You may think, "so what, lots of people do that." The truth is, they don't. This has been an incredible effort and well worth the journey every year. I couldn't have achieved this before I was able to use cannabis medicines consistently. I am a mother of 5, a wife and a normal everyday gal. I am no athlete, and manage my own health issues in the best way I can. This is one reason it is so important for me to walk. It shows that normal people use this medicine and contradict the stigma.
Over the past three years of doing this, we have walked a stride for every registered patient in Canada, and more. Every year we walk for a particular issue also. This is our 4th year and we will be raising awareness for Pediatric Cannabis Therapies and the kids who cant afford to wait. We need this medicine covered under the provincial formulary to increase access to something that IS saving lives.
Some of you may know that I am also the Executive Director of the Canadian Medical Cannabis Partners. We are a National organization of patients and caregivers who volunteer our time to changing the ways patients are affected by the system. We lobby provincial and federal government to manage our medical cannabis program under healthcare, where it belongs, as the natural, efficacious and safe medicine that it is.
We bring forward the evidence needed to discuss provincial management, and offer effective inexpensive and healthier solutions that complement the transitioning federal program.
For those of you who don't know, The Medical Marihuana Production Regulations that came into effect on March 31 2014, removed the right by policy, of 40,000 patients on fixed incomes or in various stages of chronic illness or end of life care, to stop growing in their legal gardens. (They were expected to destroy what they feel is saving their life.) Thousands of people, some patients and some who are privately and compassionately growing for patients who cannot grow their own medicine, risk arrest in our communities. This will be paid for by our community policing budgets. It will create a burden on our local healthcare systems, as well as our Social services as families are put into distress.
The "System" is how we the people are informed of what is available to us. From human rights to dental coverage, to restrictions and barriers, we must learn to negotiate this in order to have our needs met. We pay our taxes, most attend regular doctor’s appointments, pay our bills, and do our best to put food on the tables for our families. We follow the set of regulations dictating conduct in our society, until it becomes dangerous to us. The law is not intended to put anyone in harm’s way. Laws are not created to do harm in themselves. So, we must learn to negotiate the legislation causing the harm and have it changed in a way that works for all, not some.
The inclusion of cannabis medicines in the Formulary would increase access for our entire population.
The continued personal production that is inspected and regulated is far less expensive than the new program.
Through education and research we have learned of the essential nature of our endocannabinoid system. We must recognize and train our medical practitioners and reflect that in our requirements for medical practice. We must ensure that patients best interests are protected in the development of policy around cannabis in front line care. We must ensure access to the ability to make our medicine into healthier and more effective forms of administration. We must provide protection from the ignorance of the traditional western medical establishment; recognize that cannabis is one of the oldest, most effective, and least invasive forms of treatment for many illnesses, while ensuring there is a regulated quality control.
Affordability is a factor we cannot get around. So either we pay for it in our healthcare, or we request a section 56 for the province of Ontario to accept the download of the medical cannabis program. The alternative to not pre-emptively managing this situation is paying for it through our taxes with policing, housing inmates, court expense, social services, as well as the destruction of lives of thousands of people and their families.
This is how it becomes downloaded to the municipalities also. Every city has tax paying citizens, who pay for a large percentage of the local policing budget. Our taxes go up to the top and trickle back down through transfers. What the police require to do their jobs, is based on current legislation, whether harmful or not.
Current legislation is based on political relationships and aren’t always in the best interests of the people paying for them. Current policies around cannabis are an example of this.
Personal beliefs remain the right of the holder, however one must recognize that others also have personal beliefs, therefor they must also be considered. Speaking to the belief that cannabis should be accessible as medicine for those who need it, we continue to work to educate government, healthcare providers and our communities of the benefits of this medicine.
Please join us September 26-29th for the Cannabian FreedomWalk 2014, as we take strides to further Cannabis Education in our shared community.
Thank You and I will see you on the fly!!