Pubdate: Tue, 11 Dec 2001
Source: Montreal Gazette (CN QU)
Copyright: 2001 The Gazette, a division of Southam Inc.
Author: Debbie Stultz-Giffin
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


Contrary to the claim of Jody Gomber, director-general of Health Canada's
controlled-substances program, the new Medical Marijuana Access Regulations
do not make access to marijuana for medical purposes clearer or easier
(Gazette, Dec. 8, "Marijuana as medicine").

The eight-month wait Vincenzo Pizzi endured while his application was being
approved has not made the process easier. Legal poisons, with side effects
far worse than "sedation" and "confusion," which the article lists as side
effects of marijuana use, are much easier and quicker to obtain.

There is no legal way for many of those who have been granted an exemption
to get their medication. Licensed-personal-grower criteria is invasive and
exclusive. Doctors are becoming increasingly leery of prescribing medical

The recent stances of the Canadian Medical Protective Association and the
Canadian Medical Association, together with the new access regulations,
leave the dying and chronically ill of our country in an overwhelming chasm
of abandonment.

Those who currently hold a federal medical marijuana exemption need an
open-ended extension of their renewal dates while Health Canada returns to
the drawing board. We need compassionate, reasonable regulations, with
applications being processed in a timely fashion, to make Canada's
medical-marijuana program something to be truly proud of - rather than just
a mere semblance of doing something.

Debbie Stultz-Giffin

Bridgetown, N.S.
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