive habits and in doing so reduces public nuisance. Finally, it improves the standard of medical care in Canada by having an alternate treatment plan. It also increases productivity for doctors by alleviating patient volume and cutting back wait times for treatment. Medical marijuana facilities are a benefit to our society and provide a much-needed product and service that is truly advantageous to everyone, from users to business owners to law enforcement and healthcare practitioners.