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How the New Medical Cannabis Regulations Are Set to Throw Patients Under the Bus

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Canada was among the very first countries to acknowledge a constitutional right for qualified patients to use medical cannabis.  It’s almost as if the federal government decided that as penance for this inadvertent progressivism, we should develop the worst medical cannabis access regime to be found anywhere.   

Incremental improvements through the courts by means of a long litany of constitutional challenges to Health Canada’s program have been important, but the federal government has worked to limit or annul improvements time and time again.

hc-mjSee for a noted example, the legal challenge to the provision of the regulations that limited designated growers to only growing medical cannabis for one patient.  The constitutional standard to meet is one of “reasonable access”.  Designated growers only being able to grow for one patient did not meet this standard.  Three guesses what the federal government came back with when it was forced to redraft the regulation:  “Okay, how ‘bout two patients”.    

A recent stunner of a case came out of Victoria which asked the question of whether it is constitutional for Health Canada’s program to restrict patients’ access to dried cannabis only.  What this restriction means is that unless you happen to have a cannabis vaporizer on hand (perhaps alongside the juicer and the waffle-maker in the back of your cupboard) then you will be forced to smoke your medication.

This is old news to medical cannabis patients, but other Canadians tend to find themselves gobsmacked to learn that Health Canada requires sick people to smoke.  And happily, in the Smith case, the judge found that this is another unconstitutional aspect of the program.  Unhappily, the federal government is apparently taking no heed of this finding.

The right to reasonable access…

Given this track record, you will forgive us if we did not have overly high expectations of the recent re-haul of the entire medical cannabis program.  The irony is that there are many aspects of the new program that do in fact make significant improvements, at the same time that the modifications guarantee that the sickest and the most vulnerable of the patients in question are going to be completely barred from accessing their medications.  So, on the one hand, patients are not going to have to wait months and months for a license from Health Canada to legally possess medical cannabis because they will soon be able to purchase it directly on the basis of a physician’s authorization.  But no one who is receiving a disability income will be able to afford the medication.

The heart of the new regulations…

The heart of the new regulations is the creation of a new private sector medical cannabis supply industry and the phasing out of the personal and designated production licenses that allowed patients to cost effectively produce their own medical cannabis.  The development of a supply industry is an inevitable and not unworkable response to the government’s clearly demonstrated failure to provide a satisfactory supply of medical cannabis for licenced users.   However, the new plan does not include any mechanism for cost containment or cost coverage and leaves patients subject exclusively to market forces.

The government’s Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement for the new program estimates that the average price of medical marihuana in 2014 will be $8.80/g.  Estimates as to what constitutes an average daily amount of medical marihuana appear to range widely, from 2 g/day to 10 g/day.  This would mean that medical marihuana patients would be paying from $17/day (2 g) to $88/day (10 g).  For those patients requiring daily medication, this amounts to approximately $510/month (2 g/day) to $2640/month (10 g/day).

For almost any Canadian, such costs would be a formidable barrier to access, but for people on fixed disability incomes, the cost is a complete bar to access.  The current rate for a single person on provincial disability benefits in British Columbia at this time $906.42/month (BC Ministry of Social Development).  There is no possibility that disabled persons receiving disability benefits could afford daily medication at even the low end of the average use estimates under the new system.

The ‘cost’ of doing business…

This isn’t a horrible oversight on the part of the federal government. Their own documents acknowledge that a large percentage of current patients will simply be unable to access their medication under the new system.  Apparently this is just the ‘cost’ of the new way of doing business.

Well, whatever that ‘business’ is, it isn’t providing constitutionally-required access to medical cannabis.  Or, so we expect the courts will find when the inevitable constitutional challenge lands to further blight the already atrocious record of the government.

parliamentary-mj

What is doubly galling is that it really doesn’t have to be this way.  Even if it could be argued that the government did not anticipate the size of some of the medical production that has been occurring in residential areas, there are several ways that the purported security and safety concerns of these could be addressed, including limiting the number of plants that could be grown in this way.

There is still a glimmer of hope that the new regulations will see some sensible amendments before they are brought in.  But it is only a glimmer of hope.  And it is beyond hope that amendments would address all the old problems with the program that the new regulations aren’t going to solve, problems like the paucity of physicians who are willing to work with the program and that the new program seemingly has no place for community-based dispensaries/compassion clubs – the only folks with a proven track record of providing access to patients.

But with all the concerns, the one right at the centre is the effective bar to access for the most sick and the most vulnerable.  The government claims that we can’t have people growing cannabis for therapeutic purposes in their residences because of the “risk of diversion”.  Essentially Canadians are being told that we need to treat these plants like caseloads of plutonium, and that justifies throwing the sick and the vulnerable under the bus.

It does not.

See our latest submission to Health Canada here.

 

 

 

 

33 thoughts on “How the New Medical Cannabis Regulations Are Set to Throw Patients Under the Bus

  1. i have a licence to grow my own medical marijuana it cost me a $1.10 a gram to grow .I am on disability and would never be able to afford their prices.But what can you expect from the harper gevernment

    • I have spent much time and cash to properly equip my grow room to the standards set out by Health Canada. All equip is csa approved and all electrical and plumbing prof. installed. I also met and exceeded security standards. I have complied with all their standards and was never inspected and I don’t believe anyone has been. Thank you H.C. for accusing all legit growers for being dangerous to our neighbors, the general public and ourselves!

  2. would just like to thank you fore your incite and Compassion to the difficulties the disabled are having regarding the new MMPR Program. I am a MMAR patient and have had nothing but headache and pain caused by Health Canada, the Program and the CMA.

    To begin with my doctor would not sign my forms, but I meet the criteria of the MMAR program through all Physicians, so I paid just over $500.00 for my ATP through a sympathetic Doctor out of Provence. Please read my full MMAR Impact Statement through a Patients Eyes, Doctors & Politicians need to start treating Cannabis as the 3000 year old Medicine that it is and less like a chemical powder that was cooked up in a backyard Shed, the critically ill and chronic pain suffers don’t have 15 years of Testing for Cannabis to be “Accepted “ by the Medical Profession, the Government and Society.

    Thank You

    Bob Carter

    • Hi there, I am an outreach worker working with clients under legal provisions. I am trying to find a doctor(s)to assist my clients that are classified as disabled. Thank you

  3. 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 MM.ca 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 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.

    I will in conclusion Leave you with the following recommendations from an article forwarded from Cannabis Culture, We will stand for nothing less.

    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 honor the spirit and intent of court rulings and create a meaningful system of workable access for medical marijuana. Sincerely Yours The Patient.

    Footnote 1} To all C go to http://www.calgarycmmc.com/ then click on Cannabis Videos-Updated Daily, Here you find information videos on everything from Dispensaries and how they work to Accredited Doctors explaining the usages, effects, side effects of Cannabis. Look further into this site and you will find studies, research modals and findings. Or if you choose just search Google and you will find all the necessary information you will need including Prescriptions and Dosages per day. Please Do Not say there is not enough Research or Studies for you or your patients to make a honest responsible choice for Cannabis as a medical treatment if the prognosis is warranted, the critically ill and chronic pain suffers don’t have 15 years for Cannabis to be “Accepted “ by the Medical Profession, the Government and Society.

    Footnote 2} To all Doctors & Politicians I pose this question: Would you be more concerned with a Patient that has chronic debilitating pain that is taking Opiods that is incognative or a Patient that is taking 4-8 grams of Cannabis per day and is lucid and able to do at least some of his daily activities? Because that is the difference for Patients that are on the MMAR program.

    If Health Canada’s commercial growers are to equal the service and compassion of the Dispensaries they will need to not only grow but be able to breed specific strains for all illnesses not just 1 strain as they do right now, and also offer a few strains at subsidized prices at 5-7 dollars a gram for Patient that are on fixed incomes and if they are going to price per strain as they do at the Dispensaries top price CAN NOT exceed 12 dollars per gram for the best strains or we will all go back to our dealers or what the Government calls the Black Market.
    The Harper Government mite what to consider licensing the growers & breeders that are already growing safe quality medical Cannabis.

    Its come to my attn. that the new Commercial Grower Regulation means as a patient my prescription is for one grower and if he does not have my strain I will have to go back to my doctor for another prescription for another Commercial Grower, this will only cause more Headache, Grief and Physical Pain that has already been inflicted upon by HEALTH CANADA. If the Government is getting out of the Medical Cannabis Business, then they should GET OUT!!! And let Dispensaries take over.

    • In case people run into this problem that you have had, there is a list of doctors who are pro-medicinal mj for every community. Specialists are harder to find but on the MMAR home page there’s a link to the Royal Colleges of Physicians where you can type in a Dr.s name and it will tell you if they are a member. So you may have to do some initial searching for doctors in your area who are members but it is worth the time now to avoid the wait later on. I hope you are able to fight your afflictions and this becomes a true success story. Best always LJH

    • This clears up some question which I had regarding proposed changes by HC. Thank you very much for posting all that really great information.

      -Higzy

  4. ‘Marihuana’, what a joke. The World is laughing at Health Canada’s ignorance.
    First and formost Health Canada should become better educated about the Cannabis plant and its use as medicine before they get any deeper. The Spanish American colloquialism ‘marijuana’ is a slang word used by prohibitionists, the uneducated and the street drug World. The spelling that H.C. uses ‘marihuana’ is a phonics mistake. Why, pray tell would H.C. us a prohibitioist/uneducated/street drug term in medicine??? To down play the bennifits of Cannabis as medicine??? Health Canada has proved their lack of intellegence and concern for Canadians. Sick or healthy.
    H. C. can’t even take care of the health of the Children living in poverty in this once great country, what else would you expect. Just like other forms of government, H.C. is not working in the Citizens best interests but in the best interests of the corporations, foreign and domestic. If H.C. wanted the MMAR program to work, they would have mantained better control and compliance. As it is the MMAR program has been over run by criminal elliment making hundreds of thousands of $$$ over the last decade, protected by MMAR licences program.
    One would think that H.C. would have done their research on “health dangers” in cultivating Cannabis in homes, as well. They had to be educated by Municipalities, Fire departments, police(?) and local health departments on the mold, fire and health dangers of Cannabis cultivation in homes. My view is they wanted it to fail or they wanted to give the criminals a boost in profits!
    The uneducated will never get it right. Never do.

  5. It is a fact that the changes from MMAR to the MMPR are based on exaggeration and lies. It is however entirely true that the MMAR program is a failure. It has been completely taken over by growers attaining licences to grow strictly for the black market. Massive over production and gang involvement at almost all personal and desegnated grows. What also is a giant pile of garbage is that the compassion clubs are doing it for non profit !!! That is the biggest load of crap out there and I haven’t heard anyone suggest otherwise ?? Just because they are pot advocates does not make them charitable in any way. Prices for the average bud at the average compassion club range between $ 6-8 per gram. That’s over $3000.00 per pound. The growers for high quality product will receive around $2000.00 per pound and be making lots of profit. That leaves about $1000.00 per pound for the clubs to just bring it in and bag it up !! Yes there’s costs at the clubs, yes they have bills like the rest of us but none of us go around calling ourselves charitable for working hard and collecting a pay check at the end of the day. It’s an angle they use, nothing more.
    The truth about the new MMPR is it will be a competitive market that most of the compassion club operators would love to be taking part in wholeheartedly if they don’t have a drug conviction within the last 10 years.
    Where health canada came up with the price $8.00 per gram came from I’d like to know ? I suspect there will be a heavy tax being levied on the meds somewhere because it simply doesn’t need to be anywhere near that expensive. $5.00 per gram should pay all the bills and still make it somewhat accessible to most.
    There simply is no easy way this can happen, the government of any country in the world is not going to pass up the opportunity to tax the crap out of a product like this, so there is no way they will allow everyone and their dog to grow it wherever and whenever they want…. That needs to be accepted. Same as tobacco, same as alchohol.
    The government is on its way to the inevitable legalization for recreational use but a system for them to be able to tax it needs to be set up long before that happens, that also needs to be accepted. There will never be a day in our lifetimes where we can grow a marijuana plant in the back yard legally. We won’t be allowed to grow and sell tobacco cigaretts or have a still and sell spirits either.
    When the new system comes into effect, look into the producers sites. Check them out. Most will be the growers that have been providing the compassion clubs and recreational users for years anyway. In the new market “you” will dictate which producer suceeds and which ones fail. Either from price, product line, service or any other factor that separates a good company from a bad one.
    I look forward to the new regulations and to the future of marijuana access in canada in general. With all good things it just takes time.

    • After reading this I have to ask the question, why do you think that we have to accept that we will never be allowed to grow our own cannabis? There is a lot at stake in this issue and for you to say that it will never be allowed is ludicrous. almost everyone I know who smokes pot or uses it for medicinal purposes now grow their own supply. Everyone I’ve talked to said the same thing: we will continue to grow and use regardless of the laws that are being put into play. So if Harper wants to build more prisons for sick folks and recreational users, i ask this; who will be left to work to pay for these unfortunate folks while they are incarcerated? Most of them are regular people who do minimum wage jobs, hundreds of thousands of them. Who will do their jobs and take care of the infirm who will be locked up? That kind of burden on our society will ultimately crush the country when we are completely willing and able to help ourselves if left alone to do it. Never is a long time my friend and thinking in terms of the greater good, I guess I might have to acquire a taste for prison food. Reform is a certainty and perhaps the next government will use better judgement in considering what is in the public’s best interest.

    • May I put the correct slant:
      The Illegal Growers are supplying me indirectly since I am a MMAR patient and I am serviced by a Compassion Club which has been held in a gray area for 12 years, Health Canada Has and still is mismanaging a critical medication, People that are on this program are ill, since the 1 strain that Health Canada has (a Sativa) good for Depression not so good for chronic pain, patients are forced to get the right medication from underground sources. The Harper Government wants Cannabis crushed down and reproduced by synthetics, and mass produced in a blue pill totally destroying a plant that has been a main source of medicine for 3000 years.
      the foundation of the constitutional law that says that Cannabis for medical purposes should not have barriers of access, and this can only be achieved by licensing all the existing Compassion Clubs and there suppliers because they are the ones that are all ready growing and distributing 70% of patients with quality Cannabis and for us the patients losing that access will be a infringement on our rights to access and posses our medicine.

  6. I dont think this to be right as i live in Canada and at almost ever medical center or passion club as it may be it they sell edibles so you could also eat ur medication if you do so please

  7. yes everybody claims marijuana is a medication just like valium and anti-biotics are. What argument could i use to make my own valiums? the ones you are using for your medication? In order for doctors to prescibe medications they have to have some quantifying standard for dosage. So now the law is clear marijuana is a medication that will be prescribed. Your argument now is with your insurance for coverage of your medication, not the govt and its rules for pharmacy distribution of medication.

  8. It seems to me they dont mind billions of pain killers on the market big business says thats okay. Marijuana helps in more ways then one I bake with it I vaporize it. I have two kinds of arthritis bone marrow edema bakers cyst meniscus tears in both knees a mass on right ankle now my hips also have pain also asthma sleep apnea not one doctor would give me anything for the problems that I have been dealing with. One doctor wanted me to take a pill that would stop my stomach from bleeding so I could take another pill to help with inflammation in all I have turned down 3 medicines from the doctors. Now I did not know I would leave this long a message but I have, 27 months of pain I now have my application in with health canada all because of a wonderful clinic in bc and there doctor. This is the first comment I have ever done in my life on the internet and I am not sure if I am allowed to mention there name I would like to because they were all very understanding people I hold them in high regard. Harpers guvmint should have theses people running there affairs the people in canada would have a better shot at quality of life. P. S. Thank you danielle and u doctor for trying ur best and helping many.

  9. An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system has an exaggerated reaction to a usually harmless substance. The most common allergens (substances that trigger the allergy) are dust mites, molds, pollen, pets with fur or feathers, stinging insects, and some kinds of foods.

  10. I already suffer greatly with anxiety and ptsd, but this just adds to my anxiety, ten-fold. Then there is my chronic lower back pain (spasms) which on the worst of days prevents me from being able to do things which are otherwise simple for the average person – such as tying my shoe laces, and getting my pants on. Hell, even getting out of bed can be a real challenge. Without access to medical cannabis, I fear I will be back on percocets and oxys which wreaks havoc with my stomach and turns me into a useless docile zombie. Since I began medicating with cannabis my well-being has greatly improved. I discovered its medicinal qualities after 7 years of abstinence. It is my medical miracle and to take that away is to infringe on my basic human rights. It is unconstitutional and plain evil to allow this greed which permeates our governments at all levels to dictate that I not have access to the one thing which helps me to function somewhat normally. If I go 2-3 days without my entire life falls apart and sometimes the pain is too unbearable that I end up curled in a ball crying like a baby. This is flat out fuckery, for lack of a better description. I won’t stand for it, and I will not stand pat while corporate greed attempts to destroy what little quality of life I have when I am able to safely medicate via edibles, vaporizing and smoking cannabis. Depression setting in now. I’m out! -Higzy

    • Higzy, wishing you well and way to stand up for your human rights.

      As a “not authorized” patient I can concur. My Dr. wants nothing to do with Cannabis and instead is happy that I’m taking Oxycodne for chronic pain (WTF!) I thought Dr’s were supposed to be for our health treatment and/or betterment? (confusion)

      So here I type being “not authorized” and able to function in minimal pain, but the medical profession and the law makers believe I should be just a zombie and exist or die quietly.

      FWIW the Oxycodone is only used by me when the pain level exceeds 7 or 8 otherwise Cannabis works with the same exact effectiveness and without all the unpleasant side effects.

  11. you guys talking bad about the MMAR are Nazi’s. how can the change possibly STOP the black market? all this is going to do is make criminals out of the people who would prefer to grow their own strains of medicine. This new law would also force people with disabilities to go out on strenuous journeys to get their medicine! !@#$ the new laws!

  12. I am a working man with two boys and a wife. We both work to better our children’s lives. I would not be able to work without my medical marijuana and the new system would cost me 3000 a month. I don’t even make that much! That means disability and loss of my employability. Not sure what to do??

  13. May 2013: I have my Personal Production License, I am growing in a locked room in my basement in a 50x50x76 grow tent, I am growing 4-6 plants every 4-5 months I have a small prescription , so small that I have been turned down more then once from the large Designated growers that by the way Have been granted 6 or 7 licenses to produce for multiple Patients by Health Canada adding up to Pounds and Pounds. I am growing naturally not hydroponically so I have No smell, No mould, No holes cut in the house for ventilation and using 2 Florescent grow lights that probably use less power then your dishwasher, so why is it I am being treated next year like a criminal for something I have been licensed to do this year when I am following all the rules set out by the courts. Nobody including my family and friends know I use Cannabis let alone grow it, so if Health Canada wishes to send a police car to my house and notify a unsuspecting neighborhood of a couple of plants then that’s your tax dollars. I am also serviced by a Compassion Club when I have nothing growing, Health Canada wishes to eliminate them as well, and they are the only knowledgeable source to help patients find what will work best for them. It has taken me two years of trying this strain & that and yes breeding to get the right one FOR ME for Maximum Pain Reduction,, if the Harper Governments pot farms can only produce one strain as the do now I will need to break the Law and continue two grow the medicine I need.

  14. We have four licences on our place my own, my husbands, my brother and my brother-in-law. We have 3-40ft containers all in different stages, one is strickly used for juicing, the other for product used for cooking, butter making and the last contains 5 mommy plants that I have grown from seed so we have strains that help us sleep, my husband is a cancer patient and one of us has degenerating discs in our back and one suffers from depression if I didnt use cannibis I would not be able to walk after a fall three years ago left me with arthritic hips. We have spent alot of money making sure our containers are safe and secure, we have neighbours and I have told them if they have concerns come and talk to us, we can show them the site and if there is a way to improve we have tried really hard. We are not drug addicts, and we grow enough for us, we always have one container for juicing but if we have enough dried product we shut down, and start again when needs. We pay our hydro bills on time and try to be good citizens I wish health canada would inspect our site, maybe then they would see people use it as the licence provides us to. Hope you all can get through this , but if we cant produce our own product we will have to shut down, as we cant afford to lose our home. All the best to you all lets hope health canada heads get some sense before march

  15. When the Merlin Project pushed for ATP and Production licenses in 2001, the BCCLA was focused on challenging the law against recreational use of marijuana. You had no time for us.

    After 10 years of what amounts to a fiasco and a sham, we are finally moving to what should have happened in 2001 -but didn’t because the federal gov’t didn’t want to ‘encourage’ medical marijuana efforts.

    Ten years later the BCCLA AGAIN FOCUSES ON THE PAST RATHER THAN THE PRESENT.

    Let me explain.

    The gov’t estimates 450,000 medical marijuana users by 2014.

    What this means [and why the BCCLA is again failing] is that 450,000 – 37000 (present licenses) = 413,000 potential medical marijuana users being denied access because of CMA directives and discriminatory policies.

    The actual challenge is getting access for these discriminated against Canadian patients, NOT giving them growing rights that serve no one.

    You Know who’s throwing patients under the bus – YOU ARE.

    Take on the CMA (like we told you again and again over the years), get the doors open, and help patients who are being discriminated against on a daily basis. And if you have some time left over, maybe you can lobby for the poor to have access to medical marijuana via pharmacare.

    I know this will fall on deaf ears – like before. But as activists that doesn’t matter – the objective truth that promotes patient rights (all patients not just a few thousand) needs t be heard.

  16. My friend is illiterate (so I’m helping him with forms etc.) and suffers from extreme pain from having a face cancer removed, add his Hep C. He is on disability and after calling Health Canada just now and reading the sad statements on this blog I see now that he will have no access to what works for him – medical marijuana. WTF???????

  17. It has taken me over two years to finally get all the paper work together in order to get a licence. In that time I had to wait 6 months at a time to be seen by the appropriate specialists who would be able to diagnose and sign the forms needed. I had found someone to grow it for me and all the paper work had been completed for that as well. The cost of the seeds is far less than the $450.00 a month for the 3 grams daily that was “prescribed” by my doctor for chronic pain management. Now I have to purchase it from a grower and was just told by a woman at the 1-866-337-7706 Drug Strategy and controlled substances programme – marihuana medical access division that she “understands” my concerns about not being able to afford $450.00 a MONTH/ possibly more because the growers will be putting the price tag on their product…she said it’s not going to be regulated by the Government at all. I pointed out that there was no way she could possibly understand what this means for me and many others. We will not be able to afford to purchase from a grower…so therefore we will not have the “medication” that was prescribed for us. It’s so unfair that after 5 years of trying different medications (mostly incredibly expensive without a health plan), and countless specialists (found only in the big cities) that the Liberal Government has once again let down the people in need of this Province. I guess my only choice is to continue to suffer and quite possibly become more of a budden to the system. Should I now apply for disability so I can afford my medication? All they have done is created another monopoly for those with money to make money…you want it, you going to have to pay LARGE for it…is there anything the Liberals have done right?? Punishing the law abiding because of the few who are not…isn’t that what the police are for?? So frustrated and in pain…

  18. I am beyond pissed off that the government of Canada is still going to label me a criminal. All because I wish to grow MY OWN medicine. I won’t be able to afford their prices under the MMPR. Not to mention, it would be irradiated CRAP weed anyways, so it’s useless and a waste of money. So, I am still a “criminal” to the government because I won’t be able to afford their “accessible” weed under their “accessible” program (yeah…accessible for WHOM, might I ask!?) People need to rise up and show their people power against this corrupt evil government. Stand up on April 1st in Ottawa and yell with one voice that WE WILL NOT ACCEPT THIS TYRANNY AGAINST SICK PEOPLE ANYMORE!

  19. i broke my neck and my back and for the last 4 yrs i take 8mgs of morphine 6 a day ,now my doc has said no more !!! after 4 yrs he is just throwing to some crap grapot whatever ! i told him that i will never ask for an increase in dosage that i will live with this but NO !! THIS IS WORSE THAN A DEALER !!! they give all the addicts all this free crap yet !!! I JUST WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE AT 8MGS !! IAM 59YRS NO JOB LIVING ON WHAT ?? 900 A MONTH AND THEY PLACED ME ON THE PROGRAM !I BARELY WALK SLEEP 4HRS HERE AND THERE AND NOW NOTHING !!! GOODLUCK THANX FOR MAKING US RICH !!! SEE YA !! ARE YOU FUKIN SERIOUS ?? NO WAY IAM GOING TO TAKE THIS TO COURT ! YOU CANT DO THIS TO PEOPLE !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. PLEASE !!! THIS CANT HAPPEN !! WITHOUT THE 6 OR 7 A DAY IWONT BE ABLE TO FUNCTION AT ALL !!! IS SUICIDE MY ONLY OPTION ??? YOU DONT KNOW WHAT KINDA OF PAIN EVERY MINUTE OF EVERYDAY !!! ON AND ON ,,, AND YOU DO THIS ?????

  21. Hi there, I am an outreach worker working with clients under legal provisions. I am trying to find a doctor(s)to assist my clients that are classified as disabled. Thank you

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