Pubdate: Fri, 22 Feb 2008
Source: Burlington Post (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 Burlington Post
Author: Alison Myrden


The following is an open letter to Burlington Post, restaurant owner
Ted Kindos and Halton MP Garth Turner.

I don't think the people across Canada understand the issue of medical
marijuana patient Steve Gibson and owner of Gator Ted's Restaurant,
Ted Kindos, in their disagreement involving the accusation of blatant
discrimination and the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

I know many people in Canada know who I am by now; I've been doing
this for many years. For those who have been away or have been hiding
under a rock with Mr. Turner and Mr. Kindos, my name is Alison Myrden
and I am a medical marijuana patient just like Mr. Gibson.

I have taken my time to speak up about this in print because it has
been such a heated conversation and I can't take the stress of
speaking about it as the pain in my face flares up horribly. The
slightest bit of stress will set me off.

I smoke at least every hour when I am out of my home. It doesn't
matter if I am at a baseball game at The Roger's Centre, an amusement
park or sometimes inside but most definitely outside of every eatery I
go to. I smoke everywhere I go. I have to. If I don't, I have to rely
on medically-prescribed cocaine and heroin, up to 2,000 mg of
morphine, not including 32 other pills, every day just to start to
touch my pain and other issues associated with chronic, progressive
multiple sclerosis.

What Mr. Turner and some of your readers are misunderstanding I
believe, is the fact that people like Mr. Gibson and myself have been
given this right because we are sick. There is no other reason. I
might add that there are fewer than 2,300 of us across Canada with the
legal right to do this so we are new and definitely here to stay.

I am deeply offended and personally shocked that our federal Health
Minister, Mr. Tony Clement, is not even aware of the most recent
information stating (some) doctors in the U.S. also believe cannabis
is a great choice of medicine and it is not going away any time soon.
Cannabis is not cancer causing. We have been reassured by brilliant
doctors and scientists at medical conferences over the years that
cannabis heals and the smoke is very therapeutic and

Banishing medical cannabis smokers to a back corner or more than 100
feet away from the entrance of an establishment is not only totally
callous and hard hearted but very much discriminatory.

Please, Mr. Turner, Mr. Kindos and people of Canada, try to be a
little more understanding of the medical cannabis patients in our
country. I have been at the forefront of this movement for more than
10 years. I only wish people could feel my inner pain with what we
have had to endure. These medical marijuana licences are not easy to
come by so try to have some empathy for those who are debilitated and
sick enough to have one.

Due to the effect this has on my health, this will be the last I speak
of this issue publicly until the hearing in May, where Human Rights
has asked me to be an expert witness for Mr. Gibson. All we ask in the
meantime is that you walk just one day in our shoes.

Alison Myrden

Federal Medical Marijuana Exemptee in Canada, The Medical Marijuana
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin