Proposed Changes to Medical Marijuana Rules Not Good Enough

CANNABIS CULTURE – The Beyond Prohibition Foundation, a federal non-profit that advocates for sensible marijuana policy, is calling Health Canada’s proposed changes to the federal medical marijuana program “too little, too late.”

“We applaud the belated recognition that the government’s medical marijuana program needs substantial reform,” said Kirk Tousaw, the Foundation’s Executive Director and a lawyer that is responsible for groundbreaking Charter challenges in the area of access to medical marijuana. “This program has failed patients, producers and distributors of medical cannabis for a decade and needed to scrapped. Unfortunately, the new proposals miss the mark and will fail to address many of the existing issues with the program.”

Health Canada’s plan includes physician approval of patient use followed by supply from an unspecified number of licensed producer/distributors. Physicians would no longer need to identify particular symptoms and conditions and the requirement that some patients consult a specialist would be eliminated. It is unclear how many producers would be licensed and what criteria would apply. It is also unclear how a lawful consumer would prove that to law enforcement authorities.

“Eliminating the specialist requirement is a necessary step,” said Jacob Hunter, the Foundation’s Policy Director, “and cutting out the government’s multi-month processing time for licenses is also a welcome change. That said, it is unconscionable for the government to take away a person’s right to produce for themselves or to have a caregiver producer for them. Many patients require a particular strain that these private companies simply will not have.”

The changes come as the Ontario Court of Appeal is about to decide whether the government can have additional time to fix deficiencies identified in the program or risk seeing the prohibition on possession and production of marijuana be removed for everyone, not just medical consumers.

The public has been given until July 31, 2011 to comment on the government’s proposal.

The government suggests the changes are not because of the pending litigation but, rather, are a response to concerns raised by police and certain municipalities about the existing scheme.

“Let’s be clear,” Tousaw said, “the idea that there are huge problems arising from legal marijuana producers is nonsense. There are only a few thousand legal producers in this country whereas estimates suggest that 250,000 people in BC alone work in the illicit marijuana industry. The real problems with the program continue to be lack of physician participation and the continual stigmatization and marginalization of medical cannabis consumers. And while some of these proposals have merit, the government needs to recognize the fundamental problem with any medical marijuana system is that marijuana itself remains prohibited. Until we regulate the entire industry, we will continue to see the problems created by prohibition.”

– From The Beyond Prohibition Foundation. Visit their activist portal, WhyProhibition.ca

Comments

32 Comments

  1. Lilliemay Matton on

    I am a medical marijuana patient. I have fibromyalgia, migraines, chronic sinitis and have been in 5 car accidenta all hit fom behind which I have tmj. To add to this I am hypo allergic to mold and a lot of different chemicals this new ruling would be impossible to me as I grow myself and know exactly how it is being grown and what chemicals are used and the proper curing. I also have asthma. My other problem with these proposed changes I live in a RR setting and our little community which I live about 15 away from I would not like to go to my local pharmacy as people in town know me and do not know about my use of medical marijuana as that is my right to privacy. I am a upstanding person of my community and I don’t care what the government says there is a stigmatism adjoined with being a medical marijuana patient. I rely on the medical marijuana as it helps me with the nausea, helps me get out of bed every morning helps with my ocular pressure which is caused by the migraines motion sickness as I would not be able to drive in the vehicles at all without the medical marijuana. I also have problems with my appetite as I would be in a lot of trouble without the use of medical marijuana. I have never spoke out before as the majority of my family and relatives do not know I grow and smoke medical marijuana but I feel it is time to speak out. I also feel the government says they have compassionate pricing and it wil be accessible to everyone that is a lie at 8.50 a gram plus I am sure there is dispensing fees on top of that they will be getting close to 4000.00 a pound. There is nobody who is growing for a patient that would receive that they call 2,000.00 right now compassionate pricing. No patient on disability is going to be able to afford this. We as canadian citizens have a right to all and any medical need and medicine “DO NOT LET THE GOVERNMENT TAKE AWAY OUR RIGHTS” yours truly Lilliemay Matton.

  2. jacob on

    If you know any medical users who grow their own. Please inform them of the proposed changes and encourage them to write health canada. I’m a licensed self producer and I wasn’t even informed. Just found out by fluke online but I bet there are many more like myself that weren’t informed! Help spread the word. The health canada site says it’s only accepting comments on the matter until the 31st!

  3. Christoph on

    how many fires from cegerettes left burning. proper regulation can be imposed to insure all saftey factors are met. This will go back to the old way and synthetic drugs and cocane will flood the markets. Mark my words.

    United States is the cocane capital of the world cause it’s easier to move then pot. Cocane is the number one cause of criminal deaths between US and Canada.Other parts of the world more of the opium and heroine

    In the 70ds symthetic chemicals biggest market ever until good pot became reasonably available. And I would say this has caused a major downsizing of the chemical industries.

    Look what the governments did with the tobacoe industry. Look at the chemicals their aloud to put in it.

    Who is the killer alcohol or pot or chemicals(coke)

    Look at what fast foods can feed our kids

    They will do the same with pot until 10 years later they ID long tern side effects including death. They do it with tobacoe.

  4. Christoph on

    who is going to pay for my medical Marijuana. I grow it because I can not afford it otherwise. And I will not let the government spend billions of dollars dumping there pharmacuetical damaging chemicals down our throats.

    When the bigger guys take over they will have full controll to manipulate and controll the MJ properties like they do with everything else. And tobacoe is number one. The Indian reserve has uncontrolled production of chemically induced tobacoe and allow to destribut world wide. No different then the 3rd world companies producing with excessive amounts of leads or chemicals.And dumping them on the canadian market.

    This government must be stopped this is not china, there type of controll will inflict a major market of synthetic chemicals includeing glues and so forth. Higher escillation of pharmasuetical robberries and take down plus a serious increase in the market of false symthetics that will kill thye young, and infact it is already happening with over the counter symthetics all legal.

    So now I ask you to back up your view and what it does for you.

  5. Christoph on

    The greedy ones will never leave and infact they are the ones trying to take full controll the imposing new laws. The illegal production by large financial groups will continue, like the top floors of run down appartments buildings. In the mean time they bust the sick and put them in jail giving the real greedy full controll of the market.

    Why are we not louder befor Juky 31. I did not receive my government notice until july 8/ 2011, leaving me unreasonable amount of time to get organized on my report. We have to create delays in the bill passing by continueously producing facts and proofs and grounds to stop the bill. Court action must be taken to stop this communistic hitler type controll. There action will put more guns on the streets the all American way.

    And then the cocane and garbage will take over the market. Thats where the big bucks are thats where heavey addictions are, thats the market they want and we have to stop them now.

  6. Ken on

    I have been approved by a doctor and now await the process. I also want to say that this I can’y afford to buy my own it is a choice between food or Medicine and I will take medicine first. I should be able to grow my medicine for the people who abuse it well they should be punished just like everything else. Why is it that we always get punished for other people’s stupidity.

    I will join a law suit if I have to because I and my fellow medical marijuana users have the right to live and be healthy and free of pain!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Anonymous on

    Oh no, this sounds horrible, i totally opposed to this changes, and i will join any group to fight back this thing.

    Everyone should opposed somehow

    the privileged of see your babies grow your medicine is priceless.

  8. Anonymous on

    i meant to say blow your bulbs – TURN your bulbs off before misting your plants.

  9. Anonymous on

    If there are safety issues at a growers facility its simple. They must be educated. There are many principles for how a grow room\box should operate. One for instance is don’t stray your plants when a HPS bulb is 1 foot away. The water mist can blow your plants.

    The point is.. do it right the first time and follow the principles. Instead of banning grows there needs to be a complete opposite.. EDUCATE the grower with instruction manuals and live instructor presentations.

    There are far more dangerous things going on in peoples homes then plant grows. For instance.. i once met a guy that likes to fly and build miniature remote planes, which are gas powered(partly mixed with hydrogen). He once told me a story where a bad fire happened in his basement. Luckily he caught it in time. The point is there are sooo many hobbies that can be considered dangerous under certain circumstances.

    — EDUCATION AND COMMON SENSE —

  10. Brian Kerr on

    Have you ever seen a florescent light explode and catch fire in a grow room.
    Great weed can be grown with florescent.

    Home grows just need to be regulated certified. Growing plants could not be more dangerous than driving to work every day. Apparently we are allowed to do that.

  11. Brian Kerr on

    We should be growing our own poppies too. Screw the pharm companies.

    Poppies are easy to grow and a small garden can supply all a persons pain meds for a year FREE.

    Nothing but full legalization of cannabis for adults is acceptable.

    Until full legalization happens MMJ users will still be subject to repression and second class status.

  12. Mr Green on

    So what else is new, our Govt wants to control everything. Obviously the small medical growers are making deep cuts into the profit of Health Canada. Can you blame Health Canada for trying to put average growers out of business?

    A funny thing happened recently. I noticed CanadaPost is now selling my book “Marijuana Mass Production Made Easy”.
    I never thought CanadaPost would be helping Canada grow more weed. They must be very desperate for more of your hard earned money! LoL..

    http://www.canadapost.ca/shopper/items/7245151/Marijuana-Mass-Production-1453719598

    I guess they finally realized what I have been saying all along, and you can quote me on this:

    “Clone-it, Grow-it, Trim-it, Dry-it, Weigh-it, Sell-it, Spend-it”

  13. Anonymous on

    as for safety, did you notice the article on the news, the 100 year old lightbulb that still works? A newly made cfl bulb will possibly burn out after 6 weeks. HID’s are hardcore products meant for industrial use. THEY ARE STREET LIGHTS, and they stay outside all year, every storm, every season, so…. why don’t you just turn off the power of the entire town because every street has a nice HID over your head!!!! In wet weather!!!!

  14. Anonymous on

    Ok.. then we’ll have to ban every and any type of grow under a bulb. Even if its oregano, basil, tomatoes, flowers, etc.

  15. Anonymous on

    I saw a 1000 watt HPS explode and catch fire, in a grow that was supposedly checked by an electrician. Indoor growing should be banned in residential areas. I am not allowed to manufacture my own heart medicine in the garage. If it becomes legal and you have to pay high prices, welcome to the club, i pay alot for perscriptions too. If you think there should be a grower that will sell cheap high quality “organic” weed, than you should apply to the government to be that operation. I know several exemptees that are selling their weed, maybe you should clean up your own backyard, or at least pull your head out of the sand regarding the problems. I think the new proposals are better, i dont have time to see endless doctors, i would rather order my weed from a licensed grower. And i would never endanger my family by growing in my home. I 100 percent support the banning of residential grows.

  16. bluephosi on

    If commercial growers supply your medical marijuana:
    – you won’t know what anti bug agent they using
    – you won’t know what anti mold agent they are using.
    – you won’t know what fertilizer they are using
    – you won’t know whos hands have touched your buds
    – you won’t know if its grown via hydro or soil.
    – you won’t know absolutely for sure if the strain you requested is the actual strain.
    – you’ve never had a relation with the grower so you simply don’t know them.
    – they will control the price of your medicine
    – they will obviously become rich

    What also strikes me as odd. If the government is disallowing personal grows due to safety reasons etc, what does this mean if i want to grow herbs in a grow room(basil, oregano, etc) Is the government going to disallow any type of plant growth under bulbs?

  17. Dave_s Not Here on

    Sorry, my proofreading sucks. That second line should be “raptureista thugs”.

    When I write that the Supremes are working for the “the man”, I am referring to their corrupt political masters.

  18. Dave_s Not Here on

    Its plainly obvious to me and should be to anyone else who actually looks at what’s been going on in Canada recently. Harper and his deluded gang of mercenary rapureista thugs aren’t stupid, just deluded. They can,obviously, as well as anyone else, see the gargantuan sums of money that are on the tabe in the marijuana business and now they’re out to lock it all up for themselves and their greedy business cronies as well as to feed new victims into their soon to be enhanced prison-industrial complex.

    Stopping them from doing this may not be possible. It will take a year or two, at least, for a case challenging the new regulations to reach the Supreme Court of Canada. In that time, Harper will have had a chance to make a couple of new appointments to the court and you can be sure that the new “Justices” will be fellow-travellers of Harper’s. After these appointments are made, any liberal cause which reaches the court will be shot down in flames. Those Supreme Court “Justices” all know where their pay is coming from and they won’t bite the hand that feeds them — even if they wanted to — and they won’t want to anyway. Theyre not working for you or me… they’re working for “the man.”

    My own personal opinion is that the legal environment for non-medical marijuana consumers is going to revert to the way it was before Health Canada made any regulations at all.

    We survived it then and we will survive it again. The evil forces of darkness will never prevail over decent, right-thinking, freedom loving Canadian Patriots like ourselves.

  19. Anonymous on

    you need to get all the people on the system currently to do a survey and see what they wish the new system to entail. you need to get a good number of people writing to them and saying what they think. they can not be seen to be doing something in contravention of what the patients want. if they do they will be going over the time frame by wasting time getting told to go and do it again. key here is that they need to have it in such a way that patient access is easy and less restricted and suits the patients! any judge will be able to see if that is not the case if there is evidence to show that the patients wants and needs are not being properly met by the next system attempt. a poor person must be able to access. so unless they offer cheap subsidized cannabis to anyone that has a doctors or a naturopaths recoomendation because they say that cannabis might work, then they will be failing to meet the obligations. seriously.. this is the chance to fully change the system for the better and ruin harpers attempt at controlling people using the plant. do not let them get it past the court. this is as important as anything that has happened in the past five years. no point winning the judges agreement only to see the ease of access lost and controlled in such a way. the judge will see that it is not right to stop personal medicine growing in the home just because some people might choose to steal it. that is harming the patient because theives and people that do not follow codes are within a society and it is not how we go about law.

  20. chuck on

    We can’t expect a government to make good decisions for people when money comes first, this is just a natural side effect of the monetary system. So in short a plant once again really should be a plant – thus legal, no ifs ands or buts.

    Anyone notice how many people survive cancer under a doctors care? Just seeing if anyone is noticing the corruption trail? I have been to way to many funerals not to notice…
    😉

  21. 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.

  22. Anonymous on

    The arguments in support of these policies are anything but sound. Yes, this may improve access for patients who have not been approved already, or at least it will streamline the licensing process.
    the analogy of codeine is actually quite apt, since although we as patients might be able to grow poppies, we of course could never be expected to run the complex fractionating equipment that would be required to produce such addictive poison.
    I can, however, easily grow wonderfully clean weed; weed which has helped me kick my debilitating addiction to all of those synthetic poisons the Pharma industry provides.
    all these changes accomplish is removing my rights, the rights of all sick people to the treatment of their choice, and selling them to the highest bidder.

  23. Don on

    I applaud our government for making such balanced changes to this program!

    The growers may not be happy but – the arguments to the changes are sound and the fact is – these amendments give now access to far more people who need this alternative for medical conditions and in a much more timely manner.

    If we need codeine pills – should we be growing our own opiates? No.

    I 100% support these changes as purposed.

    This puts to rest the long time fear mongering of this good leader – that he was going to nix this program!! Hah! Conservative RULE is Cool!!

  24. Norm on

    Thanks Bro’,

    You are the hero who took the government to court, and forced them to legalize medical marijuana. Thanks to you I have been growing awesome crops legally for seven years. Before that I was still growing awesome crops for years and years. LOL.

    Sometimes we just have to ignore the oppressive system and pretend we are free people in a free country. Democracy is just 51% of the people oppressing the other 49%…. ….or , in Harper’s case it is 38% persecuting the other 62%.

    Plant some seed and free the weed !

  25. Terry Parker Jr. on

    Lets get real, when there is no requirement of a doctor’s letter in order to puchase alcohol or tabbacco, then there should be no requirement as to have a doctor’s scrip for marijuana, when being the lesser evil.
    Personaly myself, being a victim of medical child abuse and CIA MK-ULTRA covert human experimentation, I am afraid of doctors, when experience dictates that our medical profession cannot be trusted, when hell bent on misrepresentation, fraud, and non-therapeutic treatment. I find it an insult that marijuana consumers are expected to have a doctor’s signature, when our medical profesion has failed to act in good faith, when it comes to misrepresentation and fraud, involving marijuana research. If not for such breach of ethical guidelines, and corrupt research, marijuana would have have been legal by the early 80’s. It is more than evident, that our medical profession is extremely prejudice of marijuana, and want nothing to do with it. Fine. Let’s drop the requirement of a doctor’s letter, and let the courts legalize marijuana. This way, no political party will take the heat for legalizing pot, and I’ll take the rap for reforming our laws. Hey Steve, you owe me, now give me back my stash.
    Yours,

    Terry Parker Jr.
    http://www.ontariocourts.on.ca/decisions/2000/july/parker.htm
    http://www.thewhyfiles.net/mkultra4.htm#update

  26. Anonymous on

    The information is available on their website here:

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

    But don’t fool yourself into thinking they actually will take what you say into account on their pre-decided plan. This is just so they can say they took all considerations into account in their next court defense.

    What we need is a unified voice, petitions, fair exposure that will combat the obvious propaganda from canada.com and so forth.

  27. Anonymous on

    Who do you think you’re kidding? Regulatory oligarchies aren’t exactly known for their competitive pricing, all the more so when government doing the regulating takes a chunk of the pie. See for example rogers/bell ISP fiasco that’s ongoing, or hey, how about those gas prices??

    They’ve already said they can charge what they like and given equivalent overhead that will no doubt force the offloading of frequent inspection costs and regulations onto the patients will set them with some common minima, collusion /price fixing, and being protected by the free market through regulations will do the rest. Nice try though sport but you’re not fooling anybody.

  28. Kate on

    I think it’s funny that the government is giving the public until July 31st to comment when, it’s my understanding, they only have until July 11th before the ruling of the Ontario court goes into effect.(let me know if I’m wrong)
    The government should not be given one more second to try to “fix” anything……..they’ve had more than 10 years….enough is enough. If the court gives them more time, then all I want to know is, if the judges are nice and cozy in their conservative pockets.

  29. Anonymous on

    At least the greedy growers taking advantage of sick peoples licenses won’t be able to get rich anymore. We don’t need a bunch of vultures preying on our licenses just so they can make money, there’s no compassion in that. Hopefully this change will force prices down so the medical community isn’t continuing to supply a few greedy individuals ridiculous profits.

  30. DubstepDisciple on

    Where would we be able to comment on this proposal by the government? Can someone send it to me in a PM on the forums at DubstepDisciple?