Canada Lets Terminally Ill Grow, Smoke Marijuana

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Jul 31, 2001.

  1. Monday July 30 2:48 PM ET
    Canada Lets Terminally Ill Grow, Smoke Marijuana
    By David Ljunggren

    OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada became the first country in the world on Monday to allow terminally ill patients to grow and smoke their own marijuana, overriding protests from doctors who said the decision could put them in an awkward situation.

    Until now, anyone in Canada wanting to smoke pot to alleviate pain had to apply to Health Minister Allan Rock for special permission. Some 300 have already done so.

    But from Monday, anyone with a terminal illness expected to live less than a year will be allowed access to marijuana on the production of a doctor's certificate.

    Others able to benefit will include those suffering serious pain from conditions like multiple sclerosis, cancer, AIDS (news - web sites) and epilepsy as well as severe forms of arthritis and spinal cord problems.

    ``This compassionate measure will improve the quality of life of sick Canadians, particularly those who are terminally ill,'' Rock said in a statement.

    Groups working with the terminally and seriously ill warmly welcomed the change in rules.

    ``I am very glad to be living in a country that is being so progressive...(this) really makes us a country to be proud of and I hope it stays that way,'' said Derek Thaczuk from the Toronto-based People With AIDS Foundation.

    Neuropharmacology professor Roger Pertwee, a leading expert on cannabis from Scotland's Aberdeen University, told Reuters that Canada should be praised for its courage. ``It will certainly make other countries take it seriously,'' he said.

    The Canadian move contrasts sharply with the situation in the United States, where the Supreme Court ruled in May that cannabis clubs could not legally distribute marijuana as a ''medical necessity'' for seriously ill patients.

    The U.S. Justice Department (news - web sites) questions marijuana's medical usefulness and says it must remain banned.

    Marijuana is prohibited in Canada as well and sufferers will need a permit to grow their own supply. But they can designate someone to grow it for them or -- at some stage in the future -- buy it from the government.

    Last December, Ottawa awarded a $3.7 million contract to a company to grow federally approved marijuana in a former mine near a remote Manitoban town. The first pot for sale should be ready next year.

    Patients permitted to smoke marijuana for medical purposes will be allowed a 30-day supply at any given time.

    Canada's doctors are unenthusiastic about the idea, saying it will force them to decide whether patients should be allowed access to a substance that has no proven medicinal value.

    ``We are still disappointed the fundamental medical issues of quality, efficacy and patient safety have been ignored,'' the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) said in a statement.

    ``These regulations are placing Canadian physicians and their patients in the precarious position of attempting to access a product that has not gone through the normal protocols of rigorous pre-market testing.''

    The CMA said it feared patients might try to ask for marijuana to combat the symptoms of any condition, or pressure their doctors to be given marijuana for recreational purposes.

    Rock dismisses talk that the new regulations will lead to the decriminalization of marijuana, but there are signs the government is under some pressure.

    Justice Minister Anne McLellan says she is open to debate on the issue while former prime minister Joe Clark, who leads the minority Conservative party, said in May he supported moves toward decriminalization of the drug.

    Cannabis is widely used recreationally in Canada and Robin Ellins, owner of a cannabis shop in Toronto, called on the government to rethink its approach to what he said was a nontoxic and nonaddictive substance.

    ``I don't think there should be any issue whatsoever around this plant any more. We should be decriminalizing outright it for all Canadians who want access to this,'' he told CBC television.

    (Additional reporting by Patricia Reaney in London)
  2. SCORE!!!! A VICTORY! We'll be able to go up there to liiiiiive in no time! It is a joyous day my friends, one giant step closer to freedom! You Canadians better prepare for a huuuuuuge population shift! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
  3. i see canada puts people first. unlike the country under it. this must be a major victory for many but i feel sad that that hasnt happoned sooner. i dont know i feel down. i had some weird weed yesterday. now im getting off subject. im going to finish this in real life stories......
  4. Well as a Canadian I can safely say that I do beleive Canada will grow on this new Law, I think in the next Year we should have it all settled and be 100% legal to smoke, our Gov. isnt beating around the bush it seems, and I hope USA realizes that and does the same for the rest of the americans, Come on everyone we need to Unite!!

    I know a lady here in my city that is going to be very happy, I might have to give her a few plants (100) or so to grow legally,,,LOL

    Toke Care Everyone
    Budguy :)
  5. [​IMG] WoooooooHooooooo [​IMG] I can run up to Canada for my beloved herb!!!! [​IMG] Canada is always for their people...everyone has health care, housing and food to eat...hmmmmmm, sounds like more of a democracy than the US of A is? I mean if they listen to the voting public, and put in place laws that the Canadian people want...sounds alot better than the patriarical US.

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