Stirring The Pot
Donít tell Anne McLellan sheís against the use of medical marijuana. Itís news to her. The federal Health Minister insists that, contrary to media reports last week, sheís not against prescribing pot for ill patients that have been granted a government exemption.
McLellanís office was flooded with calls, after the Toronto Compassion Centre on Bathurst St. was raided by police two weeks ago. Advocates blamed McLellan for closing the doors on their source of legal marijuana, and claim she was re-thinking her support of the program. But authorities counter the Centre didnít have permission to pass out the legal joints and thatís the only reason it was shuttered. Several workers with the Centre are facing criminal charges.
But McLellan assures the 855 Canadians who have the legal right to smoke pot for medical reasons she has no intention of removing their exemptions. In fact, she believes the second phase of clinical trials can now begin, after worries about an impurity problem at the Manitoba company growing the legal plant were cleared up.
August 26, 2002
[The authorities are right, TCC didn't have permission, because while the government made possession legal for those approved as exemptees, they provided no legal source of this medicine. TCC has only been doing their duty to help people in need - people the government agrees are in need, but refuses to help.]