My odyssey with Health Canada started with the Liberals of the day and every successive Government since 2001 started when I moved to Vancouver from Victoria and discovered through testing at the compassion club that cannabis worked better than the opioids (I was addicted to) for relieving pain. I was suffering from disc disease. The Allard decision had just come down in August forcing the Liberals to make cannabis available for people suffering health issues. They proceeded to make it as impossible as possible to prevent sick people from obtaining plants to legally grow their own medicine.
The Government required 2 Doctors to fill out the lengthy forms. In September /02, 3 weeks after the court decision came down, I sent in my forms and waited 3 months to be told that 2 Specialists had to fill out the forms. Totally impossible, I waited 2 years to see a Doctor at the Vancouver spinal center who looked at the forms said he wasn’t interested in looking at the government forms and walked out of the room. I would wait months to see a Rheumatoid specialist who would try to sell me more expensive drugs but had no interest in helping me with my medicine. This went on for 4 ½ years.
Finally, through a Charter court challenge the P. C’s were forced to lower the bar to a general practitioner to fill out the lengthy forms. Still very difficult as G. P’s were mostly uninformed of the medical benefits of cannabis and most did not believe that patients should be the decision makers for what medicine they put in their bodies.
Government interference did not end there. In /07 I went to a new Doctor in Sooke to increase my dosage to 10 grams a day from 7, as an inexperienced grower I could not grow enough plants to last me a year. A Health Canada pharmacist phoned my Doctor and intimidated him into dropping my prescription to 5 grams a day. Governments have no right to come between a Doctor and their patient’s health care. This treatment of harassing sick people by forcing them to fill out forms every year and pricing our medicine out of reach, literally saps our energy that we should be using to survive.
The Government actions (whether on purpose or not) has had the effect of destroying the medical cannabis culture. The seniors and other people on fixed income that need medicine to survive in dignity simply cannot afford their medicine. Some sick people typically need 10 to 30 grams per day,they simply can’t afford to pay $10/gm. Even light smokers and people economising have difficulty buying 4-5 grams a week. This situation is untenable, and something needs to be done.
We need to establish a medical growers’ club so that sick people can get information on strains, how to grow their strains, buy plants and less expensive medicine. A rotating Farmers’ Market could supply what we need. My proposal is that our club could work with Charities to supply a venue in each community for a 1-day sale paying the Charity a commission on each sale for the use of the property. This membership could rotate our home growers to support charities throughout B.C.
The present system has ignored the medical market, so we need to take control of our medicine. Presently the recreational market is out of medicine. The so-called Black Market is supplying the licensed producer’s shortfall. Medical dispensaries have been shut down (they were too expensive anyway) but were a source of information. The seniors’ grey market has lost most of their expense income to recreational dispensaries due to convenience, people working do not mind paying $15. /gram.
SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE OR THERE WILL BE A BLEAK HOLIDAY FOR SICK PEOPLE.
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