No Fuss, No Muss at Medicinal Marijuana Store

  No Fuss, No Muss at Medicinal Marijuana Store

Posted by CN Staff on September 24, 2004 at 07:42:09 PT
By Rob Shaw 
Source: Globe and Mail  

Toronto's oldest cannabis compassion club made a big deal, but little noise, out of the grand opening of its new medicinal marijuana store yesterday. The new facility is being called a practical approach to medicinal cannabis, but it still flies in the face of legal and Health Canada restrictions.So the club, run by the group Cannabis as Living Medicine, doesn't want its address published, and doesn't want to give too many details about its members. People find it by phoning a number listed on the CALM website."We believe we have a successful method of distribution for other clubs to follow," said Neev Tapiero, its founder.
"We offer a basic service that affects people in a minor but profound way. Being able to sleep sounds minor, but it's a major thing."Since Health Canada's medicinal marijuana program started in 2001, the government has issued 747 marijuana licences for terminally ill patients or those who suffer chronic pain.But only 118 users are registered to grow their own plants or receive the government's dried marijuana and seeds. The remaining 629 get their pot elsewhere.Those looking to buy medicinal marijuana at CALM need to present their government licence or have a severe medical problem, with a doctor's note, Mr. Tapiero said.New members get a 20-minute information session at which one of the club's 10 volunteers helps them pick a cannabis blend.Mr. Tapiero wouldn't reveal exactly how many members CALM has, but he said more than 100 of them have Health Canada licences. About 40 per cent of the members are HIV-positive.CALM does sell marijuana, but users don't smoke it in the store. Mr. Tapiero insists the club operates in a grey area.CALM exists because the federal government can't get its act together on medicinal marijuana, he said. For one thing, its Manitoba-grown product is too weak, he said."And there's a huge gap between people who can access cannabis and people who feel it is medically beneficial," he added.Inside the spacious and newly decorated club is a list of today's menu items: Chernobyl, Hawaiian Punch and Blueberry-Hashplant cannabis mixes. Each has a separate mixture purported to relieve physical symptoms below the neck, including spasms, and to relieve mental symptoms such as depression, he said."People experiment a little and tend to find something that really works for them," said Mr. Tapiero, 33, who started CALM in 1996.The federal government has said it plans to reintroduce legislation this fall that would decriminalize possession of small quantities of marijuana. A bill to that effect died when the last election was called. Recent court rulings have questioned the constitutionality of current possession laws, and police have been laying fewer charges.Still, earlier this month in Vancouver, police raided Da Kine Smoke and Beverage shop and arrested its owner, Carol Gwilt, who is accused of selling marijuana over the counter.In August, Toronto police shut down a parade to promote legal marijuana, organized by the group Cannabis in Canada.In 2002, the Toronto Compassion Centre, one of Toronto's three medical marijuana clubs, was raided and the club's two founders, Zack Noftolin and Warren Hitzig, were charged with possession and trafficking. The charges later were dropped.Mr. Tapiero admits he's a bit worried about publicity, and won't comment on whether he expects police to shut him down.Note: You need a licence or a doctor's note as compassion club opens shop quietly.Complete Title: No Fuss, No Muss and No Fanfare at Medicinal Marijuana StoreSource: Globe and Mail (Canada)Author:  Rob ShawPublished: Friday, September 24, 2004 - Page A11 Copyright: 2004 The Globe and Mail CompanyContact: letters globeandmail.caWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Cannabis As Living Medicine News Canadian Links Café Serves Up Pot and Controversy Sparks Legal Debate Centre's Future Unclear

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Comment #3 posted by FoM on September 24, 2004 at 17:01:50 PT
News Article from The Edmonton CBC 
Home Delivery of Marijuana Medicinal, Man Says September 24, 2004Edmonton - A man who delivers marijuana to chronically-ill patients says his door-to-door service grew out of frustration with a government-run medicinal marijuana program. 
Bob Cyre says the federal program, which allows some patients to legally use marijuana as long as they meet requirements set out by Health Canada, is slow and ineffective.Cyre, president of a local group providing medicinal marijuana, says he delivers to more than 60 patients in Edmonton.He argues that the dope he provides is safe and inexpensive, and faster for ill patients to access. His clients sign a release form and he then informs their doctors about the service he's providing.The federal program came under fire for its first batch of marijuana, with complaints that it was too weak to do any good. It promised in June that a second batch was better quality."Everywhere that we've come into the eye of the public or law enforcement, we've been in a postive way, so I really don't fear from them that much," Cyre said. "Although I hope that if they do decide to come to my place they knock and let me open the door for them."Police spokesman Dean Parthenis says there are no plans to seek out Cyre."I've been given no indication at all that officers are going to go out of their way to look for this individual," he said. "If, in the due course of duty they come across anyone who happens to have drugs or any illegal substances in their possession or in their vehicles, again, officers can only do what they able to do and that's to uphold the law."Copyright: 2004 CBC
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on September 24, 2004 at 10:59:34 PT

CCC: Philippe Lucas and Jim Miller 
CCC: Philippe Lucas and Jim Miller on "It's Your Call"   
Philippe Lucas of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society and med pot activist Jim Miller take on medical marijuana opponents Terry Farley and David Evans on this Philadelphia talk show on medicinal cannabis with calls from medical users.
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on September 24, 2004 at 08:03:46 PT:

Feigned incompetence...or the real thing?
That's what I am trying to figure out. Canada has a wealth of expertise in the form of her growers, who really know what they're about. Yet the Canadian government seems to be comprised of congenital fumblers when it comes to growing cannabis. To paraphrase a saying popular in my Da's day, why don't they "ask the man who grows one"? Instead of open themselves to charges of malfeasence and incompetence?
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