Letters to the Editor

LETTERS: ‘Gang’ mentality hurts us patients

Medical-marijuana advocates – including letter-writer Joy Davies – protest outside MP Russ Hiebert’s office in 2013. - Sarah Massah file photo
Medical-marijuana advocates – including letter-writer Joy Davies – protest outside MP Russ Hiebert’s office in 2013.
— image credit: Sarah Massah file photo


Re: Council defers medical-marijuana vote, March 4.

To clarify my representation to council, I am a spokesperson for the Canadian Medical Cannabis Partners (CMCP), a national patient-driven society.

A majority of licensed patients and caregivers are afraid to speak out at council for fear that they may betray them to the police, border guards and fire department, and face shunning, harassment and persecution.

While serving on city council in Grand Forks in 2009, I presented a resolution to decentralize the Medical Marijuana Access Regulations (MMAR) to the provinces. It went on to pass in 2010 at the municipal delegates of B.C., and in 2011 FCM Canada endorsed Resolution B146 to “decentralize the MMAR to the provinces.”

In 2013, the BC Liberal party stated that if re-elected they would consult with the various stakeholders before the federal regulations were placed. To date, that has not happened, while the federal changes date is drawing near.

CMCP advocates for the province to honour their word and consult with municipalities, health professionals, caregivers and patients – like the veterans without a leg who uses cannabis tea for pain; or the MS patient living in a scooter using vaporizers; or many palliative patients.

Current staff and councils need to do their homework with current objective comparative analysis on how the lack of proper government regulation has caused the problems, not the patients who grow.

There’s a disconnect to be bridged by governments.

Most elected officials are caring members of their community, yet suffer from cognitive dissonance with regard to this marijuana cannabis plant. City councils appear to have been given selective alarmist old information from the gang-sector grow-op perspective.

Facing 80 years of U.S. ‘big pharma’-driven propaganda for the purpose of corporate profit needs to be overcome. We, the patients, are doing our best to provide “the other side of the story” to make this happen.

The CMCP are asking our municipalities to defer the grow bylaw that arrived via one 1993-2001 Surrey fire chief’s gang grow-op experience. We ask that council simply ask the province to strike a task force on medical cannabis to set realistic parameters for a provincial medical-cannabis program that brings municipalities, stakeholders and patients to the decision-making table to design a dignified, affordable access program.

Patients do not make grow ops; gangs do. We need a few window-sill or backyard medical-cannabis plants with the parsley, thyme and herbs.

Joy Davies, White Rock



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