Doesn’t the Pope remember when the Catholic sacrament of alcohol was prohibited in the early 1900’s? Are we still living in the era of the witch hunts, when one’s choice of sacrament or medicine meant facing extinction at the hands of storm troopers with a papal blessing?
John Turmel says “genocide”
In December 2001, Ontario med-pot activist John “The Engineer” Turmel was charged with contempt of court for violating a publication ban on cases in which he is involved. A judge ordered him to sit quiet on information that suggested Health Canada may be at least partially responsible for the deaths of 94 fatally ill Canadians who were seeking legal exemptions from the ministry to fill their doctor-prescribed need for cannabis. The next day, he published the information on his website, although he quickly removed it after being chastised by the judge.
What Turmel revealed was potentially explosive. Cannabis has been known to dramatically extend the lives of people living with multiple sclerosis, AIDS and hepatitis. Yet Health Canada has been routinely stalling and turning down applicants with these fatal diseases, according to the testimony of Health Canada bureaucrats grilled on the stand by John Turmel and his brother, Ray, who bravely call Health Canada’s cannabis policy “genocide.”
“Ninety-four [exemption applications]had been neither accepted nor refused, but instead had been classified as ‘dormant,'” explained John Turmel. “I deduced that these were the number of people who could no longer finish their correspondence, probably by reason of death. Ninety-four people waiting for their doctor’s prescriptions to be exempted by the Minister croaked while he successfully stalled them. Over the year in question, that’s eight a month.”
Turmel expects a quick ruling from the judge on charges of contempt of court ? charges that seem mostly a way of punishing him for being a nuisance to the system. He has been crusading endlessly for medical pot users with AIDS, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and other chronic and fatal diseases, who were turned down by Health Canada for exemptions to legally use cannabis for medicine (CC#33, Busted up dates). By bringing Health Canada to court, Turmel has forced the ministry to reconsider many med-pot applicants that they had previously turned down.
The people who Turmel champions are moving examples of Health Canada’s pathetic med-pot exemption farce. For example, Ron St Denis, a blind man living with AIDS who can barely get out of his bed, finally got his exemption on November 29, 2001, after being turned down by Health Canada in August of that year. St Denis is Turmel’s fifth success story.
Robert Neron, who also received his exemption with help from John Turmel, had criminal charges of cultivating marijuana withdrawn on December 10, 2001. His seized equipment was returned, and with help from Turmel he now enjoys the legal right to grow more pot plants than any other exemptee: 22 outdoor and 54 indoor.