Pot Activist Dies of Burns

Pot Activist Dies of Burns
Posted by CN Staff on November 01, 2003 at 10:33:41 PT
By Nelly Elayoubi, Ottawa Sun
Source: Ottawa Sun 
An outspoken advocate of marijuana for medicinal purposes died Thursday after succumbing to burns he suffered when he tried to extract oil from marijuana. Donny Appleby died at the Ottawa Hospital General campus, surrounded by a group of friends. "He ended his life peacefully and surrounded by friends," said Mike Foster, a longtime friend and owner of Crosstown Traffic, a cannabis paraphernalia store.
Appleby was an AIDS patient on a disability pension and couldn't afford the marijuana he used for his illness. While his friends are trying not to turn his death into a political issue, many can't help but blame the federal government for restricted access to marijuana for medicinal purposes. 'A TRAVESTY' "It's a travesty that people don't have access to this stuff -- a clean, safe good source and supply of it," said Eugene Oscapella, a lawyer with the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy and a friend to Appleby. About two weeks ago Appleby was trying to extract oil from low-grade cannabis using butane, which exploded in his Vanier apartment, and Appleby suffered severe burns. He had been in hospital on a ventilator until his death on Thursday at 12:45 a.m. and had no chance for survival. "He ended up doing things that may have ultimately cost him his life," Oscapella said. Oscapella described Appleby as an "activist who tried to help people." He was also by Appleby's side when he died. "The guy didn't have a lot of strength physically but he had a lot of strength in other ways and I think you've got to hand it to him," Oscapella said. In a July protest on Parliament Hill, Appleby smoked a joint and burned his Health Canada exemptions to demonstrate dismay over the feds' handling of medical marijuana.  ACT TOGETHER "Where are people supposed to be coming up with this money? Five dollars a gram for second-grade medicine is not worth it," Appleby told the Sun in July. Meanwhile, Foster doesn't feel the feds are entirely to blame but wished "they'd get their act together." Appleby was also an activist in the AIDS community. Foster remembered him as someone who would go the extra mile to help others. "He was a good guy and helped people who fell through the cracks," Foster said. Note: Blaze sparked while processing marijuana.Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)Author: Nelly Elayoubi, Ottawa SunPublished: Saturday, November 1, 2003 Copyright: 2003 Canoe Limited PartnershipContact: editor sunpub.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy Pot Activist Dies After Mishap Handling It Marijuana Big Expense To Needy 
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