Live longer as a non-smoker….

by Yule Heibel on July 10, 2003

…but be appalled by inflation. The federal government is going to start shipping marijuana directly to physicians who prescribe it to their patients, my local paper reports today. Some provincial health authorities are quite upset about this, because they fear it will wreak havoc with break-ins and thefts in MD’s offices. BC Medical Association head Dr. John Turner opined, “I mean what would a doctor do with 10 totes of marijuana in the office cupboard? You would have to hope nobody breaks into your office.” I really have no opinion whatsoever on the merits or demerits of this program. What I just can’t get over is how much more expensive pot has gotten in the last few decades. When you don’t smoke, you have no idea of the prices people have become accustomed to. I’ve heard that cigarettes cost around $7 a pack here. I had no idea what marijuana costs, but the paper called the government’s offer “bargain-basement prices.” I was stoned, uh, stunned, however, at the suggested retail price of grass: Not only is the federal government willing to ship directly to doctors but it will do so at bargain-basement prices. (…) The marijuana is being offered to Canadians at $5 a gram, enough for about one or two joints, compared to the black market street value prices of $10 to $25 a gram. It will be regularly distributed by courier to a patient’s doctor in 30-gram bags and be limited to the amount that the physician says is required to treat the condition. As well, the government will sell marijuana seeds — $20 for a packet of 30 — to sick Canadians to grow their own. Five bucks for one or two joints at federally subsidized prices, $10-25 bucks on the open market? When did this happen? It’s a weed, for heaven’s sake; who’s getting rich here?

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