Pubdate: Tue, 16 Apr 2002
Source: Parksville Qualicum Beach News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 Parksville Qualicum Beach News
Author: Mark Russell
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


I'm writing this letter to offer an apology and to right a wrong.

I owe the Parksville RCMP a sincere apology. Let me explain why.

I opened the medicinal marijuana club July 23, 2001. Shortly before opening 
the club a story appeared about us in this paper. In the article I said 
that I had spoken to the local police and informed them of what we were 
doing. I had a decent and productive meeting with the officer and I left 
the meeting in good spirits. I also thought that the police would leave us 
alone if they didn't receive any complaints, I said as much to the local media.

Unfortunately this statement left certain people with the impression that I 
didn't think the police would carry out their duties or wouldn't uphold the 
law in this case because it was a good cause.

Certain people thought I was challenging the authorities, blowing pot smoke 
in their faces as it were.

It appeared to some that I was showing disrespect for the police, I assure 
you this was not my intention.

The officer I spoke to at that meeting back in July did not at any time 
during our conversation say to me that the police would leave us alone if 
no complaints came in. If this was the impression I left with all of you 
then I humbly apologize for any offence taken and I officially retract the 

I believed then and still believe that we are working within a legal grey 
area. We are providing a much needed service to a select group of people 
with incurable illnesses or injuries, people whom Health Canada has left 
hanging out to dry. Health Canada says that Canadians may use marijuana for 
pain and suffering, but they refuse to allow any sick or injured people 
access to a safe source.

Thus forcing these people to turn to the criminal element to secure their meds.

I can honestly say that I am not a drug dealer by any standards set by this 
society, and anyone who thinks differently should come and meet some of our 
club members. There are over 100 now and you can pick almost any illness or 
injury because most of them are represented here, be it cancer or 
amputation, glaucoma, MS,or severe migraine headaches. Our youngest member 
is 18, our oldest is 78.

I do believe we are doing a good thing here and I pray that our federal 
government will see the light and repeal these insane marijuana laws sooner 
rather than later. Hopefully long before I have to be arrested. Do I want 
to be arrested? Not really.

Mark Russell, Coombs
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