John C Turmel has an urgent message for Section 56 applicants who have not yet received their exemption: make a motion in federal court asking that your application be processed, and do it soon.
“We have to do it now, because if we wait until July you will need two or three doctors,” said Turmel.
July 31 is a crucial date because that is when the newly proposed medical cannabis regulations take effect. After that date, only patients who are likely to die within a year will be allowed to have exemptions under the recommendation of a single GP. Everyone else will have to see a GP and also one, and in most cases two, medical specialists.
Section 56 applicants who haven’t yet received their exemptions have an opportunity to apply for a 30-day reply from the Minister of Health because of Turmel’s work in Federal Court with medical cannabis users Robert Neron and John Depuis.
On April 13, Turmel was in federal court with the two medpot users, arguing that they had waited long enough for their section 56 exemptions. Federal Court judge Paul Rouleau agreed, and chastised Health Canada for taking so long. The judge was also shocked to discover that the RCMP had begun investigating chronic Distonia sufferer Robert Neron exactly one day after Neron filed his application with Health Canada, fueling speculation that his name had been passed directly from Health Canada bureaucrats to the RCMP.
“We actually won three victories,” said Turmel. “The judge said that such raids were unnecessary and offered to step in with Health Canada. He gave the Health Minister 30 days to respond to Neron’s and Depuis’ demands for Section 56 exemptions, or he promised to bring Health Canada into court. And when Neron told the judge that it was difficult for him to travel because of his illness [several hundred kilometers to the federal court], the judge said, ‘don’t worry we’ll come to you if we have to.'”
All Section 56 applicants still awaiting a response from the Minister of Health can make similar appeals to the courts by contacting Neron, or by going to his website and using the federal court motions he has posted there as a template for their own actions.
* For a copy of the motions used by Turmel to launch his actions, check out: groups.yahoo.com/group/medpot/message/65
* For more information about how Turmel handled the federal court check out his website at: www.medpot.net
* John C Turmel: John C. Turmel: tel (613) 728-2196; e-mail [email protected]
* There is still time to protest the newly proposed medpot regulations that will make it even harder for patients to get medical cannabis. If enough people send in letters, it might mean that the regs get changed for the better. Check out this story for details: Spinning the new medpot regs