Pubdate: Sun, 24 Aug 2008
Source: Sault Star, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 The Sault Star
Author: Brian Kelly
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Derek Pedro's first trip to Hempfest was a "nerve wracking"

He says Ontario Provincial Police asked him and Alison Myrden, both
federal medical marijuana exemptees, to get out of their truck during
a spot check Wednesday.

Their supply of marijuana was weighed.

"It was pretty unusual," Pedro said Sunday at Hempfest.

"To weigh medicine, I've never heard of that."

He and Myrden waited about 45 minutes before being cleared to

"It was nerve wracking. You're talking to somebody that's had quite a
few experiences, unfortunately, with the law and medical marijuana,"
he said.

"I just want to be left alone just like anyone else that's sick. But
yet wherever I go I'm asked, 'What is it that you have?'"

"It's a little intrusive, but at the same time I want to defend my
position so I have to talk about it."

The self-employed handyman has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. It's a rare
genetic disorder that has caused him migranes, joint pain and
operations on his knees and shoulders.

He started taking pain medication when he was 14. Pedro was taking 400
Percocet pills a month before he started smoking marijuana in 2004.

"We're exempt from the law, but yet we're persecuted on a daily
basis," said Pedro.

"We're sick, but yet we still have to endure stresses - stresses that
the average person with a regular prescription doesn't have to go through."

The police check won't stop him from attending Hempfest in 2009.
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