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Health Minister says marijuana shops in Vancouver should be closed

Varieties of marijuana are listed on a board that are available at The Dispensary in Vancouver, B.C. Thursday, March 6, 2014.
Varieties of marijuana are listed on a board that are available at The Dispensary in Vancouver, B.C. Thursday, March 6, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

VANCOUVER – Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose said in a press conference today that the City of Vancouver should reconsider regulating marijuana-related businesses and close them instead.

Ambrose wrote a letter to the city following an announcement that City of Vancouver staff will put forward a proposal next week to create a business licence category to regulate all retail marijuana-related businesses.

In the letter she stated she was “deeply concerned” about the city’s plans.

“Marijuana is not an approved drug or medicine, and Health Canada does not endorse its use,” reads the letter obtained by The Canadian Press.

“Legitimizing and normalizing the use and sale of marijuana can have only one effect: increasing marijuana use and addiction.”

On Friday in the press conference, Ambrose stated it is a public health issue.

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“Marijuana dispensaries are illegal,” she said. “Marijuana is not a medicine. It is not approved as a medicine by Health Canada, nor has it gone through any of the typical rigorous clinical trials that are necessary for a medicine to be approved.”

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