Pubdate: Mon, 14 Jan 2002
Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002, Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Debbie Stultz-Giffin
Note: Parenthetical remark by the Sun editor; headline by newshawk
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


I suffer from progressive multiple sclerosis and have been granted a 
section 56, an exemption, by our federal government allowing me to legally 
possess marijuana to treat often unrelenting muscle spasms. Pharmaceuticals 
were no more than a toxic brew that were killing me!

Professional medical associations, such as the Canadian Medical Protective 
Association who provide insurance for 95% of the doctors, are cautioning 
doctors against prescribing medical marijuana. The wording on the form that 
Health Canada requires doctors to sign places doctors in a position of 
potential legal liability.

To add to this, Health Canada has changed the marijuana access rules. Those 
of us who require medical marijuana now may need more than a general 
practitioner's signature -- we may need one or two specialists' signatures 
to boot. Specialists who may take up to a year to get in to see!

The application forms are cumbersome and photo IDs are required. The 
application package must be sent to Health Canada two months prior to the 
expiry date of the prescription and then pass their scrutiny. All of this 
fuss to be able to renew my prescription for an innocuous substance.

Perhaps Terry Toll would like to trade prescriptions for awhile and then 
we'll see how lethargy fits into this picture.

Debbie Stultz-Giffin Bridgetown

(You don't want whatever Terry's taking -- but he was just joking, as he 
usually is)
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