Controlled Substances and Tobacco Directorate
Mail Room, Federal Records Centre - Bldg. 18
1st Floor, 161 Goldenrod Driveway, Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9
December 27, 2012
Re: Input on MMAR /MMPR proposed changes
Dear Minister of Health,
As a MMAR licensee, and person with permanent disabilities, I am deeply fearful regarding the proposed changes the MMAR /MMPR regulations. Specifically I must protest the issues of out of pocket payment patient cost for the medical marihuana. The current proposals by Health Canada to only allow medical marijuana to be produced for profit, at a price point those producers set, will be unconstitutional and a violation of section 7 and section 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for any patient in my similar circumstance (including my wife Shannon Carlisle) without the financial means to afford their medications in Canada. Especially patients who require large dosages and multiple strains of dosages for their numerous and chronic health symptoms which will result in their inability to any access their prescribed medication under our Canadian system of universal health Care. Any changes made to the Health Canada medical marijuana program must include alternatives to any profit driven system of production to ensure continued medical marihuana access by Canada’s 26,000 + constitutionally legal medical marihuana users.
In the R v Mernagh decision the court found that physicians in Canada have effectively boycotted the existing medical marijuana program, and therefore the program itself was unconstitutional. Health Canada's response does nothing to address this boycott beyond the promise of making information accessible to physicians. I personally have a team of highly skilled specialists overseeing my care who are also concerned with Health Canada failure to address this issue.
Many Patient and their designated growers have spent thousands of dollars and years of time setting up and or running their production facilities. Many court cases including; Sfetkopolous, Beren and Hitzig have found that denying patient’s production licenses on arbitrary grounds without an adequate effective, MSP covered supply, would continue to violate a patient's constitutional rights to access medical marijuana. In circumstances such as requirements for multiple and or strain specificity any changes to the Health Canada MMAR / medical marijuana program must include the preservation of personal and or designated production.
The proposals by Health Canada constitute less than a bad faith response to court orders, they represent outright defiance. The current proposals do not meet the needs of medical marijuana patients in Canada, and will result in a further restriction of patient access to medical marijuana. I call upon Health Canada to create a patient expert review committee and widespread stakeholder meetings then return to the drawing board and come up with a constitutionally viable program which Canadians can be proud.
Brian Carlisle A.A.
Marijuana Researcher / Expert Witness / Consultant
MMAR Licensed Patient / MMAR stakeholder 2000