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Pot’liticle Corner.

By admin | March 6, 2004

By Steve Pittner
for the Cannabis Digest.

With the federal election of 2004 over and a minority Liberal government in place, it may be a while before any major changes will be made regarding medical marijuana access.

This situation has forced hundreds of thousands of needy individuals to go to friendly sources or criminals. Health Canada has started to sell their poor quality cannabis from Flin Flon, but the product is inferior to strains provided by existing medical clubs.

Bill C-10 (an effort to decriminalize) failed to pass in the House of Commons before the election. It appears to be a priority issue with this minority government, as Paul Martin announced during the first meeting of his new cabinet. However, decriminalization treats cannabis users like addicts, only slightly restricting punishments to people caught for the first time with small amounts. The new law will allow judges to punish growers and distributors more, while doing nothing for medical users except that the MMAR will be included in one section of the law so the government can begin complying with old court decisions. Some doubt the current government will be able to pass any laws, and given the number of different proposed laws the Liberal government has drafted in the last 10 years, there is every reason to believe that Bill C-10 will fail.

While medical cannabis clubs continue to risk arrest in their activities, Health Canada and the city of Vancouver are working on a research project around safe injection drug sites. An Exemption #56 from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act has been granted to a group doing research about the benefits of having a safe location for intravenous drug users where health officials assist clients in accessing other community services. We believe that established medical cannabis clubs should be granted similar exemptions until clubs are otherwise licensed and regulated.

Ujjal Dosanjh is the new minister responsible for Health Canada. He should be prepared to act on these issues given his experience as BC�s Attorney General and Premier with the last NDP government. In an interview with the Victoria News on Aug 20, 1997, Mr. Dosanjh said, �I�m very open to discussion on all the issues, including the decriminalization of marijuana, and even providing heroin to addicts.� Given statements like this, we hope the new health minister is ready to dismantle the war on drugs.

Rob Fleming, a Victoria city councillor who has been very supportive of the CBC and has appeared to speak at the 2nd annual Cannabis Convention in 1999, is running for the Victoria-Hillside riding in the next provincial election.

In the Victoria area the Honourable David Anderson, P.C.,M.P was re-elected but was dumped as Minister of Environment. I would encourage everyone in this club and any friends or relatives to write, call, E-mail or fax Mr. Anderson at his constituency office 970 Blanchard Street Victoria B.C. V8W 2H3 Tel: 363-3600 Fax: 363-8422 and or e-mail and ask him to help the CBC get an exemption.

Topics: Articles, CD-3rd, Summer 2004 | Comments Off

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