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Canada: Government Pot Sucks, FOI Request Confirms

Pubdate: Wed, 05 May 2004
Source: Victoria News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Victoria News
Contact: vicnews@vinewsgroup.com
Website: http://www.vicnews.com/

GOVERNMENT POT SUCKS, FOI REQUEST CONFIRMS

A Freedom of Information request has confirmed the suspicions of medical marijuana advocates who claim that government-grown marijuana is being rejected by a large number of patients.

Documents obtained by Canadians for Safe Access show that the government marijuana has been returned by nearly a third of the 93 legally exempt users allowed to buy pot from Health Canada, the federal ministry responsible for Canada's medical marijuana policies.

Philippe Lucas, founder of the Vancouver Island Compassion Club and member of Canadians for Safe Access, slammed the government for botching its experiment with medical marijuana and then trying to cover its tracks.

"It's absolutely outrageous they made us file a freedom of information request for this and it's ridiculous that they're not telling AIDS and cancer patients out there how bad this pot is," said Lucas, who filed the FOI documents himself.

"Sick people in Canada are being used as guinea pigs."

According to Canadians for Safe Access a press release said 29 of 93 legal users have returned their government-grown cannabis. In addition, the release says the federal Office of Cannabis Medical Access has sent out only 295 ounces of pot to date, despite the government's five-year, $5.5-million contract with Prairie Plant Systems, which is growing the marijuana in an abandoned Manitoba mine. The organization estimates the pot has cost taxpayers about $15,000 an ounce, making it "undoubtedly the most expensive" pot ever produced on Canada.

"There's no excuse with $5 million to not come out with the best bud in Canada," Lucas said. "I used to think Health Canada was incompetent, but now I think they just don't care, they're not taking this seriously at all."

Lucas said marijuana advocates will be stepping up their campaign in the coming weeks and urged Canadians who are upset by government's mishandling of the medical marijuana file to voice their concerns.



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