Pubdate: Sat, 19 Jan 2002
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Copyright: 2002, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Shane Holladay, Edmonton Sun
Note: This item is causing much discussion on the Canadian MAP (CMAP)
discussion list http://www.mapinc.org/cmap/ Did the reporter
confirm a delay with an authoritive Health Canada source, or is
just the opinion of a UN spokesman? Experts tend to agree that
the authority to decide what is medicine under the treaty
anything to the UN. There is nothing on the Health Canada
which indicates any concern at all about the UN Conventions. In fact this
.pdf Health Canada document makes it clear that they accept that the
allow medical use
drug policy review written for the current Canada Senate hearings
this subject at http://cfdp.ca/sen1841.htm If there is anything
story at all, it should be big news in Canada - newshawks please
the story from other sources.
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mmjcn.htm (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)
Pot On Back Burner
UN CONVENTION HOLDS UP MEDICAL MARIJUANA
Marijuana exemptees looking to score government stash will have to
wait at least a year while Health Canada - in compliance with a UN
convention - tries to prove pot is a medically sound alternative.
Health Canada officials have said they're working on a private, secure
and internationally legal plan to distribute marijuana to medical exemptees.
The holdup is the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, said
Kemal Kurspahic, spokesman for the UN's Office for Drug Control and
The convention allows countries to use banned drugs only if they're
for scientific or medical purposes, he said.
"While using marijuana for medical purposes could not be excluded, the
scientific research in several countries so far has not produced
conclusive evidence of medical usefulness of marijuana," said
Kurspahic. Studies would have to be supported by a respected body, he
"As long as there is no scientific evidence approved, for example, by
the World Health Organization, marijuana remains listed among strictly
controlled substances as stated in the convention."
Health Canada is backing research at Montreal's McGill pain centre,
which spokesman Chantal Beauregard said would be complete in a year.
"It's the first of its kind in Canada," she said. "It's to determine
if marijuana is an effective pain reliever for chronic pain sufferers."
The project will likely begin in March, Beauregard
Health Canada spokesman Paige Raymond Kovach said the study at McGill
is part of the government's efforts to establish the value of
marijuana in treating chronic pain.
"We're working on it. More information is required and that's what
we're working on."
Ultimately, Canada has jurisdiction over its own domestic affairs,
said John Conroy, a Vancouver lawyer who has handled high-profile
marijuana constitutional challenges.
Canada's Constitution bars it from entering into an international
agreement that violates its citizens' constitutional rights, he said.
"Our government can't enter into something it doesn't have the power
to enter into," said Conroy.
Since a number of decisions have established the right of Canadians to
use pot for medical uses, they can't be denied the drug by
international treaties, he said.
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake
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Health Canada FWD. by Spliff Daddy
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