HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html The Flin Flon flip-flop
Pubdate: Mon, 02 Sep 2002
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Page: A13
Copyright: 2002, The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Spider Robinson
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


Anne McLellan's Reversal on Support for Medicinal Marijuana Should Make 
Canadians Sick

Recently I went in hospital for a test that required injecting me with a 
radioactive drug. I told them, as I always do, that drugs invariably hit me 
harder than most people, and they nodded and shot me up with the standard 
dose, as always, and I vomited nonstop for the next eight hours. One of 
these days I'll write a column exploring why donning a white uniform 
induces deafness -- but not today.

This column's about what they did for my nausea that day -- which was 
nothing. They shot me up with four successive drugs, starting with Gravol 
(a standard dose) and working up to the mightiest antinausea drug in the 
pharmacopoeia, without effect. I retched continuously until it was simply 
not possible for my stomach to clench any more; then, thank God, I was able 
to persuade them to stop helping me, and let me go. My problem soon 
vanished. The impulse to vomit uncontrollably only returned today, when I 
sniffed the latest mound of media manure from Health Minister Anne McLellan.

There's a memorable moment in Casablanca when Claude Rains, as Captain 
Reynaud, calls down a raid on Rick's Place, announcing, "I'm shocked -- 
shocked! -- to find that gambling is going on here." What makes the line 
immortal is that, as it leaves his lips, he's accepting his winnings. 
Total, bald hypocrisy, naked as a kick in the groin.

In that precise spirit, I'm shocked -- shocked! -- to discover that Ms. 
McLellan is a typical contemporary Canadian politician. That is, a protean 
pile of adjustable principles prepared to call excrement strawberry jam, if 
the alternative is to risk offending a trigger-happy Texan.

Her bashful confession that the Manitoba Marijuana Mine she's been 
overseeing in Flim Flam . . . excuse me, Flin Flon, has really been a 
$6-million dribble-glass joke, and the recent police persecutions of 
Compassion Clubs in Ontario, demonstrate that her government has sold out 
every suffering citizen who believed they could look to it for relief from 
nausea, pain, or other debilitating symptoms.

If you believed two years of promises that medical marijuana would soon be 
made available to sick people who need it desperately . . . what have you 
been smoking? The cowboy bootlickers we allow to pick our pockets have 
already made it clear they feel little obligation to provide more than 
Third World medical care for any of us, so why would they make an exception 
for troublemakers antisocial enough to acquire diseases that require Ottawa 
to grow a conscience?

What they meant by the best possible medicine was, the best medicine Dubya 
says we can have.

You'll also be stunned to learn Ms. McLellan's been able to find a few 
doctors either shameless enough to pretend to believe, or perhaps dimwitted 
enough to actually believe, her "further clinical trials are needed" 
nonsense -- just as if marijuana's safety and efficacy have not been known 
for over a century, established repeatedly in every reputable study from 
the LaGuardia commission in the United States and the LeDain report in 
Canada to the most recent reports on the subject from World Health 
Organization or Harvard.

Dr. Raju Hajela of Kingston, for instance, told The Globe and Mail "a 
single joint is as harmful as 10 cigarettes," which is preposterous. 
Fortunately, for anyone with interest, Internet access can find the true 
facts effortlessly, as former health minister Allan Rock did. (Try it 
yourself -- please!)

The Globe has also reported on Alison Myrden of Burlington, Ont., one of 
806 registered sufferers who've been jerked around by their alleged 
representatives for the last two years. She now knows "bureaucratic 
compassion" is an oxymoron, like "ministerial honour." For the rest of her 
life, according to Dr. Hajela and Ms. McLellan, she'll be much healthier 
downing 32 pills and 600 milligrams of morphine a day for her MS than she 
would have been if she'd been able to use a few natural flowers without 
fear of arrest.

There was a time when this country had the guts to tell America to go to 
hell when it was dead wrong. Back in the 1960s, we were led by a man who 
actually had the stones to tell the United States that any of its children 
who had a problem with being forced to murder strangers in Asia were 
welcome here. Canada gained immeasurably thereby: in prestige, in pride, 
and in immigrants who've made a powerful positive contribution ever since.

Today America tolerates, like a cancer on its heart, a cult of armed 
hypocrites who pretend to believe marijuana is a dangerous drug like 
heroin, PCP or crack, and who on the basis of that outrageous lie have 
imprisoned not tens, but hundreds of thousands of decent people for 
possession of a plant that causes laughter . . . and incidentally assured 
themselves steady income and low-risk thrills. In God's name, why are we 
enabling these foreign parasites -- at the cost of torturing our own 
citizens? Why not align ourselves with societies with rational marijuana 
policies, such as the Netherlands, England, or Portugal?

How long will we go on like this, spending money we can't afford to pay 
armed bullies to persecute our own young people for giggling too much, and 
our infirm and elderly for seeking relief from chronic misery? It's not the 
money I mind so much -- it's the minutes. Horrid minutes of churning 
awfulness, that will seem to last a million years each, to every poor 
nauseous patient who has to rely on the current government for compassion. 
Every day that it remains illegal here to supply pot to sick people legally 
entitled to smoke it, this nation is in disgrace.

There's nothing nobler than alleviating suffering. And nothing wickeder 
than failing to, out of cowardice or ignorance or expediency.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager