BCCLA says Health Canada should sanction compassion clubs

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Today the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association is making a submission to Health Canada calling for medical marijuana pharmacies (compassion clubs) to be sanctioned under the Medical Marijuana Access Regulations. Last month, the BCCLA denounced what appeared to be a national campaign by law enforcement officials to shut down medical cannabis pharmacies across Canada. Compassion clubs are not currently provided for in the regulations, which only allow a licensed grower to cultivate medical marijuana for a maximum of two people.

Micheal Vonn, BCCLA Policy Director: “Medical marijuana is not plutonium. Society meets reasonable standards of safely dispensing many medications that have a street value and medical marijuana pharmacies are an obvious and proven model of effective patient access. For far too long the overly restrictive regulation of medical marijuana has violated patients’ rights. All previous versions of the highly restrictive regulations have been found unconstitutional by the courts and the recently amended regulations still deny patients genuine access to needed medications.”

The BCCLA has previously criticized other aspects of the medical marijuana laws, noting that there are only a small fraction of medical marijuana patients in Canada who are successful in obtaining legal authority to possess marijuana for medical use due to various factors including the difficulty that many patients, particularly those outside major cities centres, have in finding physicians who are willing to sign the requisite forms.

Vonn: “It’s time the federal government stopped forcing terminally and chronically ill patients to break the law and purchase their medicine on the streets.”

BCCLA submission to Health Canada

Micheal Vonn, Policy Director, 604-630-9753
Carmen Cheung, Counsel, 604-630-9758