Pubdate: Mon, 29 Mar 1999
Source: Reporter (Canada)
Contact:  Chris Clay



I was surprised to find myself the subject of a recent feature story in The
Reporter ('Pot problems', March 15, 1999)).

As an honourary member of the Board of Directors of the Compassion Club,
Vancouver's medical marijuana buyer's club, the media occasionally contacts

I was proud to pose for the Canadian Geographic cameras last summer, though
I should mention that I neither grow marijuana nor sell it.

The photo-shoot took place so long ago that I thought little of it until I
found myself on your front cover.

Unfortunately, unlike the Canadian Geographic photographer Robert Semeniuk,
reporter Leslie MacFarlane Fraser didn't bother visiting the Compassion

If she had, perhaps her article would have contained a little more

Most of the Club's 700 plus members are dying; they ahve serious illnesses
such as AIDS and cancer.

The majority have prescriptions from their doctors, and they find cofort in
buying their medicine in a caring, healing environment that also staffs
herbalists, nutritionists, counselors etc.

A number of people on the Sunshine Coast grow marijuana for the Compassion

To describe these people as a "blight" on the community is ludicrous,
especially considering a recent Angus Reid poll showing that 83 per cent of
Canadians support the medicinal use of marijuana.

The federal Minister of Health, Allan Rock, recently announced clinical
trials of medical marijuana and puts it simply: "There are people who are
dying. They want access to something they believe will help their symptoms.
We want to help."

Chris Clay Gibsons

(Editor's note: In Leslie MacFarlane Fraser's story, The Reporter in no way
editorialized the work of Compassion Club as a "blight" on the community.
The use of the term came from a quote by RCMP Staff Sgt. Linton Robinson who
said, "I wonder what Mayor Bruce Milne thinks of the blight this puts on
Sechelt," regarding coverage in the magazine, with Sechelt mentioned in
connection with marijuana grow operations for the Compassion Club.)

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