Pubdate: Wed, 28 Sep 2005
Source: Windsor Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005 The Windsor Star
Author: Ron Lawrence


I have been licensed to receive medical marijuana from the government
since February. I had applied for it two years earlier, because I
found that it helped with my chronic pain.

I believe this medication is helping with my pain better than anything
I have ever tried, and it has improved my life.

I have been on disability due to an accident and receive a ODSP cheque
through the government. For some reason, I thought the government and
Health Canada were aligned and took care of the charge.

At the beginning of September, I received an invoice totalling more
than $6,400. I was shocked to find that the bill is adding up, along
with a large interest rate for late payments.

I called Health Canada immediately to ask if this bill has to be paid
by Health Canada, me, or does my disability take care of this charge
as they do with my other medication. They said I had to.

I called disability to find out if this could be covered through ODSP
through the mandatory special-needs program, as this is a needed medication.

I was informed this is not covered but I can appeal this decision. I

In the meantime, the supply is being pulled out from underneath me and
it's going to mean cold turkey after becoming more dependent on this
medication than ever.

Why did Health Canada keep sending it to me for eight months before
informing me that the costs are on me? This all-natural medical wonder
costs nearly nothing to produce and has the potential to help so many
people. But if people cannot afford it, what is the point of applying
for it?

This medication is not just smoked for the enjoyment of the effects.
It is used to relieve a countless number of symptoms but I think it is
only legal to relieve pain.

Marijuana is not the evil - the money made from it is.

Make it affordable for the people who need it and I'm sure you will
see countless people coming forward to ask for this medication.

Ron Lawrence

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