Systematic Discrimination: What It’s Like Living With A Medical Marijuana License

by Russell Barth

Ottawa ON – I would rather have one than not, but living with a Medical Marijuana License from Health Canada has been a bit of a nightmare. For my wife and I, it has been a stressful and humiliating experience on more than one occasion. The fact that we have to carry “Special Papers” with us to keep us out of jail because we have medical conditions smacks of segregation.
Okay, so it isn’t exactly The Gaza Strip or Apartheid or the Warsaw Ghetto, but big things like that often start out as little things like this. I had three of my great uncles go to Europe in the 1940′s to try and prevent exactly this sort of totalitarian nonsense from ever coming to our shores, and now look at us.
First, there is living with a debilitating medical condition itself. People who seek a medical marijuana license from Health Canada do not have intermittent back pain or knee aches that keeps them from tossing around the ol’ pig skin with their grandson, or a bit of nausea when they have one too many chili dogs. The people seeking this medical exemption are people living with painful, debilitating, and often life-threatening conditions like MS, arthritis, crohn’s, PTSD, AIDS, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and cancer.
Patients are often made to feel worse when they fail to respond to the “standard” medications, and are often accused of trying to hustle doctors into “a prescription to get high”. The irony being, of course, that anyone who has used pot knows that you can get a lot higher with the pharmaceuticals than you can with pot. If getting high were the motive, there are far easier way to go about it than this.
Then there is the paperwork. My wife and I have been exceedingly lucky in this regard, as our doctors were not reluctant to sign. Many patients have difficulty getting their doctors to sign, but not because of pot. Usually, it is because the doctors don’t want to have anything to do with the unconstitutional federal program, or because their insurance, or the clinic where they practice, or the College Of Physicians, has told them “you are on your own” if they sign.
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