Pubdate: Thu, 12 Mar 2009
Source: Evening News, The (CN NS)
Copyright: The Evening News
Author: Debbie Stultz-Giffin


To the editor,

Implementing the recently proposed changes to the Controlled Drugs and
Substances Act will be devastating for chronically and critically ill
Canadians. The Justice Department website reveals that Bill C-15, if
passed as written, would send anyone convicted of cultivating as
little as one cannabis plant to jail automatically for six months.

This government already leaves hundreds of thousands of medical
marijuana patients out on a limb. Health Canada's unconstitutional
Medical Marijuana Access program provides legal protection to only
2,812 of the approximately 400,000 Canadians requiring medicinal
cannabis (Canadian Medical Association Journal; May 15, 2001).

With our Justice Department, under the leadership of the Liberal party
in 2002, discovering that mandatory minimums are the least effective
means of dealing with "drug offences," it seems that judicial
discretionary powers are about to be thrown out the window based
solely on Conservative ideology.

Meanwhile, in the real world, otherwise law abiding citizens will live
in constant fear of having their doors kicked in, their lives turned
upside down, being separated from their families and automatically
sent to jail for growing the only substance that provides them with
both symptom relief and quality of life - cannabis.

Ninety-three per cent of Canadians support compassionate cannabis
(Maclean's Magazine, July 2007). Is it really in this country's best
interest to clog our courts with ill people and fill our jails with
sick and dying Canadians?

Some of our most fragile citizens do not deserve to be criminalized
and caged. Passing Bill C-15 as drafted would be unconstitutional,
un-Canadian and unconscionable.

Debbie Stultz-Giffin Chair, Maritimers Unite for Medical Marijuana Society

Bridgetown, N.S.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin