HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Rock Approves Pot Use For 14 More
Pubdate: Tue, 05 Oct 1999
Source: Canadian Press (Canada)
Copyright: 1999 The Canadian Press (CP).
MAP's: Topical News Shortcut for Canada:


Health Minister Allan Rock is notifying 14 more people with serious
illnesses that they can use marijuana for medical purposes. Rock's
department, which is notifying them Tuesday, sifted through some 100
applications. The minister was scheduled to make a more detailed
announcement Wednesday.

The federal government first gave permission for the cultivation and use of
marijuana for medical purposes in June, when Rock granted special
exemptions from federal drug law to Jim Wakeford of Toronto and
Jean-Charles Pariseau of Vanier, Ont., both of whom have AIDS.

"Fourteen more individuals will be exempted under Section 56 so they can
use marijuana for medical purposes because they're very sick or they're
dying," Rock said following a cabinet meeting Tuesday.

"They've satisfied us they're legitimate cases."

Rock said some details on clinical trials for medical marijuana will be
released Tuesday, along with a business plan to look for a domestic source
of pot. Some of the ill have complained they're too sick to grow their own

"One of our goals is also to get a Canadian source of supply for medical
purposes so that problem doesn't arise," said Rock.

"As you know, we're new to this line of work so we're doing the best we can
to cope. What motivates us is the humanitarian approach, a compassionate
approach to those who are very sick or dying and who believe that access to
marijuana will help relieve their suffering."

Rock said that out of about 100 applications, 20 were considered complete
rather than simply expressions of interest. No applications have been
rejected outright and there may be more exemptions granted.

A government spokesman said applicants must have a doctor's approval and
the pot must have a medical benefit.

"We're not just saying, you're sick, you deserve it," said the official.

Some sufferers believe the banned substance relieve the symptoms of such
diseases as AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and manic depression.
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