Pubdate: Thu, 24 Jan 2002
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Debbie Stultz-Giffin
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


Re: AIDS patient loses appeal for safe supply of marijuana, Jan. 18.

If our judges don't have the courage to do something about the Medical
Marijuana Access Regulations, then who will? Patients and doctors have
been trying to get Health Canada to listen. Our cries are falling on
deaf ears. Something must be done.

The access regulations are a glowing example of Canadian bureaucracy
at its finest. Patients are being forced to see one or two new
specialists with extensive waiting periods. Doctors risk legal
liability because of the wording on Health Canada's application forms,
leaving very few physicians willing to assist patients. Many
caregivers and people willing to grow marijuana for exemptees are
unable to obtain "legal status" to protect themselves from harassment.

We still have no safe, legal, affordable source for our medication.
When will the lunacy end?

The regulations are a mere semblance of doing something. The
regulations show no compassion or understanding about living with a
grave and debilitating illness. Marijuana is the only viable option to
many of us who live with these merciless diseases.

It's time for Health Minister Anne McLellan to go back to the drawing
board. Her rules leave the sick and dying in an overwhelming chasm of

Debbie Stultz-Giffin,
Bridgetown, N.S.
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