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Canada: Medicinal Marijuana
2. June 9, 1999: Minister of Health announces clinical trials program, and procedure for exempting from criminal prosecution individuals who successfully apply to Health Canada for access to medicinal marijuana. To see the story in the Toronto Globe and Mail, and the June 9 statement by the Minister of Health in the House of Commons, click here. To see the government press release, including the proposed research plan, click here.
3. Extracts from House of Commons Debates (Hansard) relating to theoriginal statement (March 3, 1999) by Canada's Minister of Health stating his intention to pursue medicinal marijuana trials: (to see full transcript of the complete day's debates, click here.) Press coverage relating to Minister's announcement.
4. Extracts from House of Commons Debates (Hansard) relating to motion by Bloc Quebecois MP Bernard Bigras, "That, in the opinion of this House, the government should undertake all necessary steps to legalize the use of marijuana for health and medical purposes:" House of Commons passes amended motion on May 25, 1999: "That, in the opinion of this House, the government should take steps immediately concerning the possible legal medical use of marijuana including developing a research plan containing clinical trials, appropriate guidelines for its medical use, as well as access to a safe medicinal supply, and that the government report its findings and recommendations before the House rises for the summer."
5. Research materials
and other stories on medicinal marijuana and marijuana generally at
Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy web site, including the March 1999
report of the Institute of Medicine.
In March 1999, debate started on a motion introduced in the House of Commons by a member of the opposition Bloc Quebecois party. The motion read, “That, in the opinion of this House, the government should undertake all necessary steps to legalize the use of marijuana for health and medical purposes.” The Member of Parliament who introduced the motion had apparently managed to obtain considerable support from within all parties. Debate on the motion was set to take place over the spring of 1999, with a vote planned for June. (The vote on an amended and watered-down motion took place on May 25. For details, click here.)
The day before this motion was introduced, Canada’s Minister of Health stated in the House of Commons that the government was “aware there are Canadians suffering, who have terminal illnesses, who believe that using medical marijuana can help ease their symptoms. We want to help.” The Minister announced that, as a result, he had asked his officials to develop a plan that will include clinical trials for medical marijuana, appropriate guidelines for its medical use and access to a safe supply of this drug. No details were provided, however, as to how long this process would take, nor how such a program would operate.
There was some cynicism about the Minister’s announcement, since the announcement appeared to be an attempt to undermine the Bloc Quebecois motion with a relatively vague promise to “develop a plan”. Furthermore, the Minister had refused to that time (March 1999) to use powers already available to him under section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to exempt medicinal use of cannabis from the law.
However, on June 9, the Minister announced a clinical trials program and a process for individuals who sought access to medicinal marijuana to apply to Health Canada for an exemption. He also announced exemptions under section 56 for two individuals. To see the government press release which provides details of the program and the exemptions, click here.
Court challenges to Canada's cannabis laws
Some important cases have come before the courts that challenge the constitutionality of the cannabis prohibition under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These are the Clay (1997), Parker (1997), Krieger (1998) and Caine (1998) cases. In the Clay case, the proprietor of a London (Ontario) hemp products store was charged with cultivation and trafficking of cannabis seedlings. Clay refused to plea bargain down to simple possession; his case received a lot of media attention. As well, Mr. Clay constructed his own web site for the case to raise money. Further, the defendant was very articulate, middle class, and supported by his respectable, conventional family. The basis for the defence was a Charter challenge to the (then) Narcotic Control Act as an excessive and inappropriate response to the behaviour involved in cannabis consumption. Although Clay was convicted in August 1997 of trafficking and placed on probation, the judge’s ruling is seen as significant because he accepted the expert witness testimony about the relative harmlessness of cannabis, in effect dismantling much of the demon drug mythology, and explicitly recognized its potential medical benefits. The judge referred the matter back to Parliament’s law making role.
When the Parker case was tried a few months later, involving charges of possession and trafficking in cannabis, the defence hinged on Parker’s own medical condition of epilepsy. Here the judge not only referred to the Clay case, but also accepted the testimony of other expert witnesses, and Parker himself, that smoking marijuana was the only effective remedy for his severe, frequent seizures. The judge ruled in December 1997 that to deprive the defendant of a legal source of marijuana contravened his primary Charter right to health and protection of life. Therefore, the judge acquitted Parker of possession and ordered the police to return the seized plants to him (however, since he had admitted to the police that he gave cannabis to others who needed help, the judge said he had no choice but to convict him on that charge and impose probation).
The importance of this ruling is that Parker’s right to obtain a legal source of marijuana, through his own growing activities, was recognized. This case has been interpreted by Parker’s own lawyer as a special case, not extending at this time to others claiming medical necessity, i.e. such individuals are still subject to arrest and prosecution. Both the Clay and Parker cases are under appeal by the federal Department of Justice. The appeals of the two cases were heard by the Ontario Court of Appeal, in the autumn of 1999.
On July 31, 2000, the Ontario Court of Appeal unanimously confirmed the earlier trial court decision in favour of legal access to medical marijuana. Court was considering a constitutional challenge to the marijuana prohibitions in the former Narcotic Control Act ("NCA") and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act ("CDSA") in the context of the medical use of marijuana. On December 10, 1997, the trial judge, Sheppard J. granted a stay of proceedings brought against Terrance Parker for cultivating marijuana contrary to the NCA and for possession of marijuana contrary to the CDSA. The Crown appealed. The unanimous Court of Appeal confirmed the trial judge's decision to stay the charges against Parker. Accordingly, the prohibition on the possession of marijuana in the CDSA is declared to be of no force and effect. However, that declaration of invalidity is suspended for a year. For a summary of the court decision, click here. For the full text of the court decision, click here. For news report, click here. For Toronto Globe and Mail editorial, click here.
The Clay and Parker cases were heard in Ontario, a province which historically has been somewhat more lenient in cannabis matters than Alberta, where the Krieger case was heard. Mr. Krieger, suffering from multiple sclerosis, was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking. He had publicized his intention to attend an Alberta court house to offer marijuana to another multiple sclerosis sufferer, who was on trial for possession for the purpose of trafficking. When Mr. Krieger acted upon his declared intention, he was arrested, charged and convicted. However, before sentencing, the judge gave Mr. Krieger additional time to prepare evidence about the medicinal benefits of cannabis.
The judge in the Krieger case noted the well settled principle in sentencing that trafficking in cannabis will attract a jail term, even for a first offender, except in exceptional circumstances. However, the judge considered Mr. Krieger’s case “exceptional”, given the motivation behind Mr. Krieger’s actions -- his belief that cannabis possesses healing powers. Mr. Krieger was sentenced to a $500 fine or 11 days in jail. This case has therefore set an important precedent.
In Caine, a British Columbia case, the accused applied for a declaration that prohibition against the possession of marijuana for personal use was contrary to section 7 of the Charter – the right to “life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice”. However, the judge rejected the argument, citing his duty to follow a B.C. Supreme Court decision that the prohibition of cannabis possession did not violate section 7. The accused’s request that the judge reconsider whether Parliament had the constitutional jurisdiction to prohibit the possession of cannabis also failed.
In May 1999, James Wakeford, a Toronto AIDS patient, won the right to cultivate and possess marijuana. The court granted Wakeford an interim constitutional exemption, thus allowing him to cultivate and possess, pending the outcome of Wakeford's application to Health Canada seeking the same right to cultivate and possess. For details of the Wakeford case, click here. On June 9, 1999, the Minister of Health announced that Mr. Wakeford would be given an exemption under section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, thus allowing him to cultivate and possess marijuana to treat his health condition.
These five cases, and others pending have all given a high profile to cannabis issues and provided new and important information to the public through the media coverage. Perhaps this partly explains why a 1997 poll found that 83% of Canadians supported legitimizing marijuana for medical purposes. A 1999 poll obtained overwhelming support on a similar issue: 78% of those polled said they supported the federal government’s then recently announced plan to consider the use of marijuana as a possible treatment for various medicinal conditions. In May, 2000, a poll conducted for National Post finds over 90% favour legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. For full story, click here.
As well, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Ontario) "concurs
with similar calls from many other expert stakeholders who believe that
control of cannabis possession for personal use should be removed from
the realm of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and the criminal
law/criminal justice system." To see full statement, click here.
• NUMBER 188
Wednesday, March 3, 1999
. . .
Mrs. Sue Barnes (London West, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. There are indications that marijuana could be beneficial for the relief of pain and nausea in cancer, AIDS, MS and glaucoma patients. Is the minister supportive of making marijuana medically available to persons in medical need and of supporting research into the medical effectiveness of marijuana?
Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Health, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the member for London West has done a great deal to advance this issue. This government is aware there are Canadians suffering, who have terminal illnesses, who believe that using medical marijuana can help ease their symptoms. We want to help.
As a result, I have asked my officials to develop a plan that will include clinical trials for medical marijuana, appropriate guidelines for its medical use and access to a safe supply of this drug.
. . .
Mr. Grant Hill (Macleod, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, the health minister just made an announcement that he will allow the compassionate use of smoked marijuana for those who are ill.
Is this the first step in the Liberal government's decriminalizing marijuana for other purposes?
Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Health, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, what I said is I have asked officials to develop a plan that would include access to clinical trials so we can look at evidence. Surely the hon. member's mind is not so closed that he is not prepared to consider evidence from research into the question.
There are people who are dying. They want access to something they believe
will help with their symptoms. We want to help. Clinical trials would allow
us to get research to know more about how we can help.
• NUMBER 189
Thursday, March 4, 1999
LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA FOR HEALTH AND MEDICAL PURPOSES
Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont, BQ) moved:
That, in the opinion of this House, the government
should undertake all necessary steps to legalize the use of marijuana
He said: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be the first elected member of
the House of Commons to speak, not just today in this
Marijuana has been used medicinally throughout the world for thousands
of years. Today many patients, particularly those
The therapeutic use of marijuana is, however, still banned by the Controlled
Drugs and Substances Act, and users are liable to
With a view to changing this unacceptable situation, I introduced a motion one year ago in favour of the legalization of marijuana for health and medical purposes. For me, this is a matter of compassion toward sick people suffering from nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, and other major discomforts which accompany a number of chronic diseases.
My motion is simple and unequivocal. It reads as follows:
That, in the opinion of this House, the government
should undertake all necessary steps to legalize the use of marijuana
In my opinion, it is unacceptable for a person with a chronic condition, or a terminally ill AIDS patient, to be liable for six months in prison and a $10,000 fine for using a medical treatment recommended by his or her physician.
In this connection, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act is totally devoid of understanding and compassion toward the chronically ill, who want nothing more than to live in dignity. This act must be changed as soon as possible, in order to allow the medical use of marijuana by those who need it.
The Ontario court has already found part of the Narcotic Control Act
to be unconstitutional. Clearly, the ball is now in our
We have been elected to fulfil a role as legislators. We have no right
to let the courts decided in our stead. We must now
At the present time, the only parliamentary approach that can achieve
this is to give solid support to Motion M-381, which we
My position in favour of the legalization of marijuana for therapeutic
purposes was not formed yesterday. I was first made
Last March 6, I publicly supported a proposal along these lines by young
delegates to the Bloc Quebecois youth forum. I am
Delegates were very happy to hear our leader, the member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie,
support their proposal in his closing
This is not a new debate. The media and the courts have been looking
at this issue for some time now. Doctors are discussing it
Until now, every time the issue of legalizing the therapeutic use of
marijuana came up, the Minister of Health or the Minister of
They say the same thing the next time the question comes up. This was
what they did last year when an Ontario court judge
It was what they said when an AIDS sufferer from the Outaouais and his
physician asked the government to take action on this
Yesterday, it was the usual scenario. On the eve of the first day of
debate on the motion that marijuana be legalized for medical
What does he do to help? He announces that he will ask his officials
to prepare a plan to draw up guidelines for eventual
What have the officials the minister asked to look into this issue last
year been doing? What do they have to show for their
Yesterday, the Minister of Health took a step in the right direction,
and I said so yesterday. He deserves credit. He has
How can we have any faith in his words when, in the past, the minister's
actions did not fall in line with his commitments? Why
Ms. Elinor Caplan: Not true.
Mr. Bernard Bigras: I hear the parliamentary secretary over there taking the liberty to react to what I am saying.
The parliamentary secretary ought to be familiar with the demands by
the Canadian AIDS Society. She ought to be familiar
The minister's new policy smacks of improvization, as I have said.
He has given a hasty mandate to his departmental employees on the eve
of a debate on the matter, but is unable to give any
That is exactly what today's motion is calling for. The minister is
still refusing to say whether he will vote for or against the
If the minister said yesterday that he was prepared to take steps towards
legalization, the only course open to him in June is to
I repeat, the government and the minister must demonstrate in good faith.
I grant that he has taken a step in the right direction,
In fact, the minister is certainly not yet able to tell us what stand
he will take. We are still waiting, and would have liked an
I was in touch by phone as recently as yesterday with patients, doctors,
and associations asking me to continue the fight,
I therefore wish to assure everyone, not only in this House, but everyone
involved in the campaign, the physicians, the patients,
I wish to assure them that this lack of transparency can only make me
step up the pressure so that a majority of MPs here in
No one disputes the therapeutic effectiveness of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol,
the principal active ingredient in marijuana.
However, taking synthetic marijuana pills is not as effective as inhalation.
According to the prestigious New England Journal
What is more, many patients who would be candidates for the medical
use of marijuana are already required to take huge
Obviously, it is better to administer THC for nausea by the pulmonary
route than the digestive route. Many physicians are
The Canadian Medical Association represents the medical community in
Canada and ensures that the health care system
In 1995, the American Medical Association pointed out the need to review
American legislation on the therapeutic use of
The British Medical Association has also publicly encouraged the police
and the courts to tolerate use of marijuana for
Some patients are forced to use an illegal drug to relieve symptoms that are not controlled by existing medication.
The report also says:
—and that there is sufficient evidence that marijuana can help in certain circumstances.
These were quotes from a report by the British Medical Association.
As a result, following a major scientific research study by the British
House of Lords, the British government decided to go
In Quebec and in Canada, well known physicians such as Réjean
Thomas and Donald Kilby have already come down
Today, I ask the men and women fighting for this legalization to be
patient, because I am very confident that they will have all
The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault): I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member, but his time is up.
Ms. Elinor Caplan (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Health, Lib.):
Madam Speaker, as I rise today to
This government is aware that Canadians are suffering who have terminal
illnesses and who believe that using medical marijuana
I emphasize that those Canadians who are struggling to find new and
better ways to maintain and improve their health have no
The concern we have is that there are those who are suffering. As the
Minister of Health said in the House yesterday, he has
In order to truly assess the value of marijuana as a drug it is essential
that we have reliable scientific evidence. We know there is
What we want to do is facilitate the development of these guidelines
so that those people who are suffering and in need of help
We want to get the facts. We want to know whether this is effective.
But we also want to be able to use sections of existing
The interesting thing that most people would not know is that Health
Canada has already explored the possibilities of securing a
However, it is important to note, and I particularly address people
who have expressed concern about access to the program,
In other words, the distribution of marijuana as a medicine could already
be possible provided that the product, the quantity
The announcement by the minister dealt with the concerns that have been
raised by many in this House: access for those who
I want to state very clearly that physicians would be and must be very
involved in the development of these research projects.
While we will be developing a research agenda which will include clinical
trials to gather evidence and needed documentation
I heard the member opposite use the term legalizing of marijuana. People
should know that we are not talking about the
What this does is it creates a research environment where we can do
the research, gather the evidence and in that environment,
It would allow us to respond in a sensitive and compassionate way to
those who are terminally ill, who are suffering and are
Therefore, I am pleased to say that I intend to amend the motion. At
the appropriate time I will move an amendment to the
I will be saying that the motion should be amended by deleting all the
words after the word “should” and substituting the
The member opposite and others have asked are we prepared to put forward
a timeline for this plan that the minister has asked
In the time I have remaining, I would like to thank all of the members
who have spoken and who will be speaking on this, those
Therefore, I move:
That, the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “should” and by substituting the following:
“take steps immediately
concerning the possible legal medical use of marijuana, including developing
I have this available in both official languages and will be presenting it to the chair to further this debate and discussion.
The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault): The Chair will take the motion under
advisement and get back to the House with a
Resuming debate, the hon. member for Surrey Central.
Mr. Gurmant Grewal (Surrey Central, Ref.): Madam Speaker, I am pleased
to speak to private member's Motion No.
I heard the amendment. On the face of it the amendment appears to be
okay as long as this is not a backdoor entry for
I have only recently undertaken the role of the official opposition's
deputy critic for health. My constituents and my colleagues
Looking through the lens of compassion, my efforts on this issue are
dedicated first and foremost toward the thousands of
With them I seek less harmful alternatives. It is very important to
look through the sympathetic consciousness of others' distress
Historically, the use of marijuana goes back centuries. The remains
of a woman from the fourth century were discovered. The
To review the pros and cons, let us see how various professionals look
at this issue. Medically, THC, the drug in the marijuana
In the United States there are people who would like to have marijuana
moved from schedule 1 substances where it is deemed
Talking of support for legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, in
a national U.S. survey, 50% of cancer therapists said they
According to Harvard University, the chief concern about the use of
marijuana is the effect on the lungs of smoking it. Cannabis
We are fast approaching the 21st century. We need to look into more
advanced research to reap any benefits the drug can
The question for us to consider is if it is ethical to deny people who are in pain something that will relieve their pain.
The result of Dr. Corigall's research at the University of Toronto dealing
with the effects of canna-binoids on the brain predicts
We already know that smoking is bad for us because of all the carcinogens that come with it.
Again on the negative side of the issue, a retired U.S. Drug Enforcement
Agency official said in 1996 since there are better
In another study, the chairman of the International Drug Strategy Institute
two years ago said, “suggesting that marijuana be
The National Institute of Health determined that crude marijuana adds
nothing to currently available medicine and indeed
The U.S. National Eye Institute fact sheet on the therapeutic use of
marijuana for glaucoma states that none of the studies
The U.S. National Cancer Institute notes that inhaling marijuana smoke
is a health hazard. It has a long list of agents that are
We need to look as well at the positions put forward by different professionals.
Lawyers have said through the Canadian Bar Association that the government's
drug policies are misguided. They are in favour
In 1993 the Canadian Police Association recommended making simple marijuana
possession a ticketable offence, similar to
In 1995, 43,000 Canadians were charged with 62,000 drug offences, and
71% of them were for marijuana. In the past 20
Let us look at what the medical community says. The World Health Organization
treats drug abuse as a health issue. In those
Providing treatment for drug abusers makes more sense than prison terms. The goal is a healthy population.
With these things in mind, we should study using marijuana for health and medicinal purposes.
In conclusion, I would say what is important to me is compassion. If
nothing else works for the diseases and suffering, I do not
I would expect to have more research done. Through research and innovation,
harmless methods may be found to benefit from
Reform is concerned with substance abuse of any kind, whether it is
drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana. I warn Canadians
As long as it sticks to the amendments and as long as it has a reasonable plan we will probably be supportive.
The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault): The amendment presented by the member earlier is in order.
Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP): Madam Speaker,
I would like to start by congratulating the
I would like to offer my support for this resolution, which states very clearly:
should undertake all necessary steps to legalize the use of marijuana for
health and medical
Many of my colleagues in the NDP caucus have also worked very hard on
this issue but I want to acknowledge many in our
We all know that these people who are speaking out and asking for action
are already in a poor physical state and are being
We are here today to join with the Bloc and with all members in the
House who support this view to urge the Liberal
We urge the Minister of Health, in the commitment that he made yesterday,
to work with the Minister of Justice to ensure that
Today we have before us this resolution from the Bloc now amended by
the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health
It is one thing for the government to announce a plan of action to move
on this very critical issue. It is another thing for
It certainly does not answer the question about all those individuals
who have been charged as a result of possession of
We have many questions that must be addressed. I think for all of us
here today our concern is with trying to find a way to
Members of the Reform Party have presented different positions to us
and they are certainly going through a great deal of soul
I do not have to repeat the many arguments that have been presented
to the House about the medical value of marijuana. I
We know from studies that marijuana has been proven to be effective
in reducing pressure in glaucoma. It has been proven to
Marijuana is also considered to have a potential for a number of other
conditions such as emphysema, because it dilates the
The other important factor in all this is that marijuana used for medical
purposes does not have many of the side effects that so
I refer members to a 1997 editorial in the prestigious New England Journal
of Medicine which refers to the parallel American
Many scientists who are convinced of the value of marijuana in terms
of its medical significance are advising patients to use it
I point to another study quoted in the national news on September 24,
1998: “Science is assembling convincing evidence that
The article outlines significant scientific and medical information
to lead us to believe that study and research have been done on
I remind members of the most recent letter from the Canadian AIDS Society
which urged all of us to support the resolution put
There is ample evidence of the benefits of marijuana use on a medical
basis. There have been significant studies and clinical
What does the amendment put forward by the government today mean in
terms of legal ramifications for people who are either
We will study very diligently the amendment of the government but we
strongly support the motion put forward by the Bloc
Mr. Greg Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest, PC): Madam Speaker, the
debate today really centres around the word
That, in the opinion of this House, the government
should undertake all necessary steps to legalize the use of marijuana
Those are the key words, health and medical purposes. We are talking
about a compassionate use of a substance which is
The debate today could be taking place on any number of substances used
for pain relief in medicine, prescribed by doctors on
Let us imagine for a minute whether we should be debating the use of
morphine. Should we not be talking about the use of
I think that is very commendable. We are not talking about the legalization
of the product for recreational or casual use. We are
The Canadian Medical Association, which I consulted on this, has some
interesting observations. I think it is worth putting these
I quote a letter to me from the CMA which says the CMA has advocated
the decriminalization of the possession of marijuana
The position of the Canadian Medical Association is:
That the Canadian Medical Association recommend
to the federal government that the jurisdictional control of marijuana
It has a very strong position on the decriminalization of the use of
marijuana. However, when it comes to the medical use of
The CMA is concerned that as a herbal medicine it cannot be patented.
It says that exploitation of research is therefore
It is concerned that the chemical content can vary considerably from plant to plant.
It is concerned that the standardization and reproducibility of clinical
trials is problematic as the plant and its delivery system is
Another reservation is that the delivery system is not reliable from
patient to patient as the dose received depends upon the
Another concern is that there is almost no independent quality research
available, such as randomized control trials, to guide
I think that everyone in this House would agree with some of those concerns.
Basically, it boils down to the consistency of the
We heard from some members in this House as to whether or not it is
really effective. However, if it is working on some
Part of it, probably from the patient's perspective, is what they believe.
It is like the individual who wears a copper bracelet for
This has been a hotly debated topic. I want to quote from the transcript
of a program by Dr. David Suzuki. I think most of us
The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault): I am afraid that I must interrupt
the member at this point. However, I wish to tell him
The time provided for the consideration of Private Members' Business has now expired.
Mr. Gar Knutson: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I think
you would find unanimous consent to allow the
The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault): Is there unanimous consent for the member to finish?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Mr. Greg Thompson: Madam Speaker, the House is being very generous tonight
and I appreciate it because we did start
Dr. Suzuki in his program was talking to his listening audience about
marijuana and its use. He was talking about a gentleman
A gentleman by the name of Lester Grinspoon was speaking. He said:
My son who in 1967 was diagnosed as having
acute lymphatic leukaemia, he was 10 years-old then. By the time he
That is a very common experience for any of us who have had relatives
and loved ones who were sick and receiving
He went on to say that he and his wife were at a dinner party and a
doctor recommended the use of marijuana for this young
On the way home from that dinner party my wife
Betsy said “Well, maybe we should get some marijuana for Danny”.
The story goes on in quite a bit of detail. Basically what it is saying
is that it does work under controlled circumstances. I believe
Again, going back to the very nature of this bill, we are talking about
the word compassion. In relation to other substances out
Ms. Elinor Caplan: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I want
to correct the record. The correct name of the riding I
The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault): The time provided for the consideration
of Private Members' Business has now
Fri, 2 April 1999
MR. ROCK'S HARD HEART
The substance in question is marijuana.
The people in "such great need" are cancer and
Similar stories are too numerous to count,
yet Canada continues to treat as criminals very
There are reasons to doubt the sincerity
of a government that has happily accepted the status
There's yet another reason to doubt our
government: the case of Jim Wakeford, who, in
The judge hearing Mr. Wakeford's
case was sympathetic but he pointed to a law which
Recently, Mr. Wakeford went back
to the same judge. Seven months had gone by, an
This is cruelty made flesh. Mr.
Rock has the power but he does not use it. Why not? What
More generally, why doesn't Mr.
Rock, as a modest first step, use his discretionary power
We have made no secret of our opposition
to the ban on marijuana, consumed for whatever
Thursday 4 March 1999
Canada to test medical marijuana
Rock denies trials are step toward legalization
Julian Beltrame and Norma Greenaway
The Ottawa Citizen
The federal government plans to conduct human clinical tests to determine if smoking marijuana can reduce pain in terminally ill patients, a first step toward legalizing the drug for medical purposes.
Health Minister Allan Rock made the announcement yesterday in the House of Commons, explaining later that it should not be seen as a step toward legalizing marijuana use.
"This has nothing to do with legalizing marijuana," he told reporters.
"This has to do with the fact there are people in Canada suffering from terminal illnesses who have symptoms which are very difficult and who believe (smoking marijuana) can help."
Mr. Rock said there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from individuals suffering from cancer and AIDS who say the drug can alleviate pain and combat nausea, but no strict scientific evidence.
The minister released few details of the tests, but said officials have been asked to set up the clinical experiments, as well as establish what kinds of patients would participate and look into how patients could be guaranteed access to a safe supply of the drug.
A spokesman for the minister said it may take a month or two before officials draw up plans for the clinical tests, determining the size of the tests and the duration.
The government does not plan to change the Criminal Code for the trials, but will use a section of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act that allows the minister to exempt people from prosecution for special circumstances.
The exemption is a sore point for advocates of medical marijuana use, who have complained that the minister had turned a deaf ear to compassionate applications in the past.
"We made an application 15 months ago for a person with AIDS who was literally starving to death and they did not allow it," said Eugene Oscapella of the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy in Ottawa. He said the sufferer -- Jean Charles Pariseau of Vanier -- was advised by his doctor to take marijuana to fight nausea and stimulate appetite.
"If the government is sincere this time and that's a big if, then we're happy with the announcement," Mr. Oscapella added.
"I have a hard time understanding why we are not allowing responsible adult Canadians who have led responsible lives access to this potentially therapeutic thing that may reduce the pain in their lives, that may help them."
Mr. Rock and Justice Minister Anne McLellan had pledged to initiate a national debate of medical marijuana more than a year ago, but yesterday's announcement was the first concrete step toward legalizing the drug for patients.
Pressure has been building on the issue in both Canada and the U.S. for years and last November voters in six U.S. states joined California in approving referendums to legalize medical marijuana use.
Bloc Quebecois MP Bernard Bigras plans to introduce a motion in Parliament today urging the government to take every step toward legalizing medical marijuana.
Reaction from opposition members yesterday were mostly positive, although Reform MP Grant Hill, a medical doctor, warned of risks if the testing was seen as a first step down the road to legalizing the drug for general use.
"As a medical doctor, I have treated young people who were habituated to marijuana, whose (school) marks had suffered and whose lives were wrecked," he said. "But I'm open to compassion if marijuana is the only thing that works."
But some advocates of medical marijuana use were not impressed by what they saw as a grudging baby step by the federal government.
"It's a waste of taxpayers' money," said Terry Parker, a Toronto man who says smoking marijuana daily eases the severity of epileptic seizures he has suffered since 1963.
Mr. Parker, 43, who in 1997 won a landmark court decision allowing him to grow and smoke marijuana for medical use, said clinical tests are unnecessary because the drug has already proven its value to people suffering from a range of medical conditions.
Advocates said the drug is effective in reducing spasms for multiple
sclerosis sufferers, epilepsy seizures, as a pain killer and in reducing
symptoms of nausea which helps patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Thursday, March 04, 1999
Rock OKs clinical trials of medicinal marijuana
'We want to help' dying patients with cancer, AIDS
Allan Rock, the Health Minister, gave the go-ahead yesterday for clinical trials on the medical use of marijuana to determine whether the drug can help ease the pain of Canadians suffering from terminal illnesses such as AIDS and cancer.
The Bloc Quebecois, which has led a campaign to legalize use of the drug for medical purposes, and pro-medical marijuana advocates immediately applauded the move. The Reform party was reluctant to give its support to clinical trials out of fear it might be the first step toward full decriminalization of marijuana.
Mr. Rock said scientists from his department will gather evidence "as soon as possible," and develop appropriate guidelines for the medical use of the drug, as well as provide access to a safe supply.
"There are people who are dying. They want access to something they believe will help with their symptoms. We want to help. Clinical trials would allow us to get research to know more about how we can help," Mr. Rock told the House of Commons.
Grant Hill, the Reform's health critic and a medical doctor, said he is concerned the announcement could open the door to legalized selling of marijuana for recreational use.
"I'm open to compassion, and if marijuana is the only thing that works for a patient, I would accept that," Dr. Hill said.
"[But] as a medical doctor, I treated young people who were habituated to marijuana, whose marks had suffered, whose lives were wrecked. That's my concern."
Mr. Rock was quick to dismiss the idea that Ottawa is moving toward wider legalization.
"This has nothing to do with legalizing marijuana. It has to do with the fact that there are people in Canada now who are suffering from terminal illnesses who have symptoms which are very difficult and who believe that access to medical marijuana can help with those symptoms."
Bernard Bigras, the Bloc Quebecois MP who will announce today a cross-country campaign for the legalization of the drug for medical purposes, said he hopes police officers will no longer charge terminally ill people who use the drug to alleviate their pain.
"This is a step in the right direction, but the battle is far from being won. This is a question of compassion," Mr. Bigras said.
Eugene Oscapella, a founding member of the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy, which supports the decriminalization of many drugs for medical purposes, said Mr. Rock's decision was "long overdue."
Mr. Rock's announcement came more than a year after an Ontario judge ruled it is legal to grow and use marijuana for medicinal use.
In December, 1997, Justice Patrick Sheppard said that Terry Parker, a Toronto resident, was deprived of his "right to life, liberty and security" by being charged with possession of marijuana.
Mr. Parker had been smoking marijuana for more than 20 years to ease the severity of epileptic seizures. An appeal of the judge's ruling has yet to be heard.
The Globe and Mail
Ottawa approves clinical marijuana trials
Study could lead to legalization for patients
Thursday, March 4, 1999
Ottawa -- The federal government plans to start clinical trials on the therapeutic benefits of marijuana -- a study that could eventually lead to legalizing the drug for people suffering from diseases such as cancer, AIDS and multiple sclerosis.
Health Minister Allan Rock announced yesterday that his department is developing guidelines for the trials to establish clear scientific evidence whether marijuana helps chronically and terminally ill patients manage pain and deal with other symptoms of their illnesses.
The study would examine how the drug should be administered, and how a safe supply could be distributed to qualifying patients.
"There are people who are dying," Mr. Rock said. "They want access to something they believe will help with their symptoms. We want to help." He said it hasn't been determined how long the trials will take or who will participate, but the study is expected to be a partnership between the government and private researchers.
The Health Department has already consulted with the Food and Drug Administration in the United States -- which is also planning similar trials -- about acquiring a supply of the drug for the tests. Making marijuana available to patients by prescription will not require an amendment to the criminal code, a Health Department source said. The drug could be administered under an existing section of the Food and Drug Act, which allows for special access to prohibited substances.
Anecdotal evidence that marijuana alleviates pain in some patients has been growing -- although people continue to face criminal charges across Canada even when they claim to be using it for medical purposes.
That's what happened to Mark Crossley, a 38-year-old Nova Scotia man with an inoperable brain tumour, who said the government's announcement is "long overdue." Mr. Crossley was sentenced last week to four months of house arrest and 18 months probation for growing marijuana in his backyard. He said he received the sentence even after the court was told he smoked the drug to deal with the painful headaches and appetite loss caused by his cancer -- a practice supported in writing by his doctor.
"They've sentenced me to a death, slowly and cruelly," Mr. Crossley said. "I've got three to four years left. [The judge] is not in a position to tell me what I can do with my health."
Mr. Rock said his announcement is not a step toward a widespread legalization of the drug.
"This has nothing to do with legalizing marijuana," he said, but added, "I think Canadians support on a compassionate basis, if someone is dying, access to a substance that could alleviate their suffering."
An Edmonton doctor who specializes in pain management applauded the announcement yesterday, saying clinical trials are needed to set up national standards and study all sides of the issue. Doctor Helen Hays is about to publish a paper on a patient she studied who smoked marijuana to counter the symptoms of a debilitating and painful muscle disorder. "There was a tremendous improvement," she said, while cautioning the drug brings its own side effects and doesn't work for everyone. "We all need to know an awful lot more about it."
Mr. Rock's announcement pre-empts a debate today in the House of Commons of a private member's bill from a Bloc Québécois MP that asks the government to conduct studies on the issue. Stephane Bigras has obtained support for his motion from the Bloc, New Democrat and Progressive Conservative caucuses, as well as prominent medical doctors among the Liberals. But the idea is not said to be supported by the majority of Reform MPs.
Reform health critic Grant Hill, a doctor who is against patients smoking marijuana, said he is worried about the drug becoming too widespread in its use. "Does the minister go down this road knowing how far it will go?" he asked.
But Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett, who is also a doctor, said the medical community needs guidelines to resolve the dilemma.
"It's been a shame," Dr. Bennett said, "that when there's something that really works for people they have to use illegal routes to get it."
Doctors can currently prescribe a synthetic form of marijuana, but it is expensive, and many patients complain that oral forms of the drug don't work as well as smoking it.
Thu 04 Mar 1999
Ottawa to test medicinal use of pot
By: Helen Dolik, Calgary Herald and Southam
The federal government plans to conduct human clinical tests to determine
if smoking marijuana can reduce pain in terminally ill
Health Minister Allan Rock's announcement in the House of Commons on
Wednesday was both applauded and panned in
``It's a good idea, and it's about time,'' said Dr. Nady El-Guebaly,
medical director of the addictions centre at Foothills
``Let's test it. So far it's been a lot of heated debate and little science. I think it's high time we did a properly controlled trial.''
But Det. Pat Tetley, a city police drug expert who's testified at more
than 500 court cases around North America, said
``It's a placebo effect, or at best it's an excuse for a person to continue
to smoke it because they've been smoking it all their
Tetley said: ``My heart goes out to these people who are afflicted with
these kinds of diseases, who are suffering . . . But surely
Rock later explained that it should not be seen as a step toward legalizing marijuana use.
``This has nothing to do with legalizing marijuana,'' he told reporters.
``This has to do with the fact there are people in Canada
Rock said there is much anecdotal evidence from individuals suffering
from cancer and AIDS who say the drug can alleviate
A spokesman for the minister said it may take a month or two before
officials draw up plans for the clinical tests, determining
Rock and Justice Minister Anne McLellan had pledged to initiate a national
debate of medical marijuana more than a year ago,
Pressure has been building on the issue in both Canada and the U.S.
for years. Last November voters in six U.S. states joined
Bloc Quebecois MP Bernard Bigras plans to introduce a motion in Parliament
today urging the government to take every step
Reaction from opposition members Wednesday was mostly positive, although
Reform MP Grant Hill, a medical doctor,
``As a medical doctor, I have treated young people who were habituated
to marijuana, whose (school) marks had suffered and
Advocates say the drug is effective in reducing spasms for multiple
sclerosis sufferers, epilepsy seizures, as a painkiller and in
Calgary pot crusader Grant Krieger, who has multiple sclerosis and smokes
the illegal drug to alleviate his symptoms,
``The cannabis plant is a very safe and effective alternative medicine,
which is banned,'' said Krieger, 44, who is organizing a
Two years ago, Krieger said he asked the federal health department for permission to do a research project and ``they laughed at me.''
The Toronto Star
March 4, 1999
Marijuana health test backed
Illegal drug to be researched for use by the sick, Rock reveals to House
By Tim Harper Toronto Star Ottawa Bureau
OTTAWA - The federal government will begin clinical tests of marijuana,
the first step
Health Minister Allan Rock made the surprise announcement in the House
According to some estimates, 20,000 or more Canadians would be likely
to apply to smoke
Canadians who are suffering deserve government help, the health minister said.
The move was applauded by a number of medical organizations and activists
who had been
``These are people who are dying,'' Rock told the Commons. ``They want
access to something
``We want to help. Clinical trials would allow us to get research to
know more about how we
In the United States, voters in seven states and the District of Columbia
have approved the
Outside the Commons, Rock told reporters he believes Canadians will
``This has nothing to do with legalizing marijuana,'' he said.
Dr. Don Kilby, director of the University of Ottawa's health services,
said he believes Ottawa
``I want to make sure I know what my patients are smoking is safe,''
said Kilby, who treats
``I don't want them smoking just anything.''
Kilby had already unsuccessfully applied to Health Canada for a special
Pariseau applauded the move yesterday, but said it was Bigras who spurred
the govern ment
Pariseau said his disease has made it virtually impossible for him to leave his home.
He tires easily, after no more than three or four waking hours, he said.
``Marijuana would help me to forget my pain and make my life longer,'' Pariseau added.
Lawyer Eugene Oscapella of the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy,
a think tank which
He said Rock had the opportunity to help Pariseau 15 months ago and didn't act.
``It has become just plain cruel to deny this drug to dying people who
could use this to
Rock had been considering such a move for about a year and he signalled
his intention in a
``How the hell can we do a clinical study until it's legal?'' asked
Terry Parker, the Toronto
Parker said yesterday he is concerned synthetic alternatives to marijuana
- which he believes
Health Canada officials said independent research is now underway in
California but it is not
Clinical tests are also underway in Britain, but in some other European
Saturday 16 September 2000
Man with HIV wants right to
Limit on medical marijuana
A Vanier man who was one of the first people in
Jean Charles Pariseau filed a motion yesterday
Mr. Pariseau, a 33-year-old who is stricken with a
In papers filed with the court, he says the federal
But earlier this summer, Health Canada changed the conditions to allow
"I need to smoke four or more grams of marijuana per day to help me ingest
"Having marijuana is the best help in helping me cope with my illnesses,"
He is also anemic and suffers from an infection by a parasite.
In the court filings, he labels the move by Health Canada officials to
"I'm almost out of marijuana, virtually broke with debts I can't pay. My
"This, and the stress of coping with these government officials, is killing me."
A court hearing is slated for Thursday.
A spokeswoman for Health Canada declined to comment, saying it would
In a brief interview, Mr. Pariseau said the limits Health Canada has placed
"That means I'm going to have to back onto the street to buy some again,"
He is also planning to protest Health Canada's decisions on Parliament
John Turmel, a supporter helping with the court battle, said Health Canada
"If he does not submit to this, they can revoke his exemption. That's terrible.
They will ask the court to overturn that provision as well.
But Mr. Turmel said the most important bid is to get an order allowing
"That's the most important one of all for all these people across Canada
He hopes a recent ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal may help.
In July, the appeal court ruled that the law against possessing marijuana
The appeal court upheld a stay on charges against Terry Parker, a
He says it is the only drug that gives him relief from repeated seizures,
The court also rejected the system of formal exemptions for those who want
The court, however, suspended its ruling for a year to give Parliament
There are 72 Canadians who have been granted permission to possess or
CANADA TO GIVE MEDICAL MARIJUANA CLINICAL TRIALS
Reuters, March 4, 1999
by Randall Palmer
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Health Minister Allan Rock said Wednesday
he had ordered officials to
Rock said this was not the first step toward the legalization
of marijuana, but an opposition member of
Rock, a Liberal, told reporters, "There are Canadians who are
suffering from terminal illnesses who are in
The debate echoed that in the United States, where voters in seven
states and the District of Columbia have
Many lobbying groups in Canada have pushed for the medical use
of marijuana or for its full legalization, but
Hill, the health spokesman for Canada's opposition Reform Party,
said he could accept clinical trials but
"As a medical doctor, I treated young people who were habituated
to marijuana, whose marks had suffered,
Rock, who belongs to the left-leaning wing of the ruling Liberal
Party, spent his formative years in the
Asked if he had smoked marijuana, the prime ministerial aspirant
smiled broadly, and he refused to answer the
"It has nothing to do with legalizing marijuana," Rock said, adding
that he wanted to develop scientific
"What I've asked officials to do is to develop a plan that will
include clinical trials of medical marijuana and
Last March, Rock lifted a 60-year-old ban on the commercial cultivation
of hemp, a non-psychoactive cousin
Canadian Press (Canada)
Canada: Rock Agrees To Marijuana Trials
3 Mar 1999
OTTAWA (CP) -- Health Minister Allan Rock has asked his officials
to draw up a plan for
"There are Canadians who are suffering from terminal illnesses,
who are in pain or suffering
"Clinical trials will help us develop that evidence in a calm,
rational way," Rock said
"I think Canadians support, on a compassionate basis, if someone
is dying, access to a
Some users have clashed with the law after being arrested for
possession, trafficking or
Rock, who has been wrestling with the problem for some time,
announced his plan a day
The initiative has attracted two NDP MPs, Nelson Riis and Libby
Davies, as co-sponsors. It
Liberal sources confirmed Rock's timing Wednesday was a matter
of political calculation
"Allan's been talking about this for a long time, he feels strongly
about it," said one insider.
It was not clear how long the clinical trials might take, though
officials say research projects
Only if the trials show marijuana is medically useful would the
government go on to the
In the meantime, Rock is looking at the possibility of issuing
special permission for
"He doesn't want a restrictive process that would deny access
in compassionate cases," said
Aside from gathering scientific evidence, Rock wants to examine
how to provide a safe and
The minister was careful to specify that the trials do not mean
the government is moving
"I've asked officials to develop a plan for research," he said.
"It has nothing to do with
Reform health critic Grant Hill said he favours clinical trials
"to look at anything that will
But he was uneasy that the move might widen into a campaign for
legalization of marijuana
"As a medical doctor I've treated young people who were habituated
to marijuana, whose
There has to be a way for individuals to get access to the drug
on a compassionate basis
Terrence Stewart, chairman of the Canadian AIDS Society, called
Rock's announcement "a
"Just providing the drugs under a clinical trial is not going
to be the answer. We have to
The Toronto Star
3 Mar 1999
Author: Tracey Tyler, Toronto Star Legal Affairs Reporter
AIDS PATIENT FIGHTS FOR POT
But he fears that court battle may be concluding
Anxious and in failing health from AIDS, James Wakeford feels
his chances of getting the
Six months ago, a Toronto judge suggested Wakeford apply to Health
Minister Allan Rock
But after writing eight times to Rock and his officials, the
54-year-old still doesn't have an
So Wakeford has returned to court, asking that a judge order
Ottawa to not only let him
``The government is a black hole,'' Wakeford said in an interview
this week. ``It's my
Wakeford originally turned to the Ontario Court, general division
last summer. He became
Although people with epilepsy and multiple sclerosis have made
similar requests, they were
``Mine was a pre-emptive strike,'' said Wakeford, who was admitted
to hospital twice last
He's tried using Marinol, a medication that contains synthetic
THC, the active ingredient in
At the hearing last summer, Mr. Justice Harry LaForme ruled
that Wakeford's constitutional
But LaForme went on to conclude that the act didn't undermine
the principles of
``Mr. Wakeford's terminal illness, its dreadful and painful
effects on him physically and
Wakeford's lawyer, Osgoode Hall law professor Alan Young, sent
the first of several letters
On Nov. 5, Rock wrote to Wakeford, saying he sympathized with him.
And on Nov. 18, Rock sent a letter to Young, acknowledging
receipt of the request. Justice
When nothing further was heard by Dec. 17, Young sent a
final letter, concluding any
During a brief hearing in Toronto last week, Mr. Justice
Archie Campbell suggested the
No court date has been set.
Wakeford, a former executive director of the Casey House Foundation,
said a court order
Young says there have been 12 such applications.
Carole Bouchard, assistant director of the health department's
bureau of drug surveillance,
Clinical trials of Marijuana will not halt arrests of terminally ill
Law remains the same
Police officers will continue to arrest terminally ill Canadians
who are growing and smoking
The federal government has not instructed the RCMP to refrain
from laying charges against
"The law remains the same for now," said Derek King, a spokesman for the health minister.
Mr. Rock announced on Wednesday that his officials will conduct
clinical trials on the
No timetable has been set yet, but Mr. Rock said scientists will
gather evidence "as soon as
Eugene Oscapella is a founding member of the Canadian Foundation
for Drug Policy, which
"This is appalling," said Mr. Oscapella.
"The word compassion seems to be lacking from the vocabulary of this government."
Mr. Oscapella said that Mr. Rock has the power, under section
56 of the Controlled Drugs
"Why doesn't the minister do that?" Mr. Oscapella said.
Seattle Times (USA)
4 Mar 1999
Canada To Begin Studying Marijuana's Medical Uses
OTTAWA - Canada's health minister has
authorized clinical trials to determine if marijuana
Rock said he also wants officials to
examine how to provide access to a safe supply of
"I think Canadians support, on a compassionate
basis, if someone is dying, access to a
Proponents say marijuana alleviates a
wide range of medical problems, including nausea
The debate echoed that in the United
States, where voters in seven states and the District of
Many lobbying groups in Canada have pushed
for the medical use of marijuana or for its full
Grant Hill, the health spokesman for
Canada's opposition Reform Party, said he could accept
Rock, who belongs to the left-leaning
wing of the ruling Liberal Party, spent his formative
Asked if he had smoked marijuana, the
prime-ministerial aspirant smiled broadly, and he
"It has nothing to do with legalizing
marijuana," Rock said, adding that he wanted to develop
"What I've asked officials to do is to
develop a plan that will include clinical trials of medical
London Free Press (Canada)
Fri, 05 Mar 1999
MARIJUANA DESERVES STUDY
It's time people stopped thinking of marijuana to get high and consider it the medical aid it just might be.
If pot use can ease the pain and discomfort of those suffering
serious illness, then it is worthy of the clinical
Many doctors wants to use the drug, to help offset the nausea
common to AIDS sufferers. In Canada, many
Seven American states and the District of Columbia have approved
the medical use of marijuana. Clinical
But a study for medicinal purposes should not be a step toward
decriminalization. Marijuana should remain
Foundation lawyer Eugene Oscapella summed it up best when he
said, "It has become just plain cruel to deny
5 Mar 1999
Section: Editorials and Opinion
RELIEF IN SIGHT
Denying marijuana to desperately ill people in order to keep
it out of the hands of recreational users is both
Parliament has finally recognized that. This week, Health
Minister Allan Rock, prodded by the Bloc
It shouldn't have taken decades of pleading, lobbying and covert
lawbreaking on the part of doctors,
In December of 1997, Ontario Judge Patrick Sheppard ruled that
``it does not accord with fundamental
It shouldn't have taken the criminalization of sick people such
as Terry Parker of Toronto, who uses
Rock deserves credit for breaking the logjam. He wisely
decided to set guidelines for the medical use and
The Reform party is warning that Rock is opening the door to the legalization of marijuana.
The health minister denies that he has any such intention.
But even if his decision leads to changes in
Sick people should not be punished because healthy people like smoking dope.
Nelson Daily News (B.C.)
Friday, March 5, 1999
JURY STILL OUT ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA
Locals find good and bad in Health Minister
Allan Rock's plan to test illegal drug
"The highest thing that a society can
be based on is compassion because that means that
Nelson City Police Sgt. Dan Maluta
does not view Rock's decision in the same light. "I
Various lobby groups and individuals
contend that marijuana can help ease the symptoms of
"I know quite a few people who use it
for medicinal purposes in this area," said
" The man, who was diagnosed with the
disease 15 years ago, said it may also help take
There are prescription drugs on the market
which contain THC (one of the psychoactive
So if THC can provide relief to people
in certain circumstances and you can get all the
The local MP agrees with Rock that many
people do have compassion for those who use
Maluta is not convinced. "What
health practitioner would prescribe marijuana, which has
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