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FORMAL MEDIA RELEASE NOV 30TH 2013
FEDERAL CLASS ACTION LAUNCHED CHALLENGING
HEALTH CANADA’S CHANGES TO THE MEDICAL MARIHUANA LAWS
ON BEHALF OF PATIENTS AND CAREGIVERS
Class Action Suit alleges that the changes to the Medical Marihuana laws taking away the right to personally produce or have a caregiver do so, prohibiting dwelling house and outdoor production and limiting possession to “dried marihuana” only and other restrictions violate the constitutional rights of patients.
VANCOUVER (November 29, 2013) – A proposed national class action suit has been filed in the Federal Court of Canada in Vancouver against the Federal government (Health Canada) seeking various declarations as to the unconstitutionality of the proposed changes to the medical marihuana laws amending the Narcotic Control Regulations, repealing the Medical Marihuana Access Regulations and implementing the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
The representative proposed Class Action was commenced November 29th, 2013 by four representative Plaintiffs on behalf of all persons ordinarily resident in Canada who have been medically approved to use cannabis as medicine whether under the Narcotic Control Regulations, the Medical Marihuana Access Regulations or the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations.
The action seeks constitutional declarations that all medically approved patients have the constitutional right to not only produce their medicine for themselves but if they are unable to do so, to have a caregiver do so for them, and to use Cannabis in any of its effective forms and not be limited to just “dried marihuana”. Also that patients or caregivers can continue to produce in a ‘dwelling house’ and outdoors and should not be limited in other proposed respects such as limiting the maximum amount that a patient can possess to 150 grams. The suit alleges that the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) are unconstitutional to the extent that they omit the right to continue to personally produce or have a caregiver do so and unreasonably limit the s.7 Charter constitutional rights of medically approved patients in the Narcotic Control Regulations, as in the Medical Marihuana Access Regulations and the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations by limiting possession, sale and provision to “dried marihuana” only, contrary to the decision of the British Columbia Supreme Court in R. v. Smith 2012 BCSC 544 (on appeal to the BCCA) as well as other aspects. Orders in the nature of interim and permanent exemption/injunctions will be sought to exempt individuals medically approved from the change in the law pending the hearing of this matter and thereafter or alternatively restraining and preserving the provisions of the MMAR until such time as the government makes appropriate amendments to ensure the full ambit and scope of the patient’s constitutional right is protected without any unreasonable, inconsistent and unnecessary restrictions.
Health Canada as of April 2013 authorized the production of 188,189 kilograms of cannabis marihuana to be produced under the MMAR under the various licences during 2012. As of November 1st there were only three licenced producers approved to produce and supply patients with cannabis marihuana. The MMPR repeals the MMAR personal production and designated grower provisions effective March 31st, 2014, a mere 4 months from now. It is anticipated that these licenced producers and any others that come into existence between now and March 31st, 2014 will not be able to produce a sufficient quantity to ensure that all of the approved patients have a safe continuous access and supply as of March 31st, 2014.
According to Health Canada as of July 15th, 2013, there were 35,445 persons authorized to possess cannabis for medical purposes in Canada broken down into 24,185 holding personal production licences, 4,251 holding designated grower licences and 6,027 accessing Health Canada’s supply through the government contractor Prairie Plant Systems. While 27,000 of the licences are issued to produce entirely indoors, 3,000 of them were issued to produce entirely outdoors and 2,670 to produce indoors in the winter and outdoors in the summer. Producing outdoors is a substantial cost saver in terms of electricity and some 60-70% of the permit holders are indicated to be on disability pensions. The Plaintiffs say they will not be able to afford the estimated price of the medicine from the licenced producers created under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations as the sole producers. Most of those with personal production licences produce in their dwelling house as they cannot afford to rent space elsewhere, and they save substantially on electricity costs by partial outdoor production.
Consequently the Class seeks to maintain its ability of each of its members to produce for themselves or have a caregiver to produce for them or, if they can afford it, to purchase their medicine from a licenced producer and that to force patients to access their medicine at a price they cannot afford from only licenced producers does not constitute a “viable constitutional exemption” that ensures a reasonable safe and continuous supply of medicine for the patients. The Class also seeks to ensure access to juicing and other extracts by patients across the country and to maintain their ability to grow in a ‘dwelling house’ as well as outdoors, and to not be otherwise unreasonably limited in terms of possession.
All persons who have been medically approved in Canada for the possession and use of cannabis whether under the Narcotic Control Regulations, the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations as a patient and producer or more recently under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations are asked to go to www.johnconroy.com and click on the “MMAR” button and register by the completion of a victim impact statement so that we can assess whether or not to introduce your case and evidence into the action or email email@example.com to be added to the list of members of the Class wishing to participate in this Class Action.
For more information please contact:
JOHN W. CONROY, Q.C.
Conroy & Company
2459 Pauline Street
Abbotsford, BC V2S 3S1
MMAR PPL/DPL Coalition against Repeal
Face Book Coalition Group www.facebook.com/groups/406440576091519/
LinkedIn Coalition Group http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=4714229&trk=hb_side_g
The Cannabis in Canada Society
Contact me on Skype Jason.Wilcox39
Formal Announcement (Tickets on Sale Now)
Coalition Benefit Concert Van BC …Nov 13th ….it’s a weedy night!
Ticket on sale at….
One ticket is but the cost of 2 grams under the new MMPR should our permits to cultivate be removed! Let’s fund the good fight…. It’s not about plants nor politics rather passion and pride in our right to access safe and effective medicine of our we choose ….It’s our right it’s our choice!
Face Book Event Page:
147 E Pender St
Doors open a 7:10 pm
Headlining The Night
• Rascalz “Nominated for Best Rap Recording at the 1994 Juno Awards”
-DJs to keep the crowd pumped between sets!
More performers and sponsors to be announced soon…..
Come join in with 700 Canadian Cannabis Consumers and our supporters for a night packed with live bands, silent auctions, custom glass, with likeminded individuals in support of the right to cultivate what one consumes. Most important your ticket cost goes towards the MMAR Coalition against Repeal trust fund for our legal matter being launched to protect personal gardens in Canada.
To learn more about the Coalition and how you may assist us in our plight please see www.mmarcoalitionagainstrepeal.com
Our Sponsors to date
After hours at Eden’s Vapor lounge from 10:30-3am the night of the concert.
The MMAR Coalition against Repeal
An article in Vancouver alt-weekly Georgia Straight B.C. Government and Fed Disagree On Conservative’s New Rules For Medicinal Marijuana really caught my attention. The article shows a tug of war between that province and the fed’s.
I’ve been quietly examining provincial overlap in Health Canada’s new med pot program and apparently the Straight has too. The Straight filed a Freedom of Information request for notes from two closed door meetings between provincial and federal health officials.
Some documents were redacted to protect intergovernmental relations, because B.C. Ministry of Health informed Health Canada their new program sucks donkey dick and is worst than Canucks losing game seven of the Stanley Cup. However, journalists have to inhale plenty of God Bud and hold the documents up to the light of a full moon to read the blacked out remarks.
What it does reveal is the provincial health agency employees politely spoke up about;
Every MMPR bellyache I’ve read on social media these B.C. Ministry of Health employees challenged Health Canada on…and the fed’s provided no rationale. Did they receive notes from MLA Terry Lake (or his predecessor) or were the employees acting on their own?
If people had known just before BC and Nova Scotia provincial elections medical marihuana discussions took place behind closed doors, would it have become an election issue?
When Health Canada created the MMPR I noticed several areas where there was provincial overlap, especially in the area of access.
Nurse practitioners are currently granted federal authority to prescribe med pot, but every province prevents them from doing so. An example is B.C., which has a list of drugs nurse practitioners are permitted to prescribe, while Ontario has a list of drugs they are not allowed to prescribe.
I don’t know if this change would improve access, but if you believe Health Canada’s ten year access projections I have this amazing mine grown marijuana you will love too.
Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne spoke to the annual nurse practitioner’s convention and the legislation preventing NP’s from signing medical marihuana appears it may get an overhaul. That would be perfect timing for the province to remove ‘marihuana’ from the legislation, but will they. ATM we don’t know.
Personally I’m shocked the fed’s met with their provincial counterparts. Given federal strong headedness I was working off the play no meetings had happened. My first provincial inquiry (about the time these meetings were happening) turned up nothing.
Now we know Health Canada held provincial meetings!
What did Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care tell Health Canada in closed door meetings their concerns were regarding the MMPR? Did they echo the same sentiments as B.C. Ministry of Health or did the Ontario agency drink the fed’s swill? What did your province’s health ministry say in these meetings?
Wynne addressed the issue of inhaling cannabis during a summer press conference, but she added an interesting footnote none of the Queens’ Park journalists caught. She remarked the province would need to be part of legalization talks. There was no follow-up question.
Was MPP Wynne or her health minister MPP Deb Mathews already privy to provincial and federal talks regarding medical marihuana? If Wynne knew, why didn’t she mention Ontario’s stance regarding the MMPR when she confessed to inhaling 35 years ago? Ontarians deserve to know where the minority Liberal party stands on the issue of medical marihuana. What’s the Ontario NDP stance? We don’t need to know what Tim Hudak’s Conservative think because they will goose step with anything out the PMO.
Matt Mernagh is a gonzo ganja bud blogger, host of The Mernahuana Zone on Pot TV and a popular marijuana legalization advocate. Purchase his debut book Marijuana Smoker’s Guidebook The Easy Way To Identify and Enjoy Marijuana Strains from Amazon or Indigo.
As our society is gradually starting to accept that marijuana is a valid form of medicine, governments are starting to create new legislation to reflect this. In the United States we have seen a number of states pass bills to regulate medical marijuana. In Washington and Colorado we’ve even seen their governments regulate recreational marijuana.
The Canadian government in 2001 created the Medical Marihuana Access Regulations (MMAR) to satisfy a court ruling that patients had a right to medicinal marijuana in Canada. These regulations have recently been changed to the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR).
On June 19th, 2013 these regulations will be published in the Canada Gazette. Once it is published, a link will be made available on the Health Canada website at www.healthcanada.gc.ca/mma. Canabud.ca secured an early copy of these regulations from the Bureau of Medical Cannabis, a department of Health Canada.
Those of you skiers and boarders who like lighting up on the chairlift might want to first check who is on the chair behind you. According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada’s national public radio and television, Royal Canadian Mounted Police are patrolling the slopes of places like Whistler, Lake Louise and Nakiska looking specifically for people getting Rocky Mountain high on the hill.