Penticton and South Okanagan
Advice for medical marijuana users
Oct 30, 2013 / 5:02 am
A Vernon budtender is dispensing advice on accessing medical marijuana, after learning a Cawston man is in trouble for growing pot for those purposes.
Ben Hunt, an employee at The Herbal Health Centre in Vernon, said he was shocked to learn Wayne Parker, is facing charges in connection with growing marijuana in his Cawston front yard.
"I felt sick when I read about it," he said. "What he is going through is completely unnecessary, because in Canada we already have safe access to medical marijuana."
The Keremeos RCMP searched Parker's home in September, after someone reported he was growing the plants in his front yard.
The person's worry was his home is near an elementary school, store and post office.
Parker, who claims he was growing the plants for medical use to deal with pain from a hip and leg injury, was subsequently charged with possession and production of marijuana, but crown has not yet confirmed if the charges are approved.
The 66-year-old Cawston resident is slated to appear in Penticton court in early December.
Hunt said people in situations like Parker should first have an earnest conversation with their doctor.
"The most important person in the whole scenario is the doctor, because without the doctor's endorsement we can't provide the prescription," he said.
Hunt said there are currently many family doctors who believe medical marijuana may be an option. In the case where a family doctor is not willing to provide such a prescription, the centre can provide references to a doctor who is sympathetic.
As soon as the ink has dried on the prescription, they can come in with photo identification, fill out the appropriate paperwork and become a member of the private club for $15 annually. They must also pay for the prescription.
The dispensary sells dried cannabis, along with edibles and essential oils. Members range in age from 19 to 92, with baby boomers, dealing with health matters from arthritis to cancer, making up a high percentage of the clientele.
Hunt said he plans to reach out to Parker and the centre, which opened in August of 2013, hopes to do more outreach in the Okanagan.
They are currently trying to secure venues and come up with an overall feel of how events should be run.
"More than anything we want to make ourselves accessible to the general public, not necessarily in the dispensary, but out in the community," he said. "It's time for a change to bring this whole balloon of ridiculousness down."
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