Community should support Pheonix Pain Management Society

4,500 people in Parksville Qualicum Beach signed Sensible B.C. petition to legalize cannabis in the province last year

Re: ‘Police say dispensary is illegal,’ Jan. 20 edition of The NEWS.

I am an organizer for Sensible B.C. in Parksville-Qualicum Beach. Forty five hundred people in Oceanside signed the Sensible B.C. petition initiative to legalize cannabis in B.C. last year and we had conversations with adults from every demographic who support changing the legal status of cannabis.

Polls show more than 65 per cent of Canadians support legalizing or decriminalizing cannabis and those numbers are higher for medical use. We heard from people frustrated that cannabis medicines weren’t more readily available and at the waste of police resources.

Statistics show that in states with medical cannabis, teen use goes down, traffic fatalities go down, prescription overdoses go down, murder and crime rates go down.

Anyone who doubts the efficacy of cannabis as a medicine can go online to read the research being done in Israel, Spain and other countries with more advanced cannabis research.

The therapeutic use of cannabis goes back 5,000 years and it’s impossible to overdose, unlike most other medications.

Will our police and politicians allow people a chance for safe access to medical cannabis, or will they continue to restrict access to what is being proven to be life-saving medicine?

Cannabis is no longer seen as a drug of abuse in the community and putting it into a responsible framework ensures that is treated as medicine by people who need it and not as a recreational drug (although it remains safer than other recreational drugs like alcohol and tobacco).

Here’s hoping compassion and the state of the scientific literature will convince those in power to allow this society to serve the needs of the community, for their better health and safety.

Alan Boisvert

Parksville

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