Pubdate: Thu, 18 Jun 2015
Source: West Carleton Review (CN ON)
Contact:  2015 Metroland
Author: Derek Dunn


The Conservative Party of Canada faces more challenges scoring 
political points with its base over drug laws now that a court has 
ruled patients have a constitutional right to consume medical 
marijuana derivatives.

The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled that medical marijuana 
users can consume edible medical marijuana products such as cannabis 
oils, teas and brownies. That means six-year-old Liam McKnight of 
West Carleton does not have to smoke joints to help ease the frequent 
and severe seizures he experiences as a side effect of his rare form 
of epilepsy.

His mother, Mandy McKnight, did not force him smoke pot; so until 
June 11 she broke the law by giving him estimated doses in derivative 
form. McKnight has been an outspoken advocate for her son's health 
and the plight of others for the past two years.

"It's pretty unbelievable. It's a huge relief," McKnight said. "We 
are no longer committing a crime for making Liam's medication. I'm 
hoping this will open the door for a lot of kids."

That remains to be seen. Federal Health Minister Rosa Ambrose told 
reporters she is "outraged" by the decision and accused the supreme 
court of luring young people toward marijuana use.

"This expansion of a pre-existing court-imposed program to now 
include cookies and candies makes marijuana more attractive and 
accessible to youth and reflects Justin Trudeau's campaign to 
legalize and normalize marijuana," she said in a prepared statement.

Ambrose added that MPs should be making drug-related decisions, not 
unelected judges. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has appointed seven 
of nine judges on the supreme court.

McKnight has shied away from the politics of medical marijuana, 
saying it should be seen as a health issue that people of all 
political stripes should support. But when it comes to the 
Conservatives oversimplifying an issue that plays well with its base 
of anti-pot members and cash contributors, she turns the tables.

"She's outraged? I'm outraged that my son should have had to smoke 
joints for the last two years," she said. "This is not about 
legalization. This is about sick Canadians having access to a medication."

The Conservatives have long maintained no scientific studies have 
backed up the anecdotal evidence. (That is also true of Aspirin and 
many other medications.) The Government of Canada long ago could have 
conducted studies, but has refused.

"Even my 10 year old gets it," McKnight said, adding the party 
refuses to believe the existing evidence because obfuscation and 
deflection works to delaying a better outcome for Liam. The 
government fought the case all the way to the highest court in the land.

Local MP Gordon O'Connor has long avoided comment to Metroland Media 
on the McKnight family's situation.

Observers say the party has refused to accept the benefits of medical 
marijuana on patients like Liam McKnight because the opposite - 
Trudeau as too light on drugs - works well in fundraising campaigns 
with party members and supporters.

Meanwhile, McKnight is hoping medical marijuana companies will take 
over her role as oil producer. That way her son can have safe, 
reliable and tested medicine.

"Just like any other medication."

Ambrose vows to continue to fight against what she sees as an illicit drug.

"We have to continue to get the message to Canadians that this... is 
not a medicine. There are very harmful effects of marijuana, 
especially on our youth."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom