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Canadian Studies and USA Cannabis

Whose responsibility is it to tell the public that the federal government may as well take the $840,000 they are spending on the cannabis study, light a match, and burn it? Call it what it is - a prohibitionist stall tactic or a make-work project for some academics that will serve a very limited useful purpose.

The media revealed patients will be ingesting cannabis supplied by the United States, (a fact conveniently omitted from the official press release (1)) but they fail to mention it is an inferior product that is never normally used and will never be used again once the study is over, so what is the point?

Everyone agrees studies are wanted and needed, and despite all the mistakes and bureaucracy, Allan Rock was bang on for wanting a domestic supply representative of what people were really smoking. But for that he was ousted from his portfolio so the party line could be towed back in from that renegade position. (Put him back and let him finish what he started.) Most people are unaware that no one in their right mind would agree with the decisions of Health Minister Anne McLellan concerning medical cannabis if they had little more than passing knowledge of the issue.

Not long ago we were told that the intended purpose of the crop was just that - for research purposes, not for the patients, and now we are told that the domestic supply is not only being withheld from legal patients, it is also being withheld from researchers. When does this government get a reality check? Every Canadian should know how much the government paid for 500 grams of imported useless sticks and stems when $5 million was committed to grow hundreds of kilos of prime Canadian home-grown which is now ready and available.

The decision also flies in the face of the recently published 600 page Senate Report (2) covering two years of research and compilation of data that is the most comprehensive guiding principle evolving in the trend and push in Canada toward drug reform. It specifically recommends the marijuana used in studies must meet the standards of current practice in compassion clubs, not NIDA standards.

Yet every article appearing so far, from the syndicated CanWest and Sun chains to the Toronto Star, with the exception of the Globe and Mail, recite the party line verbatim, "Although Canada is in the process of developing its own supply of study-grade marijuana, the crop - being grown in an underground facility in Manitoba - isn't ready for use. The marijuana for this study comes from the U.S. National Institute of Drug Abuse, currently the only producer of research-grade marijuana in North America."


We must stay aligned with our more sane European and Commonwealth counterparts rather than our neighbours who are so steeped in denial that anyone who has dealt with an addicted person (or in the is case entity) knows - their irrationality is their reality - but it doesn't have to be yours. That's something you choose, and Canada can still choose.

Debra Harper



First Clinical Pot Trial To Use U.S. Stash - Globe and Mail


Last Modified:Sunday, 13-Oct-2002 13:28:25 PDT