Pubdate: Tue, 20 Sep 2011
Source: Daily Press, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2011 Sun Media
Author: Ron Grech, The Daily Press


Robert Neron Says Government-Provided Marijuana So Weak 'It'S Like
Smoking Parsley'

TIMMINS - A long-time local advocate for users of medicinal marijuana
is on the ballot in Timmins-James Bay.

Robert Neron, who hosted Hempfest in his home community of Moonbeam in
2010, is the local candidate for the Freedom Party of Ontario.

The promise to provide "safe, convenient access" to "Cannabis Medicine
Centres" was a key aspect of the party's platform that Neron is endorsing.

Neron, has been a user of medicinal marijuana since he was diagnosed
in 1997 with cervical dystonia -- a condition which causes painful,
twisting muscle contractions in the neck.

The 45-year-old said the effects of smoking marijuana reduces the

However, he said the cannabis provided by the government for this
purpose has a reduced level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THC is the substance in cannabis that causes a psychoactive or
euphoric sensation when it is smoked. Illegally sold marijuana
generally has a THC level of 15 to 25%

Neron said the THC level of medicinal marijuana is

"It's like smoking parsley," he said.

Neron takes issue with this.

He believes the government should "supply the best quality of
marijuana so that people don't feel they have to smoke joint after
joint before they feel the effects."

He also believes the cost should be covered by the Ontario Hospital
Insurance Plan.

Due to the reduced THC level, Neron said he has to smoke substantially
more government approved marijuana to feel any effect compared to the
quality of pot he would get if he bought it from dealers illegally.

While Neron said he is licensed by Health Canada to be supplied with
and to possess medicinal marijuana, he has still had his share of
run-ins with the law over the years.

The latest was in March during a period when, he said, his licence had

On March 11, the Ontario Provincial Police conducted a raid of his
home and seized more $1.2 million worth of illegal drugs.

He was charged with three counts of possession of a controlled
substance for the purpose of trafficking, two counts of production of
a controlled substance, and six counts of possession of a controlled

When he was charged in March, Neron said he had applied to Health
Canada for a renewal of his licence.

Neron told The Daily Press he notified the police of the situation but
"within weeks, the police raided my house."

Neron said his licence permitting him to smoke marijuana arrived from
Health Canada arrived a month after he was arrested.

He said he plans to fight the charges, which are still before the

In the meantime, Neron has another battle on his hands in the form of
a provincial election campaign.

He said he plans to actively campaign though he said he will not be
able to attend the all-candidates meeting being held at O'Gorman High
School in Timmins Wednesday night.

Asked about other components of the Freedom Party's platform which he
feels strongly about, Neron cited promises to allow Ontario corner
stores sell alcohol and wine, and to increase speed limits on
400-series highways.

The Freedom Party advocates an increase in speed limits of up to of
120 kilometres an hour.

Other components of the Freedom Party platform include:

- - Elimination of the Retail Business Holidays Act which would enable
businesses to be open any day of the year;

- - Prohibit religious worship, religious services or religious outreach
programs in public schools;

- - "Eliminate artificially high prices" for electricity;

- - Eliminate Ontario's tax on gasoline; and

- - Eliminate provincial tax on beer, wine and wine coolers.
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.