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Health Canada, the federal health department, started selling marijuana in July to bring relief to patients suffering from AIDS (news - web sites), cancer and other diseases. The move followed a court order that patients should not be forced to get their marijuana from drug dealers on the streets.
But some of the first to buy the government's marijuana say it is no good.
"It's totally unsuitable for human consumption," said Jim Wakeford, 58, an AIDS patient in Gibsons, British Columbia.
Wakeford and Barrie Dalley, a 52-year-old Toronto man who uses marijuana to combat the nausea associated with AIDS, are returning their 1-ounce bags, and Dalley is demanding his money back — about $195 plus taxes. Wakeford is returning his unpaid bill for two bags with a written complaint.
The marijuana is being grown for Health Canada deep underground in a vacant mine section in Flin Flon, Manitoba, by Prairie Plant Systems on a contract worth about $7.5 million.
Ten patients have registered with Health Canada to buy marijuana directly from the government to alleviate their medical symptoms. Another 39 applications are pending.
No patients have complained directly to Health Canada so far, spokeswoman Krista Apse said, and the department will not accept returns or provide refunds.
Meanwhile, Vancouver inaugurated North America's first government-authorized drug-injection site Monday. The controversial government-funded project will give users injection kits and allow them to shoot up under nurse supervision.
Drug users sometimes use dirty needles and water from puddles to shoot up. Now, addicts wanting to use the new facility will be ushered into a brightly lit room lined on one side by open, mirrored booths where they can inject drugs.
After finishing, they will be taken to a "chill-out room," where they can receive counseling and peer referrals.
-------------------- After one comes, through contact with it's administrators, no longer to cherish greatly the law as a remedy in abuses, then the bottle becomes a sovereign means of direct action. If you cannot throw it at least you can always drink out of it. - Ernest Hemingway
If it is life that you feel you are missing I can tell you where to find it. In the law courts, in business, in government. There is nothing occurring in the streets. Nothing but a dumbshow composed of the helpless and the impotent. -Cormac MacCarthy
He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God. - Aeschylus
From what I understand, the government took the entire plant, dropped it in a shredder, bagged it up, and sent it out. Sure, the buds might have been at 10%, but with all the leaves and stems added to the mix, the bag was worthless for smoke.
-------------------- Just another spore in the wind.