10 years of dealing pot

The Marijuana Party of Canada’s founder was on hand to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of medical marijuana distribution in Montreal.
The past 10 years have been a bit of an uphill battle, Marc-Boris Saint-Maurice said.
Medical marijuana is available to members of Montreal’s Compassion Centre where the celebration, hosted by two original founders of the movement, took place last week.
While the centre aims to provide safe and reliable marijuana (and cookies and muffins) for medicinal purposes, its mission has been challenged by Health Canada and family doctors.
“Doctors are afraid to sign the permit, due to increased discrimination against them, so we take responsibility for those patients,” said Saint-Maurice.
Patients with HIV/AIDS, cancer, hepatitis C or epilepsy, for example, need official documents attesting to their illness in order to become members. The centre will examine patients who can’t obtain a signed Health Canada permit from their doctors.
The centre makes a point of telling its clients that although their membership allows them to administer their medication wherever they please, it does not give them immunity from authorities.
A Health Canada spokesperson said the centre does not have the right to operate. “It has no legal authority to provide access or to produce and distribute marijuana,” said Health Canada spokesperson Gary Scott Holub.
According to Health Canada, once a patient has a permit, they can either get their medication from the government agency, or apply for a licence allowing them or a friend to grow a crop.
Of the estimated million medical marijuana users nation-wide, only 3,000 Canadians (about 10 per cent of which are Quebecers) have official permits, according to the centre’s statistician.
Saint-Maurice said the process of obtaining a permit, which can take months, is too long and complex. “This is time most suffering people don’t have,” he said.

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The Marijuana Party of Canada’s founder was on hand to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of medical marijuana distribution in Montreal.
The past 10 years have been a bit of an uphill battle, Marc-Boris Saint-Maurice said.
Medical marijuana is available to members of Montreal’s Compassion Centre where the celebration, hosted by two original founders of the movement, took place last week.
While the centre aims to provide safe and reliable marijuana (and cookies and muffins) for medicinal purposes, its mission has been challenged by Health Canada and family doctors.
“Doctors are afraid to sign the permit, due to increased discrimination against them, so we take responsibility for those patients,” said Saint-Maurice.
Patients with HIV/AIDS, cancer, hepatitis C or epilepsy, for example, need official documents attesting to their illness in order to become members. The centre will examine patients who can’t obtain a signed Health Canada permit from their doctors.
The centre makes a point of telling its clients that although their membership allows them to administer their medication wherever they please, it does not give them immunity from authorities.
A Health Canada spokesperson said the centre does not have the right to operate. “It has no legal authority to provide access or to produce and distribute marijuana,” said Health Canada spokesperson Gary Scott Holub.
According to Health Canada, once a patient has a permit, they can either get their medication from the government agency, or apply for a licence allowing them or a friend to grow a crop.
Of the estimated million medical marijuana users nation-wide, only 3,000 Canadians (about 10 per cent of which are Quebecers) have official permits, according to the centre’s statistician.
Saint-Maurice said the process of obtaining a permit, which can take months, is too long and complex. “This is time most suffering people don’t have,” he said.

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