Is Health Canada Getting Out of the Medical Marijuana Business?

CANNABIS CULTURE – An official at Health Canada says the agency is planning on getting out of the medical marijuana business completely. Health Canada’s Director of the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Jeannine Ritchot testified to a judge in an ongoing medical marijuana case that the current licencing program would be replaced with a new system that includes licencing larger-scale commercial growers.

“Health Canada would be completely out of the picture and patients would no longer apply to Health Canada for licences,” said Paul Lewin, lawyer for Matt Mernagh, the medical marijuana user at the centre of the case. “Instead, the patients would get something from their doctor – we’re not sure exactly what yet – and they would take that to larger-scale commercial growers, who would still be licensed.”

Lewin was questioning Ritchot under cross-examination as part of the ongoing case proceedings when she divulged the new information.

“We weren’t expecting anything like this,” Lewin said. “We figured they would just give us as little information as possible.”

On April 11, 2011 in the case of R. v. Mernagh, an Ontario Superior Court judge struck down Canada’s laws prohibiting the possession and production of marijuana, giving the Canadian federal government 90 days to fix the country’s medical marijuana program before the ruling comes into effect and effectively legalizes cannabis in Ontario.

Justice Donald Taliano found that Canada’s Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) and “the prohibitions against the possession and production of cannabis (marihuana) contained in sections 4 and 7 respectively of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act” are “constitutionally invalid and of no force and effect”.

Mernagh, the long-time medical marijuana user at the heart of the case, suffers from fibromyalgia, scoliosis, and seizures but was unable to find a doctor willing to sign the required paperwork allowing him to become a legal marijuana user. He was subsequently raided and arrested for growing his own plants without a licence.

Justice Taliano found that “the road to marihuana approval is a virtual obstacle course which few patients can navigate. Rather than providing access to medicinal marihuana, the MMAR raise so many barriers to access that the defence is meaningless and illusory for most patients.” His ruling in the case effectively eliminates the MMAR program after 90 days, forcing the government to put together an entirely new program.

The government has appealed the ruling and applied for a stay of the judge’s 90-day deadline. The government filed an affidavit in support of the stay, and Lewin was cross-examining Ritchot about the affidavit.

Health Canada was contacted by Cannabis Culture, but did not respond with comment by the time of publication.

“They said they would consult with compassion clubs,” Mernagh, who was present during the cross-examination of the Health Canada official, told Cannabis Culture in an exclusive video interview. “They said they would consult with Canadians; they said they would consult with medical marijuana patients […] naturopaths, herbalists, The Canadian Medical Association, doctors – they’re going to engage in a massive consultation process. The end result being that they no longer want to be in the selling of marijuana.”

Ritchot said the consulting period would be from 30 days to three months. “So that will probably be starting soon,” Lewin said.

Lewin said he asked Ritchot how many “large-scale commercial growers” would be licenced. “As many as qualify under our requirements,” she answered.

The proceedings continue on June 22 when Lewin and Mernagh return to court to argue against the governments application for a stay on the 90 day deadline. If Mernagh and his lawyer win, The MMAR and possession and cultivation laws will be invalidated on Ontario on July 11.

UPDATE: Health Canada provided this statement to CC on June 16:

Health Canada is currently considering measures to reform the Marihuana Medical Access Program and its regulations. We will be making an announcement soon on our proposed changes to the program.

Watch CCN News LIVE this Friday at 4PM Pacific for a live in-studio interview with med-pot patient Matt Mernagh.

UPDATE #2: The mainstream media has now picked up the story. From the Canadian Press:

OTTAWA — The federal government is poised to tighten the rules on medical marijuana so that only licensed private operators are allowed to grow it, The Canadian Press has learned.

Sources say Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq wants to take individuals and Health Canada out of the business of growing pot.

Instead, she wants to tender licences to the private sector to produce marijuana in a way that is similar to how conventional drugs are produced — by companies, under tightly regulated conditions.

The move is a response to complaints from mayors, police and firefighters — mainly in British Columbia — who say sanctioned growers are abusing their permits and often growing far more than they need.

Read the rest of the CP article.

So Health Canada admits it wants to get out the pot business – but it wants to “take individuals out” with it. Looks like med-pot growers may have another fight on their hands, as the press continues to play-up the latest anti-marijuana propaganda angle with distortions targeting private growers.

More coming soon on CC

Jeremiah Vandermeer is editor of Cannabis Culture. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Comments

48 Comments

  1. STEVE on

    Hey Leo try Dr. Price in Hamilton

  2. Anonymous on

    some people need to open their minds and close their mouth, instead of the opposite….

  3. Anonymous on

    as a patient, the designated grower program enabled my grower to produce my prescription. He harvested, then sold my medication to some guy in Ontario. I was without medication for several months. Access is a joke. You start dealing with some pretty unsavory individuals who take your money and don’t send the medication. I’m back with HC because at least I get my prescription…eventually.

  4. Anonymous on

    Hello,

    I have asthma and would love to have access to medical marijuana tinctures, since THC acts as a wonderful bronchodiolator. I”m actually able to use cannabis as a controller for my asthma, so that Ventolin is only required for emergencies. I prefer using a natural and non-toxic substance to control my asthma over inhaled steroids. Unfortunately my doctor is quite conservative and would never agree to sign off on using cannabis for medical purposes. I would love to know of a doctor in Toronto who would be sympathetic to my cause…

    Regards,

    Leo

  5. Margaret Nansamba on

    Hello there, i have HIV and i need to find a dr. who can help me to fill the medical as my wont.

  6. Anonymous on

    Hello am living in United States and although u may hear that many states have medical marijuana laws in place it is still considered a federal crime
    i wanted to know i have been disabled for a degenerative disc disease and was thinking of relocating to Canada i do not know if i would qualify for a citizenship due to my disability and my interest in treating my medical cronic pain condition with marijuana, i would apreciate an opinion as to my dilema. My current medication has caused several side effects enlarged liver loss od apetite and so many other pains i know are associated with the medication.

  7. Spuzzum on

    Improvements to the Marihuana Medical Access Program

    Q1. Why is the Government of Canada considering improvements to the Marihuana Medical Access Program (the Program)?

    A1. In recent years, a wide range of stakeholders, including police and law enforcement, fire officials, physicians, municipalities, and program participants and groups representing their interests, have identified concerns with the current program.

    Some of the key concerns include:

    – The risk of abuse and exploitation by criminal elements;
    – the complexity and length of the application process for individuals who wish to obtain an authorization to possess and/or a licence to produce marihuana;
    – the need for more current medical information for physicians pertaining to the risks and benefits associated with the use of marihuana for medical purposes; and,
    – public health and safety risks associated with the cultivation of marihuana plants in homes, including electrical and fire hazards and the presence of excess mould and poor air quality.

    The proposed improvements would reduce the risk of abuse and exploitation by criminal elements and keep our children and communities safe.

    Q2. What are the key elements of the proposed improvements to the Marihuana Medical Access Program?

    A2. A key element of the proposed improvements is the establishment of a new supply and distribution system that uses only licensed commercial producers. This would mean that the production of marihuana for medical purposes by individuals in homes would be phased out. Health Canada would ensure that the newly established licensed commercial producers would be regularly inspected for product quality, security and record-keeping.

    Health Canada’s role would be significantly altered. The Department would:

    – no longer supply and distribute marihuana for medical purposes;
    – no longer issue authorizations to individuals to possess marihuana for medical purposes; and
    – assume its regulatory role by inspecting and auditing companies so as to ensure that they comply with the regulations.

    Individuals would still be required to consult a physician. However, they would not be required to submit an application, or their personal medical information, to Health Canada. Instead, they would submit a document they get from their physician directly to a licensed commercial producer. Health Canada will work with the medical community to determine what form this document will take.

    Health Canada is also proposing to eliminate the categories of conditions or symptoms for which an individual may possess marihuana for medical purposes under the Medical Marihuana Access Regulations (MMAR). Since categories would be eliminated, there would no longer be a requirement for some individuals to have a specialist assess their case in addition to their primary care physician in order to access marihuana for medical purposes.

    Health Canada would provide physicians with comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date information on the use of marihuana for medical purposes so as to support informed decision making.

    Q3. When would these improvements take place?

    A3. Further to these consultations the Government of Canada will introduce new regulations. The federal regulatory process takes approximately 18 to 24 months to complete, and will begin in 2012. It would also take time to license a sufficient number of companies who can supply the amount of dried marihuana required by Program participants. Personal-use and designated-person production would be phased out, and would cease once a sufficient amount of dried marihuana to supply Program participants is available.

    Until these proposed improvements are implemented, the process for applying for an authorization to possess and/or a licence to produce marihuana for medical purposes under the MMAR will remain the same.

    Q4. Who would be impacted by the proposed improvements to the Marihuana Medical Access Program?

    A4. Seriously ill individuals would still be able to access dried marihuana for medical purposes. However, they would no longer be required to apply to Health Canada for an authorization to possess. Nor would they have to submit their personal medical information to Health Canada. They would still be required to consult a licensed physician in order to gain access to marihuana for medical purposes, but the document they receive would be used to order and purchase dried marihuana for medical purposes directly from a licensed commercial producer.

    Health Canada would no longer issue licences to individuals to produce marihuana for medical purposes. Personal-use and designated-person production would be phased out, and would cease once a sufficient amount of dried marihuana to supply Program participants is available.

    Q5. Under the proposed improvements, would there be limitations on what symptoms and conditions an individual must have in order to access marihuana for medical purposes?

    A5. Under the proposed improvements, marihuana would be treated as much as possible like other medications. As such, Health Canada is proposing to eliminate the categories of conditions or symptoms for which an individual may possess marihuana for medical purposes under the MMAR. The determination as to whether the use of marihuana for medical purposes is appropriate for a particular individual would be made further to a discussion with their physician.

    It is important to note that, while pointing to some potential benefits, current scientific evidence does not establish the safety and efficacy of cannabis to the extent required by the Food and Drug Regulations for marketed drugs in Canada. This is why Health Canada is committed to establishing an Expert Advisory Committee which will assist in improving physician access to comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date information on the use of marihuana for medical purposes. This will facilitate informed decision-making between individuals and their physicians with respect to the use of marihuana to treat particular symptoms and/or conditions.

    Q6. How will the improvements to the program impact physicians?

    A6. Physicians would receive more comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date information from Health Canada on the risks and benefits associated with the use of marihuana for medical purposes, so as to support them in making informed decisions about treatment options with their patients.

    Health Canada is establishing an Expert Advisory Committee to review the scientific and medical information included in the document entitled “Information for Healthcare Practitioners”. Health Canada will also consult with the medical community, including provincial/territorial licensing bodies, regarding the proposed improvements.

    Q7. Under the improvements being considered to the Marihuana Medical Access Program, how would Canadians access marihuana for medical purposes?

    A7. Seriously ill individuals who wish to access marihuana for medical purposes would still be required to consult a physician licensed to practice medicine in Canada. The existing medical declaration would be replaced by a new document provided by the physician to the individual. Once individuals have this document, they would consult the Health Canada website for a list of licensed commercial producers. The licensed producer would register the individual as a customer and would process the order for dried marihuana. The proposed improvements would benefit program participants by making it less complicated to access a supply of dried marihuana.

    Q8. Will individuals be able to get a supply of marihuana for medical purposes from a “compassion club” or “cannabis dispensary”?

    A8. Health Canada does not license organizations such as “compassion clubs” or “cannabis dispensaries” to possess, produce or distribute marihuana for medical purposes.

    Like any other interested business entity, a “compassion club” or “cannabis dispensary” interested in legally producing and distributing marihuana for medical purposes would need to meet all of the regulatory requirements for licensing commercial producers.

    Q9. How would program participants demonstrate that they are legally allowed to possess marihuana for medical purposes if Health Canada is no longer issuing authorizations?

    A9. Licensed companies would be required to comply with specific product labelling and packaging requirements. These requirements would be one means of providing proof of the legal status of an authorized person’s supply of marihuana. Health Canada will consult on how best to establish that an individual is in lawful possession of a legal source of dried marihuana.

    Q10. What would it cost to purchase marihuana for medical purposes from a licensed commercial producer?

    A10. Licensed commercial producers will be responsible for setting their own prices, and would distribute dried marihuana directly to their clients by registered or bonded mail.

    Q11. Would the proposed improvements to the Marihuana Medical Access Program allow for access to different strains of marihuana or to a greater variety of marihuana products?

    A11. Currently, the proposed improvements consider dried marihuana only. Licensed commercial producers would be permitted to grow any strain of marihuana.

    Q12. Under the proposed improvements, how would a company become licensed to produce marihuana for medical purposes?

    A12. In order to be licensed by Health Canada, licensed commercial producers would have to demonstrate compliance with requirements related to, for example, product quality, personnel, record-keeping, safety and security, disposal and reporting, as this would be required under new regulations. These controls would aim to ensure the quality of the product being purchased by program participants, as well as the security of production sites.

    Q13. Will the proposed improvements result in cost-savings for the Government of Canada?

    A13. Under the proposed improvements, Health Canada would no longer enter into a contract with a commercial entity for the production and distribution of dried marihuana and marihuana seeds. The current contract has a value of 16.8M$. In addition, Health Canada would no longer incur costs related to authorizing and licensing individuals to possess and/or produce marihuana.

    Q14. Under the proposed changes, will marihuana be decriminalized or legalized?

    A14. Legalization or decriminalization of marihuana is not a part of these changes. Marihuana will continue to be regulated as a controlled substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA).

    Q15. Will I have an opportunity to provide comments on the Government’s proposed improvements to the Marihuana Medical Access Program?

    A15. Yes. The Government of Canada would like to hear from Canadians about the improvements to the Program.

    The details of the Government’s plan are outlined in a consultation document entitled: Proposed Improvements to Health Canada’s Marihuana Medical Access Program. All Canadians are invited to provide their feedback, either via the Health Canada website using the feedback form, or by email, mail or fax, in either English or French.
    By Email: [email protected]
    By Fax: (613) 946-4224.
    By Mail:
    Marihuana Consultations
    Controlled Substances and Tobacco Directorate
    Health Canada
    Mail Room, Federal Records Centre – Bldg 18
    1st Floor, 161 Goldenrod Driveway, Tunney’s Pasture
    Ottawa ON K1A 0K9

    Production of Marihuana Under the Current Program

    Q1. How much marihuana is there in a “joint”?

    A1. A marihuana cigarette typically contains between ½ and 1 gram of dried marihuana. For example, an individual using 2 grams daily would be smoking between 2 and 4 joints per day.

    Q2. How much dried marihuana does a person who is authorized to possess marihuana typically consume on a daily basis?

    A2. Current statistics indicate that under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR), individuals are authorized to possess approximately 6 grams per day of marihuana for medical purposes. However, research has shown that most people who use marihuana for medical purposes typically consume between 1 to 3 grams of marihuana per day.

    Q3. On average, how many plants is the holder of a Health Canada production licence authorized to grow?

    A3. The average number of plants that can be grown under a Health Canada production licence is 33.

    Q4. How much marihuana for medical purposes does each plant yield?

    A4. The plant yield varies depending on whether production takes place indoors or outdoors. For indoor production, the formula in the MMAR that establishes the number of plants a licence holder can grow based on their approved daily amount sets out an expected yield of 30g of dried marihuana per plant. The formula for outdoor production sets out an expected yield of 250g per plant.

    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/consultation/marihuana/_2011/program/faq-eng.php

  8. Ken on

    I have recently been given a permit or license from Health Canada too grow for my wife,now they are saying it will be faded out in 2012..are they shitting me. After countless hours of research and construction, not too mention thousands of dollars on equipment, lights fans electrician etc.Well…know what? What do i do with this stuff.Shame on Health Canada for throwing there hands in the air and saying WE WANT OUT! Our government is always fighting over the most stupid things and is known world wide for wasting time and resources.

    I don’t know whats going to happen, but i know my wife and i don’t need the extra stress.

  9. Anonymous on

    maybe we can ask the benefit company’s that very few of us have if they are going to cover this big buss money grab .

  10. Anonymous on

    I am a APPL holder,
    I have been producing my own marihuana since 2007.
    I live on a CPP disability pension.
    I produce my own medication as I am unable to afford to purchase my
    required amounts through H/c sources.

    My concern with the changes are.

    who will help cover the cost of purchasing my meds from the new
    offices, will they be covered by ODSP?
    The changes will mean I have to sell my home to be able to afford my
    medications.

    What do i do with the thousands of dollars of equipment I have or the
    permanent renovations I have made to my home for the reason of safe
    secure production?

    Will the government cover the loss of value to my home, created by
    having a former production facility?

    While my production area is completely to building and electrical
    codes with proper ventilation and no problems with mold at all.
    this is an honest concern because of the fear created by illegal
    growers,Realtors are quick to point out that former production
    facility greatly reduce the property value of a home

  11. Anonymous on

    Most of the medical marijuana users who are upset about these changes are profiting a lot from the current system. They prowl around looking for sick MMAR patients, then use their licences to make millons of dollars, by either overproducing or growing extremly large plants and only giving the patient a small portion of the plant. I personally am sick of these people taking advantage of patients like trying to charge them 11 dollars a gram at compassion clubs. How is that compassionate when your filling your wallet with sick people’s cash? The most they ever pay is 5 – 6 a gram so how does it get marked up to 11 dollars?Pure greed that’s how. That is 2500 dollars profit every time they sell 448 grams. Hopefully these shady people will get what they deserve for taking advantage of the current situation. Its very common for compassion clubs to charge 10- 11 a gram which is $280-$308 per ounce.

  12. Mary on

    Seems the Harper government is not in sync with the statements made by the Health Minister. Harper stated that medical marijuana would only be permitted to be grown by those licensed, thus excluding 3rd party growers who now can grow for a medical patient through a license. But his Health Minister stated the opposite by allowing “large scale” licensed production for those who have a license.

    Shows the chaos in this hot potato issue.

  13. Dave_s Not Here on

    A prediction that I hope DOESN’T come true:

    The government has now compiled a list of applicants for, and MMAR licensees who were allowed to smoke and to grow marijuana with some limited degree of immunity to thuggery and abuse at the hands of police goons. The next move on the government’s part is to provide this list to the thug department with instructions to hunt them all down and kick in their doors to search for contraband.

    Its a very old tactic — loosen the suppression regime a little bit to induce some to come out of the woodwork and expose themselves by applying for a license. Then, tighten the regime and send the enforcers out to round-up all the applicants for transportation to you-know-where.

    I saw this coming a long time ago and that’s why I never jumped on the bandwagon to get a license although my medical condition would have qualified me in an instant. A good thing, too, as I expect time will tell as the government fully unfolds it’s plan.

  14. Dave_s Not Here on

    Can’t you read? This ALREADY has been looked at and decisions have ALREADY been made.

    The Government Of Canada has ALREADY announced its intention to eliminate the current medical marijuana program and turn the supply of it to patients over to its business supporters and cronies. It has also clearly announced its intention to impose a draconian prohibition and suppression regime on non-medical users and providers.

    What the government saw when it looked was the HUGE SUMS OF MONEY that were changing hands in the marijuana business that the government wasn’t getting it’s piece of.

    No flies on these guys, the government has decided that it wants it all for itself and it’s business collaborators.

    No-one in government is smart enough to figure out that if they open the marijuana market completely up, the government will realize MORE revenue than it could ever DREAM of wasting on it’s usual bullshit.

  15. Anonymous on

    I have no idea where they get these numbers of only 10 000 patients and only 3,400 have permission to grow across canada this is alot bigger then people realize.One in sixty people in Nova Scotia either hold or have appilied for a license to posses and produce marihuana.the product is not going to be anymore acessible to patients but what it is going to be is more expensive.I think this really needs to be looked at before any desions are made

  16. Anonymous on

    Well we could all call people like Sam and say thanks for the public abuse of the personal production licenses issued

  17. Anonymous on

    You could be one of the first of your friends to return you equipment to the hydro store before they start refusing to take used equiment on consignment. Just a thought.

  18. Dave_s Not Here on

    Looks to me like the lawyers (that’s the government, for any of you who haven’t been watching) win this round. The criminal justice system is stuffed with lawyers and it is served by their vicious, hired thugs, the cops. Everybody (except the victims) makes a very healthy, comfortable living from it and they can clearly see an opportunity to do even better financially.

    Its all about the money — don’t you get it?

    The religious do-good propaganda is merely the curtain they hide their true motive behind.

  19. Covey1969 on

    Then Lets stop picketing and protesting Governments sanctions and places and do it to Medical Centers to allow people to be aware..
    From one to another once a week..
    make the Doctors see their folly and record everything as usual. Peaceful protest, hand out Rick Simpson DVD’s while patients come and go..
    talk to all patients who want to listen and share your stories..
    google or youtube covey1969
    Peace and Pot
    and God Bless You all, keep the love…

  20. Anonymous on

    The government has controlled the minds of people for a long time. By making pot “illegal” it has given the government a stepping stone to diminish peoples sense of freedom. The Government has used cannabis against the people. We smoke it to relieve our ailments and to free our minds and at the same time the government holds that noose so people don’t go around having that sense of “im totally free”. Governments are designed to always have control of peoples minds. Im absolutely sure that every president, prime minister, and ceo has read the Art of War. Majority of the tactics\strategies are to influence the mind\consciousness.

    The canadian government (conservative party) has and will continue to amplify the strategies to manipulate your sense of freedom(consciousness). They are not dumb they know quite well what tactics will work. right now they have a list of thing up there sleeve, like a to do list. They prepare ahead of time for possible events. This is who we’re contending with.

    Will cannabis ever be legal? Perhaps. But it all has to do with how the mass populace will stand up to there tactics and strategies. We all need to stop waiting for someone else to do it. There are thousands of people out there that remain silent because of fear/police/etc.

    The tactic they are using now is
    – making it somewhat easier to attain a MM license.
    – removing themselves from accountability
    – no future MM license will allow personal marijuana grows.

    SEE WHAT they’re doing.. giving more ease and freedom to attain a license but pulling back our freedom to grow it ourselves. They never want people to be fully in power. Its all a game they’re playing.

  21. Anonymous on

    I have Too Much Invested on my Medical Grow just to dismantle it and kiss $16,000.00 good-bye! Without a reimbursement for what I spent thus far I won’t be able to afford to buy it off of someone else. I have also spent countless hours, money and energy getting the right strains.

    We should be grandfathered in to insure we are not left holding a big bag of equipment that we cannot legally use no more!!!

    Final remark, marijuana is the medicine and growing the therapy that makes it work.

    BW2

  22. Dave_s Not Here on

    Of course the pot community and activists will fight this nonsense all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. The catch is: it will take some years for all the lower court rulings to be exhausted leaving the Supreme Court as the arbiter of last and final resort.

    The problem with this is: by the time some of the cases get to the supreme Court, Harper will have had the opportunity to appoint a couple of his like-minded cronies to the court and any liberal cause which reaches it will be shot down in flames.

    Its time for everybody to consider that it’s gonna go back to the way it was in the old days. We survived it then and we will survive it again. NOTHING WILL STOP US!

  23. Dave_s Not Here on

    Of course its simply about the money. Harper and his gang of deluded rapturista thugs aren’t stupid, just deluded. They can see clearly the amount of money on the table that they aren’t gettin their hooks into… yet.

    I remember when it was illegal to sell or buy a lottery ticket in Canada. Now the government’s lottery corporations are trying to shove them down people’s throats every chance they get. The new regulations are Harper’s way to feed his corporate toadys and hangers-on while, at the same time, feeding harmless personal pot growers into his newly created prison-industrial abuse machine.

    Why even have a US-Canada border? lets just shut the whole thing down and let the Americans impose their failed drug war on us directly instead through their collaborator, Harper.

  24. Anonymous on

    It’s not fair that they would penalize small personal growers because of greedy a**holes who abuse of their license; some of us have worked hard to get the right strains and effect to help us deal with our specific pain, (and spent loads of money on it) and have earned their use of their medical license fairly and honestly. Large scale commercial buyers are not going to start to provide pain-specific herbs, I’m sure of that…

    Why is the small guy always the one to suffer????

  25. Anonymous on

    If they attempt to eliminate personal cultivation I will be the first one in line for the constitutional challenge. I have invested too much time, money and research into developing and growing the exact right strains, grown a certain way, harvested at an exact time. There is no way a large scale commercial grower is going to meet my needs. An agent of the government taking this away from me equals my charter rights being infringed. Back to court we go. Civil class action suits will also be considered.

  26. Paul Pot on

    It’s just as I feared. They will begrudgingly let us have it but only so long as big companies own it and sell it to us just like alcohol and tobacco. They will never grow it as well as we can and they will pollute it with chemicals and sanity forbid genetic modification as well. Regulation means corporate rule, fascism. If we really want to be free then once herb is legal we have to get the other drugs fully deregulated as well so everyone can make their own brew and grow their own smoke whatever herb it is and take it to market when it comes in. It’s called the free market.

  27. Anonymous on

    Hi Karen and everyone having the same difficulties we have just been through. There is a clinic in BC specializing in this and they are called “Do No Harm” Check it out, they have helped us and will help you too providing that you have legitimate needs.

  28. Anonymous on

    I’m so glad I voted for the NDP. They’ll totally not let this happen. Hah.
    See ya’ll in the big house!

  29. Anonymous on

    Lol. The Health Minister is not only thumbing her nose at the constitution, but she’s also thumbing her nose at the courts.!!!

    Is it even legal for them to say we cannot grow for ourselves anymore?

    They are suppose to fix the issue with the application side of things, and the doctor issues….
    I hope the appeals courts tosses them and it’s legal

  30. Anonymous on

    So long as I may continue to grow my medicine for myself (which is my doctors only stipulation) I see no problems here. Does anybody know if they are going to change that? Just incase 3000 of us have to lawyer up 😉

  31. Anonymous on

    NOW im really suspicious about who the commercial growers will be. Monsanto? Hells Angels? Whats interesting is that Monsanto who owns Miracle Grow wants more of an IN on the marijuana industry. This all feels to me that its about Money$$$$. The government doesn’t care about you, corporations don’t care about you. All they care about is money, control and power.

    So if this gets approved by the judge does this mean that medical marijuauna license holders won’t be able to grow there own ganja? Does this also mean that current license holders will have to shut down there own medical grow and start buying from commercial growers?

  32. Beatnuk on

    We do know who these large commercial growers will be, and it won’t be big pharmaceutical companies, it will be the same organizations that have benefited from the drastic decrease in cocaine possession and trafficking convictions under the Conservatives.

  33. Beatnuk on

    First, the federal government passes Bill S-10, which is designed to put mom-and-pop growers out of business, as they are the most serious threat to large-scale marijuana grow operations run by organized criminal groups. Second, the federal government hires the same organized criminal groups to provide medical marijuana to patients. The best thing ever to happen to organized crime in Canada is the election of the Conservatives.

  34. Karen on

    I could definitely feel the fact that she was completely brainwashed and had not one shred of openness towards the issue. I couldn’t believe a doctor could yell at a patient like that. I still have images of her getting out of her chair and storming around her office slamming the big blue CPS books around yelling in my face “Do you want to know what marijuana will do to you?? DO YOU??” And at the same time, had given me 4 different prescriptions for horrible pills that I’d been telling her for weeks, make me feel really awful! I KNOW what works!
    All of this has left me really frustrated and wanting to take some serious action to get through the heads of these closed off people. I’m most definitely going to look into the list of the doctors who are open to even discussing medical marijuana!

  35. Karen on

    I could definitely feel the fact that she was completely brainwashed and had not one shred of openness towards the issue. I couldn’t believe a doctor could yell at a patient like that. I still have images of her getting out of her chair and storming around her office slamming the big blue CPS books around yelling in my face “Do you want to know what marijuana will do to you?? DO YOU??” And at the same time, had given me 4 different prescriptions for horrible pills that I’d been telling her for weeks, make me feel really awful! I KNOW what works!
    All of this has left me really frustrated and wanting to take some serious action to get through the heads of these closed off people. I’m most definitely going to look into the list of the doctors who are open to even discussing medical marijuana!

  36. Anonymous on
  37. Chris on

    I am interested in getting a list of friendly doctors for Nova Scotia if there are any. Halifax area? Thanks

  38. Anonymous on

    consultation peoples. get involved and your voices heard. tell them you want good quality medication and guides for dose rates of certain strains. also symptoms if people are taking too much just as happens with other drugs, its not for everyone just as other drugs have adverse effects on some people. .this time round. go organic. it is certainly surprising, maybe we will later see a curve ball..doctors will need to get with the program and up to date with knowledge. another interesting thing will be if doctors can prescribe and patients can grow their own or have compassionate groups supply for cheaper and an alternative. if not this would be challenged later so best to make it clear during the consultation period that some people need to grow their own cause they cant afford the costs of a big commercial supplier.

  39. Mama Di on

    We can provide those looking for doctors with a list that we have just received. Simply look for the Grannies for Grass group on FaceBook and contact us for it. I believe it may even be posted. Peace Out.

  40. Anonymous on

    Yeah, doctors are idiots. Anytime I ever had a problem and I simply looked on the Internet for information and then went to a doctor I found that I was then more knowledgeable than the doctor. They learn basic stuff in school and that’s about the end of it. They don’t get refresher courses or anything. If a doctor gets angry about being asked for the best medicine available in the world today then that doctor is a piece of crud. Sure, he’s mad because he isn’t getting any kickbacks from Health Canada when they prescribe Cannabis, like they do from the big pharmas when they prescribe OxyContin. Now if you had asked him for some opiates THEN he would have said come right in, we have much to discuss. Pin up some flyers around town about Dr. Evil refusing to prescribe needed medication which has been deemed safe and effective by Health Canada, else they wouldn’t be doling it out.

    Good thing Health Canada is privatizing the medical Cannabis business, though, because they have screwed it up to the extent that it is downright unconstitutional. Maybe now the ill will be able to get some QUALITY medication, though we don’t yet know who these large commercial growers will be. Most likely some pharma company. They are already growing weed in the US for use as medical THC/CBD extract. Who else would have the financing to build the type of secure facilities required by Health Canada?

  41. Shane on

    Getting a doctor to sign is one of many problems. We have already seen the problem with HC appointed large scale growers. I am a non consuming activist and even I know that. The quality will be absolutely substandard with little or no medicinal value. Quality is definitely preferred over quantity especially when it comes to medicinal cannabis.

    Bump,
    Shane

  42. Michael Dussault-Jensen on

    Karen I have seen some dorctors that are so programed by there training and the propaganda layed out to them by the Pharmasuitical companies. If you continue to have problems where-ever you are in Canada you can get a list from one of the cannabis advocate groups on FaceBook or you can send me an email and I can send you a list of “cannabis friendly” Drs. across Canada? Your call hope you get your problems resolved in a timely fashion. Peace always,
    M.Dussault-Jensen

  43. Karen on

    At the end of the day, the problem is still getting a doctor to sign the papers.
    For me that is THE biggest obstacle. I’ve been kicked out of my last doctors office for even inquiring about medical marijuana. I couldn’t believe how furious a person could get over something like marijuana. This has left me totally and utterly hopeless and unable to trust doctors in this matter.

  44. Karen on

    At the end of the day, the problem is still getting a doctor to sign the papers.
    For me that is THE biggest obstacle. I’ve been kicked out of my last doctors office for even inquiring about medical marijuana. I couldn’t believe how furious a person could get over something like marijuana. This has left me totally and utterly hopeless and unable to trust doctors in this matter.