Sign The Petition: Say NO to Health Canada’s Changes to Medical Marijuana

CANNABIS CULTURE – The Canadian federal government is proposing a number of troubling changes to Health Canada’s medical marijuana program that will undoubtedly hurt patients, and now is your chance to speak up and be heard during a “consultation” process for the new regulations. Sign the petition to voice your concerns!

Health Canada’s Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) program was recently found unconstitutional by an Ontario judge in the case of R. v. Mernagh, due to a number of factors. These factors included what the judge called an “overwhelming refusal to participate in the medicinal marijuana program” by Canadian doctors, which “completely undermines the effectiveness of the program.”

The judge gave the Canadian government 90 days to fix the program, before all possession and production laws regarding cannabis become invalid in Ontario.

Health Canada has now come forward with proposed changes to the program, which Cannabis Culture,, and other activist groups have deemed ineffective, unmanageable, and potentially dangerous to medical marijuana users.

The proposed changes include:

  • Eliminating personal production licences, ending legal personal home marijuana grows altogether
  • Eliminating patient identification cards, putting patients at risk of police action
  • Building a system of private for-profit marijuana growers and sellers who would provide to all patients in Canada, severely limiting the range of quality strains of medicine
  • Continuing the unconstitutional “doctors as gatekeepers” system
  • Failing to address the many compassion clubs and medical marijuana dispensaries currently open across Canada

Please read and sign the petition below from to tell Health Canada you do not agree with their proposed changes to the medical marijuana program:


I am deeply concerned about the response by Health Canada to the various court decisions declaring its existing medical marijuana program unconstitutional. The proposals that have been brought forward fail to deal with the myriad of problems in the program. Specifically, I take issue with the following proposals:

Physician as “Gatekeeper”:
R v Mernagh found that physicians in Canada have effectively boycotted the existing medical marijuana program, and therefore the program itself was unconstitutional. Health Canada’s response does nothing to address this boycott beyond the promise of making information accessible to physicians. Any changes to the Health Canada medical marijuana program must abide by the findings in R v Mernagh and meaningfully expand the “Gatekeeper” role beyond physicians, preferably to include Naturopaths, Nurse Practitioners, Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pharmacists.

Personal and Designated Production:
Individuals have spent thousands of dollars and often years of time setting up production facilities and finding appropriate marijuana cultivars (strains) for their condition. Court cases including Sfetkopolous, Beren and Hitzig have found that denying production licenses on arbitrary grounds violates a patient’s constitutional rights to access medical marijuana.

Contrary to extensive misinformation campaigns in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, led by the RCMP research chair at the UCFV, there is no evidence that medical marijuana production facilities contribute any more to public safety threats than a myriad of other permitted activities (including cooking at home, having expensive possessions, installing a hot-tub, growing tomato plants). Any changes to the Health Canada medical marijuana program must include the preservation of personal and designated production.

Patient Identification:
Authorized medical marijuana patients from across Canada report that local police often fail to recognize current medical marijuana authorization identification, detaining and even arresting patients and often illegally seizing their medication. The proposal to remove any formal identification for patients will only lead to more unlawful detention of patients by local police. Any changes to the Health Canada medical marijuana program must include patient identification and education programs to ensure police do not continue to unlawfully detain authorized patients.

For profit production:
The proposal by Health Canada to only allow medical marijuana to be produced for profit by an oligopolistic group of license holders, at a price point those producers set, will be a disaster for patient access in Canada. Not only will patients be unable to acquire strains they have bred specifically for their symptoms, but they will be subject to exorbitant increases in price. Especially for patients who require large dosages this will result in an inability to access medication. The current holder of the Health Canada commercial production license has failed to create an adequate supply for Canadians. Patients report low quality, low efficacy, high prices and ineffective medical quality. There is simply no reason to believe that expanding the system of commercial production, based on current Health Canada requirements will result in any positive changes to patient access. Any changes to the Health Canada medical marijuana program must include alternatives to a purely profit driven system of production.

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries:
The current proposals by Health Canada do nothing to address the court sanctioned yet unlicensed system of medical marijuana dispensaries in Canada. These Dispensaries serve several times more patients than the current Health Canada program, and patients report much higher satisfaction with dispensary services. Any changes to the Health Canada program must include licensing the existing network of dispensaries.

The proposals by Health Canada constitute less than a bad faith response to court orders, they represent outright defiance. The current proposals do not meet the needs of medical marijuana patients in Canada, and will result in a further restriction of patient access to medical marijuana. I call upon Health Canada to return to the drawing board and come up with a program designed to succeed, not fail. I call on Health Canada to honour the spirit and intent of court rulings and create a meaningful system of workable access for medical marijuana.



Contact Health Canada Directly:

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

Consultations end on JULY 31, 2011, so please contact Health Canada today!

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  1. Pingback: announced changes – Cannabis in Canada The Illustrated History by Dana Larsen

  2. tcc member on

    re:A doctor to sign
    Posted by tcc member on Jan 27 2013

    Please read my post RE:MMAR Impact Statement Through a Patients eyes, if your still looking go to and fill out the forms it costed me about $500.00 but I am in Ontario and was not covered under OHIP.

  3. tcc member on

    I’m in you can use my MMAR Impact Statement Through a Patients Eyes at the bottom of the posts, I would love to drain those asses of there 70 billion they have laying around waiting for Jets that will never come.

  4. tcc member on

    Please read my post RE:MMAR Impact Statement Through a Patients eyes, if your still looking go to and fill out the forms it costed me about $500.00 but I am in Ontario and was not covered under OHIP but you my be because they are in B.C.

  5. tcc member on

    MMAR Impact Statement
    Through a Patients Eyes

    To start off a little history of the HELL I went through to get my ATP certification:

    I asked my doctor and gave him the app and the waiver he said he would look in to it. At my next appt he said he took the matter to the ethics board and was told that he would open himself up to rev can audit, and did not want that. So I went to with with my MRI that says I have Osteoarthritis. I got doctors appt and was told that she was filing a B2 app for me because Osteoarthritis is not a B1 illness and that I may be Rejected because the doctor at the pain clinic that sent me for the MRI is not a registered specialist as required on a B2 app. 2 Months later I received notice from Health Canada to find a specialist. Its now 2 Months later I have sent out 4 referrals from my doctor, 2 have responded with a refusal of the referral saying simply I can not Help this patient.
    Another month has gone by and I got review of my App, I have specialist report stating chronic pain due to osteoarthritis and doctor has stated cannabis as a pain reliever, health Canada has denied report because doctor is not a Royal Colleges of Physicians degree. My Doctor is now trying to convince them on the merit of the specialist, and in all this I asked my Doctor about Her Contact at health Canada and if there is any Medical people there she said no, How in the heck is it Legal for a non medically licensed government person to be making decisions on My HEALTH CARE. The law was struck down because” patients are unable to find a Doctor to sign the app”, I have 2 Doctors that are recommending cannabis.
    Just had it out with Health Canada, They are not budging Royal Colleges of Physicians degree or NO ACCSESS!!!!
    I am Just a guy in pain trying to continue to work and take care of my disabled wife and by the way it takes her 8-10 months to get a specialist. It really is a case of the compassion of medicine hitting the burecrtic brick wall.
    I am in my 4th month of pursuing my MMAR license, I have finally had my specialist appt with a doctor who is FRCPC Runatoligest and Royal Colleges of Physicians Accredited. Not to make light of his stroke a few years back but this doctor was on more Meds that I could only dream about, I mean this guy was as
    high as a kite. The first hour of the Appt was discussing where my pain is and my med list, half the hour was taken up with lecturing me on how bad it is for me to
    be getting allergy shots every 2 weeks, the 2nd part of the hour was recommending that I stop using Celebrex and baclifen which are the 2 meds that are helping the swelling and back spasams.the 2nd hour was the physical exam in which he twisted and turned me until I was in pain and in conclusion determined that all can be fixed by exercise, weight loss and quitting smoking, He did on the other hand diagnose me with Fibermyalga which my wife and I have suspected for years.
    All in all he gave me no real ideas or suggestions on how to manage pain like my pain specialist did. But at least I will have a report from a specialist that health Canada will accept. I should know within a month.
    Going into my 5th month I find the “Proposed Redesigned Program” Insane that I have spent 3 months looking for a specialist/specialist when the “Proposed Changes will eliminate A Specialist. So still after 4 months the only safe place I can medicate is my Bathroom, and even at that I am breaking the law.
    So in my 8th month and finely have my app in to Health Canada they had it for two weeks so
    I called to check on progress and I was told they will call in a few weeks, basically saying
    Don’t call us Will call you,” so here we sit”
    Nov 8th finally received my ATP certificate (Card) I put card in brackets because there is no Card any more, anyway Legal now for the next 10 months and do it all over again for renewal, I think Health Canada has issues with that to.
    Note: I Paid Just Over $500.00 to for my ATP because my doctor would not sign, but I meet the criteria of the MMAR program through any Physician. Until all Physician are mandated to accept there patients needs over there own (ignorance}in brackets because tests are done, research is in, Guess What? Cannabis IS MEDICALLY BENIFICAL. .
    As for getting rid of the Individual grower I just don’t understand how I can buy just a part of the plant? I use the whole plant, Stalk & leaves for Cannabutter, Bud to Medicated and WHAT do I do with SEEDS? I my self am serviced by a Compassion Club they are serviced by Individual growers who produce a variety of strains for a variety of illnesses and about half of them are at subsidized prices at 5-7 dollars a gram. If my Club gets forced out of business and they (“don’t care what you say” Health Canada} can’t provide the service I need I will be returning to my dealer.

    Yours The Patient

  6. Aqualung on

    The gov’ts proposed changes are ridiculous.
    Before I found medical pot, I was on Morphine, Gabapentin, Ativan, Prozac, Percocet, Amitriptylene, and lots of them. I have chronic pain due to being hit by a drunk driver when i was 21. I went from 180lbs to 220lbs with lethargy and stomach problems to boot.
    When I started using cannabis I was able to kick ALL pills! I am now 175lbs and feel so much better thanks to medical pot.
    My prescription is 20 grams per day, no I don’t smoke that much, I also use tincture, oil, and balm.
    I produce my own medicine and have followed MMAR’s rules to the letter. I will not be able to pay for 20 grams a day under the new proposal. I also will not go back on pills! The patients are the ones getting screwed over. The gov’t is taking the medical pot out of the hands of the patients who need it, and know what works best for themselves and placing it in the hands of people who’s sole goal is to mass produce chemically grown strains (I grow organically in soil) of what I do not know, who just want to make money selling it. This is wrong on so many levels. Big business has NO business in my medical marijuana.
    The Gov’t will not condemn me to a life of suffering without a fight.

  7. Anonymous on

    I enjoy marijuana, so I grow a few plants in my home.
    What’s the big deal?
    I am a responsible, peaceful, law abiding citizen, I pay taxes, have a demanding job, and don’t want any trouble.
    Over thirty years ago I started smoking marijuana, and now I don’t smoke, instead I make butter every few months.
    What is the problem with that?
    Who am I threat to?
    Why am I a criminal?
    Harper, if you’re listening, listen carefully.
    If I have to go to jail tomorrow because of you, I’m going to be very angry.
    Is it worth it?
    What are you, a man or a mouse, a leader or a follower?
    Do you want a whole bunch of people pissed off at you, just because you do what the Americans tell you to?
    You can rape the tax payers by building an army to imprison peaceful pot smokers, but not all of us are going to take it lying down.

  8. Buzz Killjoy on

    I was discussing this with a good friend just the other day.
    After a few minutes we agreed that the most likely outcome would be the jailing of all growers in the brand new jails(private profit-public liability), then employing them in “Prison Pot Farms” at prison wages to supply the brand new “Commercial Growers”. Undoubtedly, the very same people would be the major stockholders of both groups.

  9. Peter Ferentzy on

    Dear Mr. Roman

    I’m a research scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. I recently wrote a book of which you should be aware (in my view). You can check me at I would be good if you got in touch. We could exchange some thoughts.

    Best Wishes

    Peter Ferentzy

  10. zack on

    hi been smoking cannabis since high school and id just like to say i havent had health problems from it. never cared for alcohol and tabacco but i do smoke cigerettes. just want to say tabbacco has down its toll on me.

    anyways i use cannabis for chronic arthritus but i’m not licensed because it takes to long so i resort the buying it illegaly. the problem with that is you never can always get the right strain for pain relief. sometimes it makes it even worse since the void of not aquiring medical cannabis constantly.currently i’m all out of weed and the pain omfg has come back.ive had a few injuries when i was younger and i havent recovered describe my pain.. a throbbing numbness,or my pain shoots up my extremites. i’m constantly cracking my joints to try to help the pain but i relize that’s not good to do.if i had some pain relief i wouldn’t have to make it worse long term.pain relief smoking cannabis is about 96% now that’s wow to me. i dont believe in pain killers from the pharmacy knowing that they could be harmful to me long term but cannabis really has no long term side effects using it daily i have found.

  11. marcromain on

    I am running for The United States Congress on a platform AGAINST the War on Drugs.

    Other than those who have vested financial interests in not seeing the truth –such as the Pharmaceutical, Tobacco, Alcohol, and Prison Industrial Complex/“Treatment” industries, -most people who talk about The War on Drugs agree that it is a failure on every front but what to do…? What can any one person do…? On the day that I or anyone else who subscribes to my plan takes office in a position with pardon power, THE DRUG WAR IS OVER in that jurisdiction. While a Governor or a President can’t write law or usually even determine what on the books is enforced, pre-emptive online pardons for drug law violations from that day forward will stop it on day one. When coupled with a requirement that any distribution have occurred in warning covered packages while banning advertising promotions, usage will drop, -with a precipitous decline in the murders, corruptions, overdoses, environmental poisonings, funding of terrorist/criminal elements, wrong or “right” house raids, horrific imprisonments and other problems caused by the War on Drugs. -Marc Romain

  12. JDB on

    To all of the Sick Medical Cannabis Users:
    I’m nowhere near as sick as many medical users but I do have 2 conditions (at least) which respond fantastically to cannabis.
    I want to be part of this “Class Action Lawsuit”.
    I think that SMCU’S idea is long overdue.
    We need to start amassing a list of people willing to be part of this.
    My doctor said “Dave, go home and smoke a joint!” after realizing that my blood pressure had me on the verge of a stroke and no pharmaceutical had proven effective.
    I also have a very painful congenital spinal defect called spondylolisthesis.

    In my personal case, I don’t drink alcohol or smoke tobacco anymore thanks to cannabis, a much healthier choice.

    I love your idea and I’d like to see it “take off”.
    I’m sure we’d be able to get a huge group of people who’d be willing to support you.,

  13. Mister Grean on

    The whole MMAR scheme was broken to begin with, most specifically for the fact that ‘doctors are advised (by their College of Physicians) to not prescribe marijuana because of the lack of scientific evidence for its effectiveness’. Though the quote may not be exact, it’s close enough.

    But there in lies the problem. There will always be a lack of evidence if you never bother too look for any. I’ve had Multiple Sclerosis for just over a decade, and received absolutely no treatment or acknowledgement of my health from doctors. They’re either afraid they’ll be sued, loose their medical licenses, or something worse should they treat my MS symptoms with any of the medications available.

    So naturally, I have to consume medical cannabis to treat my symptoms that all doctors refuse to treat with conventional medications.

    But when a former GP of mine (who dropped me as his patient because I have MS) refused to sign my MMAR application because of the lacking of scientific evidence for the efficacy of medical cannabis, I asked him to cite some research papers.

    Dumb founded, he tried to drift off onto other excuses. Imagine his suprise when I pulled out a sheet of paper and began to list more than two dozen studies supporting medical marijuana for the treatment of symptoms in adults with MS. I offered for him to take this list, so that he could reference these papers himself. He refused.

    And neurologists too, not a single one of the several I’ve seen in the Vancouver region will prescribe any medication to an MS patient, even those pharmaceutical pill that have been available for greater than a decade. Their instance is that all MS patients would benefit far greater from enrolling in double-blinded experimental drug testing for emerging medications.

    However, I’m a member at four different cannabis dispensaries in Vancouver, and all they required was a single sheet of paper from my medical records indicating that I have MS. Why can’t the MMAR division accept that?

    Honestly, if medical marijuana patients start going to jail because the federal government can’t manage its programs, there will be revolts and riots. Not to mention a hell of a lot more money going into the pockets of criminals filling the place of dispensaries. Eventually, the government will change its tune, but not before the honest growers and distributors are all locked away. The feds will then approach those illegal growers and distributors, begging their help in developing a medical marijuana growing and distribution system, turning those gangs into businesses.

    Do you think that will reduce crime Mr. Harper?

  14. Sick Medicinal Cannabis User on

    I have tried many different types of cannabis and cannabis products, and the only ones that allow me to live my life comfortably are the strains that I grow. Its not any phenotype of these strains that will work; I have specific phenotypes that I have selected from hundreds of plants, and these are the only three that work to bring back my appetite and relieve my nausea.

    The private growers are not going to have my strains, my nausea and lack of appetite will come back, my weight will drop back down from 190 to 150 and I will start a class action lawsuit with all the other medical marijuana users who are going to be in the same situation as me.

  15. Bud Grinder on

    I forgot to mention in the text above… “The Harper Government” (their words, not mine) will be doing all of this on yours and my tax dollars. Isn’t that ironic?… they’re going to send out thugs with guns to hunt marijuana consumers and suppliers down using their own money (tax $$$) to do it!

    Is’nt this a great country now, or what?

  16. Bud Grinder on

    Harper and his deluded gang of raptureista thugs have recently announced that they’re going to turn back the clock about fifty years and launch a new pogrom against marijuana consumers and suppliers. If they’re forced by the courts to have any exceptions from their prohibition for the reason of medical necessity, the only marijuana permitted will be that marijuana which is provided by the government’s own approved suppliers… who, predictably, will be generously remitting funds back to the politicians and party which created their exclusive market. Cute business model they’re cooking up for themselves, no?

    For those folks who consume and supply marijuana outside of the government’s monopoly, there’s going to be vastly expanded facilities (PRISONS) for them to be rounded-up and shipped to for some deliberate, systematic and malicious institutionalized abuse to be inflicted on them.

    Nice scam they’re setting up for themselves and their cronies. They get a monopoly on the medical marijuana business and they get to feed lots of fresh fodder (CITIZENS) into the maw of their enhanced abuse mill where the vicious thug operators of the abuse mill get to have jobs where they can, with impunity, express their dispicable thug natures and also be counted upon to reliably vote for more thug politicians like Harper.

    Sweet deal… for everybody except all the decent and right-thinking, freedom-loving patriots of this wonderful and beautiful country that I love.