NORML Canada: September 2014 Newsletter
Greetings Cannabis Law Reform Community
In this month’s newsletter:
This month, the Chilean Government approved the countryís first ever marijuana farm. Officials from the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture issued the first license to grow cannabis for medical purposes. Seeds remain illegal in Chile and must be imported prior to cultivation. The initiative has received support from numerous groups including the local municipality where the farm will be located, non-profit organizations, and universities.
The marijuana produced by the farm will be used to produce an oil-based extract for trials involving cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy as well as patients suffering from epilepsy. The trials, which are expected to begin in April of next year, will involve 200 patients, all of whom will receive the treatment entirely free!
After a summerís worth of debate, Philadelphiaís City Council finally approved a revised version of a decriminalization bill that had been introduced in the spring. Mayor Michael Nutter has promised to sign the bill, and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has agreed to enforce it. Philadelphia is known for the large number of arrests made for small amounts of cannabis.
Once the bill is signed into law, cannabis possession will be reduced to a $25 ticket as well as the confiscation/destruction of the product; consuming in public will result in a $100 fine, however, this fine can be erased in lieu of community service. Once signed into law, Philadelphia will be the largest U.S. city to decriminalize cannabis. Congrats Philly!
For those of you located in the Vancouver area, and those of you who are not but are interested in travelling, Sensible B.C. will be hosting a conference and training workshop October 3rd-5th. This is an incredible chance to learn new skills, get to know the Sensible B.C. team and hear from some of the biggest names in the anti-prohibition movement. The conference is set to include social events, two full days of discussions, goal setting, skills building, talks with activists, and training with experienced instructors.
To learn more about the conference and to register please check out: http://conference.sensiblebc.ca/
A recent study conducted by Washington State University has found that female rats are 30% more sensitive to the pain relieving qualities of THC than males; additionally, female subjects tended to develop a higher tolerance to THC, and at a quicker rate, than males.
Due to the limited nature of cannabis research, no human trials have been conducted thus far, and this study by no means can guarantee a similar result in humans. However, it is interesting to observe the different effects that cannabis has on subjects of either sex. Although the study may not necessarily indicate much in regards to humans, it does cause one to wonder about what other effects have yet to be observed in humans. With a surplus of anecdotal evidence, cannabis consumers are confident in the effects and therapeutic benefit of the plant; hopefully, with the dawn of legal cannabis, scientists will be able to study the effects of cannabis on the human body to a greater degree.
Medicinal Marijuana is a viable treatment option for Canadians but the constraints when attempting to pursue this option have been numerous, including high prescription-related costs. And while it is a legal option, most doctors with expertise in this field can charge hundreds of dollars annually for a prescription or other compulsory services.
St. Catharines, Ontario will be the site of the Canadian Cannabis Clinic (CCC), the first medical clinic to focus on Medical Marijuana as a treatment option and will do so by providing their services at no cost. This includes no patient consultation fee, no fee for using a medical document, no annual membership, and no monitoring or other fees.
Canadian Cannabis Clinic also has plans to open ten more locations across Canada over the next twelve months.
The news is certainly welcomed by those patients who consider Medical Marijuana as a treatment option. Medical Marijuana has the potential to improve the lives of many Canadians, and initiatives like these serve to provide more access to those considering it as an alternative treatment.
For more information: www.cannabisclinics.ca
This is the message behind the campaign by ìCanadian Conservatives for Legal Marijuana.î
It is no secret the Conservative government led by Harper does not support the legalization of marijuana, but this fact does not have to mean that every Canadian Conservative supports Harper on this issue. In fact, the message behind the campaign is that the current prohibitive laws on marijuana are not consistent with key Conservative party values, including lower taxes, smaller government, and supporting personal responsibility.
A key component of the campaign is presenting quotes directly from Conservative politicians and other prominent Canadian Conservatives who have come out publicly in favour of the legalization of marijuana. An example of what appears on their website and their Facebook page includes this quote from a close source to Stephen Harper:
ìSome states are starting to relax their prohibition of marijuana. Instead of intensifying our own war on drugs, Canada should be prepared to move in that directionî ó Tom Flanagan, Stephen Harperís campaign manager and manager of the Conservative Party National Campaign.
For more information: www.ccflm.ca
The Tax Court of Canada recently ruled that GST/HST/QST must be paid on medical cannabis sold by or to a compassion club as well as on medical cannabis sold by a designated grower to a patient. The core question in Hedges v. Her Majesty the Queen concerned whether medical cannabis was a zero-rated supply under Schedule VI-I-2(d) of the Excise Tax Act. Zero-rated supplies do not require GST/HST/QST to be collected and paid to the government.
According to the Excise Tax Act, drugs are not zero-rated if they can be sold without a prescription or an exemption. The court found that the declaration signed by doctors permitting the government to issue an authorization to possess (ATP) is not a prescription and an ATP is not an exemption which means that medical cannabis sold under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations is not a zero-rated drug. Similarly, medical cannabis sold without a doctorís declaration or an ATP is also not zero rated. The court noted that the Excise Tax Act needed greater clarity on this issue.
|Help end cannabis prohibition in Canada by donating to NORML Canada or buying some NORML Canada merchandise.Please stay tuned to NORML Canada’s social media and YouTube channel in order to see videos of our National Conference and the fascinating discussions prompted by our series of panel discussions on the legalization debate.
Thank you for your support.