Marijuana Clinic Raids are a Cause for Concern

Tens of thousands of Canadians are worried over the current medical marijuana access regulations under Health Canada’s authorization, and with the recent police targeting of medical marijuana dispensaries, or “compassion clubs” in recent months across the country.

With current Health Canada application backlogs, the average applicant must wait at least three months from the time of their doctor’s approval until they can either begin to order marijuana from the government, have it grown by a friend or acquaintance, or grow it for themselves. Once they receive their approved documentation in the mail, they must wait another two months for Health Canada’s supply to arrive, or closer to four months for their own medicinal crop to ripen.

Until recently, individuals in Toronto, Guelph, Montreal and Quebec could apply for a membership at a medical marijuana dispensary, so that while they wait for their permit to arrive they can begin to access medicine through those clubs. These businesses have been open in their respective locations anywhere from a few months to several years, in plain view of the community, with full police and politician awareness, and in some cases with their support.

Several have recently been closed or inhibited by recent police actions, however. That has resulted in many Canadians being cut off from their supplier of medicine and significant police and Crown prosecution expenditures.

This matter deserves far greater attention than it has received.

Eitan Gallant, Guelph

– Letter to the editor from GuelphMercury.com.

Comments

6 Comments

  1. Medicinal Mike on

    I am one of those card holders that is having a hard time getting my supply regulated so it comes when I need it. This is the only pain medication I am allowed to use (look it up, it is in the MMAR rules)(you have to sign off on any other pain meds in order to qualify). I am in pain NOW! Neuropathic pain is constant as well as the ringing in my ears and the pain coming from my neck. I am FORCED to go to the black market if I want to treat my pain. The MMAR is set up to fail. The Government never created the system in good faith; if they had, the end users and other stakeholders would have been invited to the table when this was formed. They where and still are excluded and our concerns are falling on deaf ears. I sent in an email asking a simple question. I asked Health Canada how does a person who qualifies for the Cannabis, but does not have a doctor, how are they supposed to get their medicine? I have not yet got a reply. I will let you folks know if/when they get back to me.

  2. Thomas Davie on

    Hi. Just wanted to follow up on my original post and respond to you. You are correct that most doctors are unaware of both the laws and effectiveness of Cannabis as a medicine. My doctor (GP) would not even look at my properly filled out forms (the complete application, release of liability and ontarized passport photo’s. No, it is not easy to get in a timely manner, but I would go further and state that it is not easy to get at all. And yes, I referred my doctor to all of the pertinent literature, etc. Stonewalled. So what do you do? Doctor shop? That’s discouraged. Get a new GP? Possible, but when the first question out of someone’s mouth is asking the physicians attitude on Cannabis, guess what is likely to happen?

    It goes further; I contacted the colleg of physicians and surgeons and received the official stance on Cannabis (that it has NO therapeutic value).

    I would say that the medical access program in Canada is deeply and fundamentally flawed. Still, I ain’t worried. I have a regular appointment with a spexcialist in a few months and this guy is more on the ball.

    Worse comes to worse, I fly to BC for a doctor :)

    Tom

  3. EG on

    Unfortunately, the majority of doctors don’t know enough about cannabis as medicine AND about the Medical Marihuana Access Regulations as outlined by Health Canada. They CAN in fact prescribe medical marijuana, and assuming everything is filled out properly and the patient has seen both a physician AND specialist (if not eligible for B1), then the application will get approved.

    There WERE 4000 Canadian ATP (Authorization to Possess) holders as of last year. That figure has not been updated. There are currently (lots) more than 4000 MMAR permit holders, as well as thousands more whose applications are currently being processed by Health Canada. Again, as mentioned above, with current backlogs, people are waiting months to get their permit. THIS is why compassion clubs exist.

    SO, there IS a medical marijuana program in Canada. However, the program has a number of flaws in it, such as the amount of time a patient must wait to get their first dosage of medicine… while all other medications on the market can be accessed within days of receiving a doctor’s signature.

    You are right, it is NOT easy enough for people who NEED it to get it in a reasonable amount of time. However, it DOES exist. If the doctors you’ve spoken with do not approve, then good luck on your search for one who will. There ARE doctors in Canada that support marijuana as medicine.

    Feel free to direct any medical practitioners unfamiliar with marijuana medicine to
    http://www.medicalmarihuana.ca/for-doctors
    as well as
    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/marihuana/index-eng.php

  4. Thomas on

    With honest regard, you’ve only got about 4000 Canadians who are legally allowed to use Marijuana. I was one of the patients that doctors rejected (they didn’t decide I did not need Cannabis, they refused to evaluate me because they didn’t want to get involved with something like that).

    Before we can get worried about dispensary raids or closings in Canada we have to have the ability for people to lewgally get Cannabis as a medicine. We ain’t there yet CC.

    Tom

  5. Anonymous on

    Lets hit the streets again! This time it should be a march though Guelph, or occupy a MP’s or the mayors office. We do need to be heard, not just bullyed into further health trouble.

  6. EG on

    In a number of instances, the police even held meetings with owners of these clubs, took invited tours, and gave their oral approval; only to re-enter some months later with warrants in hand, in order to arrest the owners and their employees and charge them with trafficking.

    In addition, in at least one case, the compassion club in question was a member of the local Downtown Business Association, the local chapter of the Chamber of Commerce, and the provincial Chamber of Commerce.

    This is your medicine.
    It grows like lettuce, and this is quite relevant.
    It shows no menace, so why all the resentment.
    Doctor approved.
    Pains it can soothe.
    So who up top has got something to prove?

    Please do not discrimate.
    Those that need to medicate.
    Just relax and meditate.
    You’ll see this plant is not to hate.

    WHAT MAKES ME MAD AT THE SITUATION.
    IS THAT THEY JAILED US NO RESERVATION.
    HUMILIATED US NO HESITATION.
    AND ALL FOR CANNABIS, A MEDICATION!