Pubdate: Tue, 24 Mar 2009
Source: Simcoe Reformer, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2009 Sun Media
Author: Russell Barth


Re: Drugs: crime and punishment, Times-Reformer, March 17

"It is illegal to knowingly have any of these drugs in your 
possession at any time, even if they do not belong to you. Unless, 
you are the holder of a valid 'medicinal marijuana' certificate."

As a federally licensed medical marijuana user, who is also married 
to one, I would like to comment on this.

First of all, medical marijuana users might be exempted from the 
Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, but these exemption regulations 
(which have never been enacted as actual law) directly conflict with 
many provincial legislations.

This is the basis of my Ontario Human Rights complaint against the 
Ontario government.

For example, the MMAR allows licence holders to possess marijuana, 
but the Ontario Liquor License Act forbids us from actually holding 
it in a licensed drinking establishment, or using it outside on their 
property. Furthermore, although we are federally allowed to "use" 
marijuana for medical purposes, the regulations are, at best, 
ambiguous, and non-binding. Patients are urged to use "common sense" 
when using their marijuana in public, which should mean that we are 
allowed to smoke our pot wherever tobacco is being used. But 
provincial laws forbid us from actually doing so.

For example, if I am driving and carrying my pot, I am not in 
violation of any traffic laws, but if someone else is driving and I 
am a passenger, they are in violation of the law, but I am not. 
According to provincial laws, I am technically not allowed to possess 
my medicine in a hospital, on a city bus, in a park, on the grounds 
of any school (even universities), in my doctor's office, or even in 
my own home!

The federal pot licences also allow the growing of medical marijuana 
in the user's home, but the Landlord Tenant Act forbids it. It is a 
wildly absurd conundrum, and it is all due to the fact that the 
federal government refuses to legislate our rights into actual law.

It should also be noted that because the med-pot licences are very 
difficult to get (due to government bureaucracy), and onerous to 
those who can get them, they have been repeatedly ruled 
unconstitutional by many different courts. Even without an actual 
licence, hundreds of thousands of Canadians are protected from 
prosecution because of this mix-up. If they can afford to "lawyer-up."

And finally, one must consider that we have to carry special papers 
around with us to keep us out of jail because we have medical 
conditions that require marijuana. That is medical segregation! In 
Canada! In 2009! OK, so it isn't Apartheid or the Warsaw Ghetto, but 
big things like that start out as little things like this. Canadians 
should be deeply offended by this -- terrified, in fact.

Russell Barth

Federally licensed medical marijuana user Patients Against Ignorance 
and Discrimination on Cannabis (PAIDOC)
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom