Doctors squeezed out of medicinal cannabis patient care.
Monday, June 25, 2012 by cathe douglas
Special report to Association of Citizen Prosecutors – Canada
Despite a judicial order that basically told the Government of Canada to fix medicinal cannabis laws or legalize it, the Canadian Government and police forces across Canada continue to ignore it.
Under the guise of regulating the system, the Harper Government has used the system, not only to defy judicial orders including from British Columbia and Ontario by using Health Canada and the police to discriminate against the users of medical cannabis.
While regulations demand that patients “inhale” medicinal cannabis, Mr. Justice Robert Johnson in a 35 page ruling delivered on April 13, 2012 in R. v. Owen Smith, giving Health Canada its request for a year to respond to changing its regulations to include that “people authorized to use medicinal cannabis infused oils, drink it in their tea or to bake brownies and cookies, not just to smoke it.”
While refusing to give police agencies patient names, releasing only numbers of licensed users, police have been raiding participating doctors offices. Doctors like Dr. Robert “Rob” Joseph Kamermans of Coe Hill Ontario where he has a thriving practice.
Coincidentally on the same date that Smith’s trial concluded in British Columbia, January 26th, 2012 is the very same day R.C.M.P. arrested, handcuffed and charged “Dr. K,” as he is known by some of his patients. He was then posed for photographs outside his small town office.
Under the guise of regulating the system, the Harper Government has instead used the system to exploit patient information, while allowing police agencies to use Health Canada and private confidential information to target “potheads.”
That is how the media describe “pot smokers,” even though hemp has been proven to be nutritious and can be made into healing balms and oils. There are numerous uses for hemp which is a natural greener industry.
Doctors who prescribe the use of medicinal cannabis and patients who apply for either a license and or the ability to grow their own have been publicly shamed for what ought to have been a legal practice.
After Dr. Kamermans’ arrest, he was further humiliated with a police interview taking several hours and forced to find his own way back to Coe Hill.
Then Global media’s show produced a report that further villified Dr. Kamermans as a “drug dealer” in part, because of the amount of money that he was charging for his out-patient clinics. Global media failed to provide a balanced story in the targeting of Dr. Kamermans.
Now Dr. Kamermans faces disciplinary hearings for the treatment of 21 of his patients alleging mistreatment before the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. His hearings are scheduled for two weeks beginning in mid- February. It is known that at least one of these charges came as a result of a complaint from another doctor displeased that one of his patients made the choice to ask for Dr. Kamermans’ help in paying for medicinal cannabis.
With regard to patient care, Ontario Health Insurance Program treats medicinal users of cannabinoids differently than every other patient in Ontario, discriminantly refusing to pay for medical services and should too be brought before the courts. Justice Johnston and Justice Taliano both found that Health Canada regulations violated one’s rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms with particular mention of Section 7, one’s right to life and liberty and not to be deprived thereof.
Canada’s Marijuana laws and Health Canada too discriminates against medicinal users of Cannibis by requiring applications, approval of applications and particularly the requirement to have the doctor sign the pack of a “passport” type photograph so that the government may identify medicinal users.” This even violates Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms not to discriminate based on medical conditions.
With warrants based on information that Dr. Kamermans was in possession of and dealing drugs, both his home and office were raided. No drugs were found, but police felt it necessary to seize all of Dr. Kamerman’s patient files, which include copies of the applications to Health Canada. Do police really have the right to information that is confidential between a doctor and his patient?
Do the police have the right to retain these files or to now use the information contained therein? After the treatment of Dr. Kamermans, who can blame the majority of doctors who refuse to participate in the medicinal cannabis program.
Should Dr. Kamermans’ patients be worried about their private and confidential medical information now being in the hands of police who refuse to recognize that medicinal cannabis is no longer illegal?
The answer is YES. We now see Health Canada has been cancelling Dr. K’s patients’ licenses. That means that if some have licences for 75 plants, for example a patient could end up with a new mandatory minimum sentence for as much as 14 years – or more. This would be certain death for many cannabis patients who can not live without the natural oil or medicine. This could be genocide in waiting.
Currently, this all forces patients and doctors into a climate of the “black market,” but is it really profiteering or a vile business foisted upon doctors by such a broken system?
In his decision in the case against Matthew Mernaugh of Toronto, Mr. Justice Donald Taliano agreed in a May decision that ordered Health Canada to rewrite Canada’s medicinal cannabis laws and regulations or to legalize it. Period.
He also concluded that the laws and regulations were unconstitutional and that many doctors have engaged in a massive boycott causing further problems for patients wanting access.
Thus far, Health Canada, provincial medical associations and pharmaceutical companies refuse to make literature available on the growing evidence to the importance of cannabinoids. In the words of one doctor, “I do not know enough about it to prescribe it.”
Well isn’t it time they all found out? We are asking victims of Cannabis persecutions and prohibition to come forward and join our class action. We have proof that Health Canada has been knowingly conspiring with Big Pharma in order lie to health care professionals and to prevent public access to known safe cannaibnoids. This is also true in the United States. See: United States Patent No. 6,630,507 October 7, 2003 “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants” Assigned to: The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services (Washington, DC)