COQUITLAM (NEWS1130) – Coquitlam’s mayor is pushing for the federal government to do more about unlicensed medical marijuana.

Richard Stewart’s concerned by the sheer lack of framework by the feds to keep track of the facilities. However, he’s not against having marijuana available in his community.

“If a doctor prescribes medicinal marijuana to a patient, the patient should be able to get it,” Stewart believes. “I think eventually the patient will be able to get it at the drug store with the rest of their pharmacy needs.”

“They can grow their own if they have that capacity and if they can wait the three months for the crop,” he adds. “But if they simply get prescribed it, it’s very difficult to get a hold of.”

The problem, he says, is that right now there is a vacuum in federal regulations — allowing unlicensed operations to pop up, including in residential areas.

He hears two main concerns from the people of Coquitlam that he’d like to deal with: one is that marijuana laws need to be changed and the other is the fear that organized crime is involved.

Stewart thinks better framework would prevent abuse of the system by criminals and would give more power to RCMP, currently struggling to combat compassion clubs.

At last night’s council meeting, Stewart and councillors pledged to take the issue to the federal government and push for the needs of their community.