CANNABIS CULTURE – The International Hempology 101 Society is spearheading a nationwide protest of Health Canada’s proposed Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, (MMPR) on February 21 outside MP offices across the country.
The new regulations are a response to the many court cases that have found the current scheme, the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations, to be in clear violation of section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (CCRF). The proposed changes remove patients’ right to grow their own medicine, while continuing to prohibit them from processing their medicine into healthier alternatives than the dried plant matter prescribed by Health Canada.
Voices from all across Canada will gather to protest the MMPR on February 21 outside of their MP’s offices, with 42 ridings confirmed to date. We are also encouraging anyone who can’t make it out to participate in a ‘phone jam’ aimed at the office of our Minister of Health, Leona Aglukkaq, as well as a letter writing campaign. This gives us one week to apply pressure before the deadline for public consultation on the matter passes on February 28.
The MMPR fail to address two pivotal court rulings versus the previous schemes.
R. v. Parker found that section 7 of the CCRF grants patients the right to grow their own medicine. The MMAR were originally drafted in response to this decision, coming to replace the inadequate pre-existing regulations, known as “exemption 56”. The MMPR revoke this right, citing a rise in neighborhood crime as an issue without any solid evidence.
R. v. Smith found that the MMAR’s prohibition of the production and possession of cannabis extracts and their derivative products was in violation of section 7 of the CCRF, in that such products are healthier and more cost effective than smoking the dried herb. The MMPR take no heed of this, again criminalizing those who would rather eat cannabis or use it topically.
The MMPR circumvent the courts by taking away the right to grow one’s own medicine as well as prohibiting edible and topical products. This means, should these regulations take effect, judges will once again need to waste time and resources ruling them unconstitutional.