The legalization of marijuana has provided all Canadians with open access to cannabis. As such, many are wondering what will become of the medical marijuana system that preceded legalization. In September, Health Canada announced that the program would continue to operate, but will be reviewed within 5 years. This statement has led to conflicting opinions among those who wish to see the system abolished, and those who would like to see it continue to operate.

 

Those Opposed to The System

Those opposed to the continuation of the medical marijuana system argue that the tax burden of keeping the system in place is too heavy, especially considering that medical patients can simply purchase marijuana from recreational dispensaries. Moreover, analysts expect that the number of patients seeking prescriptions for marijuana will dwindle. This is mostly because anyone who wants to try treating their medical condition with cannabis can now do so without a prescription. Moreover, even if marijuana is recommended or prescribed by a doctor, it no longer has to be purchased from a medical supplier.

 

Is The System Necessary?

Some analysts also believe that medical marijuana numbers have been bolstered by recreational users seeking to get their hands on marijuana through the medical system. Many expect that demand for medical marijuana will plummet after legalization when Canadians will no longer have to game the medical system in order to have access to legal marijuana.

In addition, many doctors are still hesitant to prescribe medical marijuana. Canadian marijuana researchers are committed to gaining a better understanding of the possible benefits and consequences of smoking marijuana. Earlier this year, the Canadian Medical Association, an organization that represents doctors in Canada, released a statement urging the government to cancel the medical marijuana system due to doctor concerns about the safety of smoking cannabis. In response, Health Canada has decided to continue operating the system while committing a significant investment into the health implications of smoking weed.

Many Canadians still see a need for the medical marijuana system. Most recently, massive stock shortages in legal dispensaries all across Canada have affected not just recreational consumers, but medical patients as well. Licensed producers have been successfully tempted by the profit opportunity of the recreational market and have diverted their stock towards recreational dispensaries. As a result, many medical marijuana dispensaries are running out of stock and are unable to provide their patients with the medicine they desperately need. In response, the director of the Cannabis Council of Canada, an organization that represents over 85% of licensed producers, has stated the organization’s commitment to diverting stock back towards medical patients within the coming weeks. This development underscores the importance of having a well-regulated medical marijuana system that is capable of providing medical patients with access to medicine.

Access to medical marijuana products is the main reason why proponents of the system want to see it continue operating. Earlier this year, the Canadian Nurses Association threw its support behind the medical marijuana system in an attempt to ensure that all Canadians who are in need of medical marijuana have access to it whenever they may need it. They have been joined in their support by numerous public researchers and patient advocates who want to ensure that Canadians are able to access top notch health-care at all times, especially since they pay for it through their taxes. As a result, we can expect to see the system continue to operate for at least another 5 years.

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