BCCLA Submission to Health Canada regarding medical marijuana program and compassion clubs

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Just last month, the BC Civil Liberties Association issued a press release denouncing what appears to be a national campaign by law enforcement officials to shut down medical cannabis pharmacies across Canada. We said then and will reiterate today that the effect of these raids is to force thousands of Canadians to purchase their medicine on the street.

Over the course of what is a wearily long litigation history, Canadian courts have repeatedly found the Medical Marijuana Access Regulations unconstitutional for failing to provide patients genuine and workable access to medical marijuana. In our view, if government cannot bring itself to provide people with the medication they need in a timely and appropriate way, at the very least it should not harass and prosecute those who do: namely, compassion clubs.

The BCCLA urges Health Canada to take the opportunity to adopt the compassion club model – a model highly conducive to effect oversight and regulation; a model fully compatible with effective and appropriate law enforcement; the model most likely to harness knowledge and expertise for medical benefit and, finally and most importantly, a model in which genuine, safe access to needed medications becomes something other than a legal fiction for thousands of critically and chronically ill Canadians.

To read the full submission to Health Canada please click here