Jim Wakeford, the first Canadian to receive permission to use medical marijuana from the Minister of Health, had to demonstrate that he was near death before the courts ordered the ministry to consider his application. The most recent recipient of an exemption, Rob Brown, spent two days camped on the steps of Parliament before his application was finally processed.
Rob Brown used marijuana to mitigate Hepatitis C, as well as to help treat cancers of the liver, spleen, prostate and bladder. Brown’s medical marijuana plants were seized from his home in Cobden, Ontario by police on December 9, 1998 (see CC#23).
On October 19, Brown applied to the Ministry of Health for an exemption to use medicinal marijuana. He was informed on December 19 that his request was almost processed, but then heard nothing. He called repeatedly and was stonewalled. According to Brown, his MP Hector Cloutier, refused to help speed up Brown’s request.
“He said that he couldn’t represent me because I had criminal charges against me,” reported Brown. “I said that I wouldn’t have criminal charges if the law had been corrected a long time ago.”
In the first week of January, Brown was to be in court to face charges of cultivation and possession for the purpose of trafficking.
“I’ve had a sick heart for about three weeks,” said Brown. “I couldn’t make the two flights of stairs to get up to the court room. So they went ahead and did it without me. Our trial is for the nineteenth of June and the following four days.”
Rob Brown, wearied by police charges, growing sicker, decided to put his life on the line in a bid to win legal access to his medicine. On January 9, and for two days afterward, he camped on the steps of parliament.
“Then an RCMP officer came out with a cell phone and gave it to me. They told me that I was the twentieth person to receive an exemption, and the first of the year 2000.”
? Rob Brown: (613) 646-2650