Newshawk: CMAP http://www.mapinc.org/cmap
Pubdate: Sun, 18 Jan 2004
Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004, Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Nelly Elayoubi
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mmjcn.htm (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)
A PIPE DREAM FOR OTTAWA
Kid's Book Part Of Effort To Help Start Medicinal Pot Club
A Group of Ottawa medicinal pot users is working to establish a Compassion Club by the summer to help people with medical conditions access good, clean cannabis. "We want the community to know that what we want to set up is not some little hash club. It's something to help the community where Health Canada has failed," said Russell Barth, a federal medical marijuana licence holder, who is spearheading a group trying to establish the club.
Barth smokes about a gram a day to treat the pain, spasticity, insomnia, anxiety, and nausea caused by his fibromyalgia.
Barth's crusade started after a friend took off with $300 of his money when he was supposed to get Barth pot from a "street source" in September 2002.
He never came back and Barth had no money and no medicine.
A group running an informal club in Ottawa came to his aid and he's since vowed to establish a proper club in the capital.
"We don't want to have something on Rideau St. with psychedelic paintings and a big pot leaf in the window ... we want to have a discreet little office and we'd like to establish a secure, reliable source," he said.
He and several medicinal pot users want to model the club after ones in Victoria, Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. It would operate as a "drop-in centre" where people could buy "clean" and "organically grown" pot in a safe environment.
Barth explains members would have to have proof from a doctor that they require the weed for medicinal purposes.
Last April, he and his roommate, Christine Lowe, a medical pot licence holder who suffers from epilepsy, published a book, Mommy's Funny Medicine, to teach kids about medical marijuana.
They did this with the help of Ottawa marijuana activist Mike Foster, the owner of the Crosstown Traffic store on Bank St. The book costs $10, with half going to start the Compassion Club in Ottawa.
Barth also wants the club to be recognized as a non-profit organization which will be run by volunteers.
While he hopes the club isn't shut down by cops, he isn't too optimistic. He recognizes police have to abide by the law, and said he wants to see the laws changed to decriminalize pot.
Anyone who wants a copy of the book, or an application for the club, can go to Crosstown Traffic, 593-C Bank St. Phone 234-1210 for details.
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