“The raids on Canada’s Compassion Clubs are an attack on patient’s rights and must stop,” said NDP MP Libby Davies (Vancouver East).
After years of openly supporting medical marijuana users in their communities, a number of compassion clubs in Quebec and Toronto have been shut down.
The clubs serve patients with chronic illnesses and have emerged largely in response to the gaps and problems with federal Marijuana Medical Access Regulations. The BC Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that the program is unconstitutional and needs to be changed, yet the Conservatives have failed to respond beyond the most minimal legally necessary changes.
“The recent raids will only serve to punish legitimate patients whose medical needs are being ignored by the federal government,” said Davies, the NDP Spokesperson for Drug Policy.
Davies has called on the current Conservative government as well as previous Liberal governments for an overhaul of the federal program that is costly and so difficult for patients to navigate, they are forced to turn to compassion clubs.
“Compassion Clubs must be allowed to operate and the federal Health Minister must immediately address the concerns of the BC Supreme Court, and ensures accessible, accountable Marijuana Medical Access Regulations,” said Davies.