Sam Mellace’s Statement of Issues

October 4, 2010Leave a reply

Statement of Issues

  1. The Marijuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) do not protect patients from the criminal law in relation to derivatives or extracts taken from the herbal form of cannabis. The end result is patients are forced to smoke their medication instead of consuming it in a safer form.  In a letter of clarification from Health Canada, the extraction of cannabinoids in butter for use in cooking and baking is considered outside the scope of the MMAR. Preparations of cannabis resin and individual cannabinoids, some of which have  proven to have medical efficacy without the psychoactive effect of THC, are also not permitted. This regulatory framework is clearly at odds with Health Canada’s anti-smoking policy and compromises the health and safety of many Canadians.
  2. Health Canada states that their time-line for processing applications is 8 weeks. Applications for new exemptions and renewal are now taking up to 10 months, an unreasonable period of time that jeopardizes the well-being of patients. In some cases this means that the authorization comes too late to provide relief in some palliative care situations.
  3. The exclusion of extracts from the MMAR and the delays in renewing exemptions have the effect of subjecting legitimate medical marihuana users to the criminal law. Patients who wish to bake with cannabis butters or continue to grow  their medication with an expired license, can be charged under the criminal code. This is clearly a violation of patients’ rights under Section 7 of the Charter.

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