How’s this for a stoner’s dream: A year’s worth of free weed. It could only happen in America, right?
Actually, it’s happening in Canada, thanks to a Vancouver news-sharing website called Lift. Visitors to the site who register by July 18 are eligible to win a free gram of medical marijuana every day for a year.
The national contest is a kind of cross-promotional effort selling both Lift and medical pot. The only requirement is a doctor’s prescription for MMJ, which is legal everywhere in Canada. Applicants must be of legal age to use pot in their respective provinces and territories.
“One winner will be selected randomly in a digital name-in-the-hat type selection,” said David Brown of Lift.
Contest Aims to Inform Patients
Quebec, where MMJ was only approved this spring, is excluded from the contest, presumably because its regulations are more stringent than the rest of the country.
Medical weed has been legal in the rest of Canada since the early 2000s, when court rulings opened patient access to the drug. The current federal government is generally hostile to cannabis reform, but attempts to curb patient rights have met with fierce resistance.
Brown said Lift cooked up the idea as a way to get medication to patients who often can’t afford it. The company also wants to help patients and providers understand new rules imposed by the government, he said.
“Our dream is for all adults in Canada to have timely access to high quality, safe, and ethical marijuana at a price that’s honest and affordable,” Lift says on its website. “We want Canada to set an example for the rest of the world, to show how marijuana can change lives and transform economics.”
Free Weed Amid New Regulations
Lift is a news-sharing platform that provides information about marijuana issues. The company can get away with the contest because it isn’t handing out the weed – only paying for it. The drug will come from a commercial grower.
Canada’s public health agency, Health Canada, recently imposed new regulations requiring that patients stop growing pot and start getting it from a small number of commercial providers who contract with the government. A court temporarily blocked enforcement of that rule earlier this year.
Lift says it wants to keep patients informed about the new program, known as the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations.
“Health Canada has created a new federal medical marijuana program called the MMPR,” the website says. “Under this program, patients are required to purchase marijuana from commercial growers. These Licensed Producers (LPs) are growing safe, high quality and thoroughly regulated medical marijuana that will ultimately help patients across Canada like no other medical program in the world.
“However,” the site continues, “we recognize that not everyone can afford the medicine he or she needs, so we want to do our part by helping one lucky Canadian and in the process raising awareness about Canada’s new medical marijuana program and how it can benefit patients.”