CN ON: PUB LTE: Medical Marijuana Policy Flouts the Law and Common Sense
Pubdate: Fri, 20 Aug 2004
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Philippe Lucas
MEDICAL MARIJUANA POLICY FLOUTS THE LAW AND COMMON SENSE
Re: Dosanjh should do the decent thing, Aug. 16.
Health Canada has knowingly chosen to ignore the Ontario Court of Appeal decision that would allow medical-marijuana users to have an alternative supply of cannabis to the poor-quality, potentially dangerous Prairie Plant Systems product.
Although the federal PPS-grown cannabis has been returned by nearly a third of users who have tried it due to its incredibly poor quality, Health Canada continues to support its indefensible near-monopoly on cannabis production and research by restricting almost all licensed growers other than PPS to supplying marijuana to only one licensed user.
Not only does this near-monopoly add to the suffering of those who could benefit from the use of strong, safe cannabis, it also criminalizes those who seek to help critically and chronically ill Canadians ease their suffering.
The Citizen reported that Smiths Falls police raided the headquarters of Carasel Harvest Supply Corp. This is the second medical-cannabis production facility to be raided in Canada over the last few months. In May, the Vancouver Island Therapeutic Cannabis Research Institute was raided by the RCMP. It was the sole supplier of cannabis to the Vancouver Island Compassion Society, which is helping 400 Canadians who have doctors' recommendations for cannabis.
The VICS is at the forefront of international research into the effects of smoked cannabis -- all at no cost to the Canadian taxpayer. As a result of the RCMP raid, the members of the Compassion Society have to rely on the black market for their medicine, and much-needed research into the safety and effectiveness of medicinal cannabis has been seriously delayed.
And all for what? So that Health Canada can keep throwing taxpayer money down a mineshaft in Flin Flon, Man. in support of an indefensible, insensible monopoly. This is absolutely unacceptable and shows contempt for the courts, the Constitution, Canada's critically and chronically ill, and taxpayers. What will it take for Health Canada and the federal Liberals to finally have to account for this expensive, ineffectual and uncompassionate program?
Founding director, Vancouver Island Compassion Society, Canadians for Safe Access
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