LEGALLY USING MARIJUANA IN CANADA
Williams Lake Tribune, The (CN BC)
Fri, 26 May 2006
Canada was the first country to regulate medical marijuana use.
Health Canada established guidelines to allow Canadians access to marijuana for medicinal reasons in 2001, called Marijuana Medical Access Regulations. The regulations outline circumstances that permit people to use pot for medical reasons under two categories:
Category 1 - compassionate end-of-life care.
Pain or muscle spasms stemming from multiple sclerosis, or spinal cord injury or disease.
Pain or other symptoms from cancer, HIV-related infections, severe arthritis or epilepsy.
Category 2 - debilitating symptoms from medical conditions not under Category 1.
As of April 2006, nearly 3,000 Canadians are authorized to produce, distribute or use pot for medical purposes.
1,399 are authorized to possess marijuana for medical reasons;
1,005 can grow marijuana for medical use. Of that:
890 have a Personal-Use Production Licence;
109 have a Designated-Person Production Licence;
266 are authorized to buy marijuana;
190 receive marijuana seeds;
72 are receiving dried pot and seeds for medical purposes.
B.C. has the second highest number of authorizations for use in Canada; Ontario has nearly twice as many. More than 300 people are authorized to possess in B.C., and more than 200 physicians in the province support authorization. Country-wide, 829 physicians support authorization.
To become eligible for legal use, Health Canada issues a 35-page application document.
The document's sections include application for licence to produce, and to obtain dried product and seeds.