On August 25 , 1999, the Calgary Police Service executed a search warrant on the
residence of Grant Krieger, who provides medicinal cannabis for the Universal Compassion
Centre. Grant was arrested and charged with cultivation, manufacturing and trafficking marijuana.
When some concerned citizens began to provide this service to the community by creating
the UCC; Grant, one of the founding directors, took it upon himself to rent a premise
to grow a clean, safe supply of cannabis for those, who like himself, were using
it as part of their healing process.
Elinor Caplan , Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Health, stated in the House
of Commons that "the government cares and has compassion for Canadians who are suffering
from serious illnesses. For this reason our plan will include access to a safe quality supply of marijuana. We do not want Canadians to gamble with their health in using
drugs of unknown quality and drugs which may in fact do more harm. As well, its distribution
would need to comply with the requirements of the food and drugs act and regulations to ensure product safety, efficacy and quality. "
What kind of care and compassion is shown by a government that allows the medicinal
supply that many patients rely on to be destroyed? They are gambling this brazen
display of hypocrasy will not register with the voting public; including an estimated
15 million citizens who have been affected
by the laws prohibiting cannabis and have had enough of the stigmatization.
Why did the government not co-operate with the existing compassion centres? They are
the most experienced individuals working in this brand new area of therapeutic cannabis.
If common sense prevailed, cannabis would fall under the Natural Health Products
and the government would be seeking and adopting recommendations from those who are
proficient in the field.
A sympathetic public and media has ensured Grant's hardships with the law's interference
in his and others' healing processes will be in the spotlight which could be a blessing
in disguise if he scores a victory for medicinal users everywhere. This is a basic human right and no government, for any reason, has the authority to take away
a God / dess-given right .
Some politicians are becoming aware of that fact. Again, in the Commons, Peter Stoffer
(NDP) , wisely said," I do not think any one in the House could actually dictate
to people who are seriously ill, who have AIDS and other ailments of that nature,
what they should and should not do to feel better."
And Keith Martin (Reform) summed up compassion, " We do not know if the effects of
marijuana consumed under those conditions are due to a medical or therapeutic effect
due to the intrinsic pharmaceutical property of marijuana or whether this is a placebo
effect. As a physician, I personally
do not care. In my view, if somebody is dying they should be able to participate in whatever it takes to relieve their suffering as long as it does not hurt anybody else.
If the government continues to persecute and prosecute the sick and dying, then it
is the responsibility of the citizens and / or the courts to halt the stakeholders
Many people see the year 2000 as part of the paradigm shift, where wisdom prevails
and tolerance, understanding and common sense are given as much value as bottom lines,
stock and crude oil prices. This concept of punishing sick people does not lend
itself to the distinction of being a wise nation.
It is time to light a fire underneath our politicians and put our compassion where
our votes are.
There are sick and dying people who use cannabis residing in every electoral district in this country, so this is truly a national issue.
We ask that you support Grant Krieger who appears in Calgary on October 13 to set
a trial date, and the countless other medical users of cannabis nation-wide, as they
fight to attain equal rights with other Canadians. Please take the
time to write a letter to your Member of Parliament or cast your vote for those who would repeal the law.