It was like having 60 Minutes in my living when Global Television 16×9 came to interview me, Matt Mernagh Cannabis Champion of the World. Three incredibly hot lights, several cameras and a person manning them, a producer, and interviewer, plus I asked two friends to come over for enthusiastic support – my home was packed with gear and people. We did three locations around Toronto and spent over ten hours together. What began as 14 minute segment on medicinal marijuana has become a one hour special airing tonight at 7pm EDT on Global Television with two news items already on Global National News.
Some people in the marijuana movement are not happy with health reporter Jennifer Tryon coverage because it exposes all sides of a dynamic med pot problem. What happens when a government run medical marijuana program has been declared unconstitutional? Health Canada’s med pot program hasn’t worked since its inception, yet average Canadians have made it work by helping one another.
However, some lawyers and doctors, reports Global TV News, are charging fees to access Health Canada’s legal medical marijuana program. With so few doctors signing government forms and demand for legal medical marijuana high, it’s a doctors signer’s market. Add an extra layer of meddling middle men and you can score a license if you’re prepared to pay big bucks.
It’s despicable and disappointing to access a government program Canadians need to fork over upwards of a grand. Or about the cost of setting up a nice personal private marijuana grow room.
In case you don’t know my story, I was caught growing cannabis for myself to treat a slew of health problems. Lawyer Paul Lewin and I worked for over three years on a charter application we codenamed, “Doctors As Gatekeepers.” We successfully argued with so few doctors signing applications, the program was practically inaccessible. Essentially it was an illusion designed to uphold our marijuana laws. Twenty two Canadians testified from PEI to British Columbia about their quest for a legal med pot card. A mountain of studies and paperwork proving effectiveness and access was submitted.
The justice agreed, Health Canada medical marijuana program is an illusion. He bulldozed not only the program, but also two important pieces of prohibition legislation. Personal production and possession. Should the feds fail to enact an accessible med pot program within 90 days that eliminates doctors as sole gatekeeper to the program, then the laws will fall. Marijuana for personal consumption will be legal or effectively legally speaking, decriminalized, when the Conservative government fails to respond to R v. Mernagh. Their announced timeline to install doctors as gatekeepers (yes the same provision declared unconstitutional) in their new and improved program is 18 to 24 months. They might well have come out and said, we’re going to take Mernagh to the Supreme Court of Canada. Because that would be the anticipated timeline.
Yet, the federal government can pass a mandatory minimum marijuana sentencing law in under 100 days. Go figure the Cons can’t help sick Canadians with some cannabis compassion. We are in Ontario Court of Appeal May 7 and 8 in what will be an epic battle between The Garden City Grower Matt Mernagh vs. The Niagara Falls Nug Hater Rob Nicholson (Minister of Justice.)