Canada Needs a Medical Marijuana Policy That Puts Patients First

In 2003, I started bringing pot home from school for my dad.

He had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1985. My family struggled alongside him as MS took its painful toll. His galaxy of pills did little but turn him into a zombie.

Eighteen years later, he discovered cannabis. I procured it for him from my high school, where it was – and remains – ubiquitous. What began as a clandestine therapy of last resort soon became his front-line treatment.

Today, a regimen of cannabis-infused foods helps him control pain, spasms and nausea. It lifts his spirits, perks up his appetite and helps him sleep. The side effects are negligible, especially compared to those of some of his legal medications, which twice nearly killed him.

Fortunately, I no longer have to hang out in schoolyards to buy him what he needs to survive comfortably. I live in a country where I, as his caregiver, can grow this wonderful plant under licence from Health Canada.

For now.

Health Canada is overhauling the Marijuana Medical Access Program in response to concerns about “exploitation by criminal elements.” During consultations with Montreal medical cannabis dispensaries in August, Health Canada indicated it is seeking to adopt a “more traditional regulatory role” in what it now refers to as a “marketplace.” The plan is to privatize medical cannabis and license commercial producers, who must comply with strict protocols in order to qualify.

Which is positive, prudent and even praiseworthy, but only when contrasted against a decade of poorly planned fecklessness.

Health Canada goes to great lengths to mention in its “proposed improvements” that this is “not the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana.” This effort to eschew legalization as a sensible policy option is cynical and sophistic.

To make sure this scheme is not some form of de facto legalization, the federal government plans to phase out permits that allow patients to tend their own marijuana gardens or designate a caregiver to do so. (And thanks to the omnibus crime bill, if you are convicted of growing medical cannabis without a licence from Health Canada, you will go directly to jail.)

This does not bode well for patients and does not sit well with Canadians. Revoking and recriminalizing these supply options is a punitive measure, devoid of compassion and decency.

During a recent meeting that Health Canada representatives had with the Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada, it was pointed out to them that there are three possible courses of action: maintain the status quo, legalize cannabis, or regulate it like any other medical product or therapy.

But physicians are loath to be gatekeepers. Regulating cannabis as a medical product is a half-measure doomed to failure so long as government wages an expensive ideological war against non-medical use. Dr. Yves Robert, secretary of the Collège des médecins du Québec, has said on the college’s blog that “the medical profession cannot agree with such a paradoxical policy.”

The California Medical Association has endorsed cannabis legalization on the grounds that it is a “medically sound policy that will only further the ability to properly treat patients.”

In Vancouver, the incumbent mayor and four of his predecessors made an endorsement to “stop the violence” and remove this now highly lucrative crop from the clutches of a criminal market.

The idea is trending upward. More Canadians support legalization than support our duly elected government. Parents today understand that prohibiting cannabis fails to protect their children and does not make their communities safer.

The Marijuana Medical Access Program was created because sick Canadians require help. The coercion underpinning Health Canada’s “improvements” undermines their potential for success.

My father’s plight is but one of millions that expose the folly of the status quo, and the need for a cannabis policy based on evidence and public health.

But until the federal government progresses beyond its obstinate denial and legalizes cannabis, the sick will suffer, miscreants will line their pockets, and this awesome medicine will be more easily found in high schools than in hospitals.

– Article from .



  1. Anonymous on

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    The Federal Tort Claims Act or “FTCA”, (June 25, 1948, ch. 646, Title IV, 62 Stat. 982, “28 U.S.C. Pt.VI Ch.171? and 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b)), is a statute enacted by the United States Congress in 1948.

    The FTCA permits private parties to sue the United States in a federal court for most torts committed by persons acting on behalf of the United States. The FTCA constitutes a limited waiver of sovereign immunity.
    The Federal Tort Claims Act of 1946, for the first time, gave American citizens the right to sue the federal government.”

    The primary reason for this communication was to create an awareness of the methods of omission used by all parties in this great crime against humanity itself. Now if you look closely you will not find the mentioning of powerful antibiotic actions of marijuana nor will you find the mentioning of the Lyme plague (Lyme disease primarily is treated with powerful antibiotics ) which was so disturbing to myself — you the reader are being directed to these specific omitted facts with all the background provided.

    Cannabis plant extracts can effectively fight drug-resistant bacteria.
    Antibacterial Cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa

    The audience of the communication has at length in time now been exposed to the Lyme plague instrumented by the United States Government and their facilitating agents. The email sent out by Joseph Mercola clearly demonstrates the aggressive actions by the criminal parties which must be responded to with every action possible.

    Thus the difficult yet apparent facts of this bio weapon being empowered by marijuana Prohibition comes to light. This is the 2012 moment and we have to prosecute this crime.

    By Virginia T. Sherr 7-31-05

    Lyme borreliosis is a brain disease as well as a multisystemic disease caused by spirochetal bacteria.* Quite frankly, it is an infection that has been burdened with a thousand inaccurate medical diagnoses. The manner in which the current pandemic of tertiary Lyme disease, neuroborreliosis, has usually been handled— either angrily dismissed or strangely misdiagnosed–throughout the 30 years following its “discovery,” has blemished the historic excellence of modern American Medicine.

    Losses of acuity in the human brain’s visual cortex have been observed as early as 6 hours following the toxic bite of an infected tick. Lyme may persist after too brief a period of treatment or if there has been no treatment, and may result in chronic infections whereupon Lyme borreliosis becomes a potential cause of every symptom in medical and psychiatric lexicons. It is the “Great Imitator” of this Millennium, spirochetal paresis (neuro-syphilis) having been its precursor and its model.

    Special to AOL News
    (May 28) — We’re in the midst of a terrifying epidemic, although you wouldn’t know it to talk to most doctors and health specialists.

    The disease is growing at a rate faster than AIDS. From 2006 to 2008 alone, the number of cases jumped a whopping 77 percent. In 2008 alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed 28,921 “confirmed” and 6,277 “probable” cases of the disease, but there could be as many as 420,000 because of underreporting.

    Prominent victims include Parker Posey, Richard Gere, President George W. Bush, Alice Walker and Christie Brinkley.

    If any other disease had stricken so many people, the medical community would be scurrying for knowledge, scrambling for cures or rushing to warn patients (think swine flu).

    But more important is the need for public health community to treat this disease like the epidemic it is, and start putting real resources into educating the public and the medical profession about how to identify it, treat it, and prevent it.

  2. Anonymous on

    They are setting the table for full control of medical marijuana (hence all marijuana). All governments want to take your right to grow a weed, an herb, medicine in your own garden. but THEY can do the same and make billions of dollars on a crop they once labeled ‘illegal’. Yeah, it’s only illegal when you or I grow it, but not when they do.

    That brings to thought that you cannot patent weed, yet they have. Setting the scene to ‘own’ it. You cannot OWN a plant, weed, medicine. It is for all of us equally with no government say in any of it.

    This is utter bullshit. I for one cannot wait for the world to go through to the next change, whatever it is. living in a matrix such as this, tends to make someone insane.

    It is all insanity. I am sovereign. I will not be told what people can medicate with, or how people can save themselves or a relative who is dying of cancer.


  3. Psychedelicious on

    A war indeed. Enemies of freedom need to be identified as such, and promptly dealt with. Education for the masses.

  4. Anonymous on

    Make no mistake, this is a war, and while I am not encouraging violence (which would be stupid when the enemy has control of all the guns, police, army, politicians and so on) I am encouraging civil disobedience. Which means anyone who supports prohibition should be labeled as an enemy of freedom.

    Help those who want to end the war on drugs, oppose those who don’t, it’s quite simple. And remember, this is not unlike Germany in the 1930s, it’s the totalitarian tip-toe with one freedom vanishing after another until they can grab you without due process and lock you away.

    Mandatory minimums are one of the steps.