Pubdate: Sun, 03 Oct 1999
Date: 10/03/1999
Source: Edmonton Sun (Canada)
Author: Debra Harper

On June 26, 1999, a letter was faxed to Calgary police Chief Christine
Silverberg requesting a meeting with Universal Compassion Centre (UCC)
directors to discuss the issue of a medicinal cannabis centre
operating in the city. Her "compassionate" response speaks for itself.
The police executed a search warrant on Aug. 25 at the residence of
Grant Krieger(a sufferer of multiple sclerosis) who was growing
medicinal herbs.

Grant had publicly declared he was growing cannabis for the UCC since
June. The cannabis plants were removed by the police and he was held
in custody. As a direct result of his incarceration, Grant is now in
frail health. A healthy person detained in jail will generally come
out in the same shape they went in. But for an ill person to be in
custody because of the medicine they use is definitely a case of cruel
and unusual punishment. While in jail, without his medicine, it became
necessary for Grant to use a wheelchair. Up until his arrest he was
walking without assistance.

Although he is walking again, he is still too weak to leave his home
very often. Grant's body deteriorated within a span of days. So now it
is time to tell us the answers. Why does the government bully sick
people? What is gained by doing this? Why do people even have to be
singled out to apply for a Section 56 exemption?  The process is long
and difficult and adds further stress to those who are least able to
cope with it.

Why is cannabis not reclassified under the new Natural Health Products
branch, which was created for herbs and natural medicines? That is
what it truthfully is. Rather than being cozy in the Organization of
American States, which facilitates this type of drug policy, why are
we not relating more to our European roots where decriminalization
(which is the first step toward regulation) is becoming more common?
Why let geography dictate over conscience? Please answer our
questions, Mr. Rock. Time ran out for many of our loved ones and time
is running out for many more.

Debra Harper
Universal Compassion Centre
Calgary, AB

(Medicinal marijuana is a smoke screen.)