Pubdate: Wed, 18 Sep 2002
Source: Halifax Herald (CN NS)
Copyright: 2002 The Halifax Herald Limited
Author: Debbie Stultz-Giffin


Dear Editor:

Ever since Michael Patriquen was incarcerated for six years, while being
denied safe, legal, affordable access to his medication while in jail, I
have read several negative viewpoints in this newspaper.

Everyone is entitled to have access to their medication. All other forms of
medication are readily made available to prisoners. Furthermore, not only
one, but three physicians, two of them being pain management specialists,
concurred that medicinal marijuana is what works best to treat Mr.
Patriquen's chronic pain. Prescribed "legal poisons" miserably failed this
man. Health Canada approved Michael's application to possess and grow
medicinal marijuana. It is no small task to pass Health Canada's rigorous
regulatory regime to receive a federal exemption.

If Corrections Canada and Health Canada aren't prepared to offer Michael
Patriquen the proper medical treatment he requires, then he should be placed
on house arrest immediately. At home, he will have access to his medication
without being subject to unaffordable jailhouse prices of $50 a gram (keep
in mind that his current prescription is for five grams of ingested
marijuana daily). Nor will he be exposed to the questionable dispensing
techniques of jailhouse marijuana (for smuggling purposes, insert in rectum
prior to dispensing).

What abhorrent treatment of a diagnosed chronic pain sufferer! I thought
that torture was an archaic concept - apparently not!

Debbie Stultz-Giffin,

federal medical marijuana exemption holder, Bridgetown
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