Since 1999, the Montreal Compassion Centre
has helped seriously ill people relieve their suffering through the medicinal
use of marijuana as well as offer information.
These past few years, many studies have confirmed what people have known
for over 5,000 years; that marijuana truly has practical therapeutic value.
In only a few years, we have witnessed a true societal debate on this
subject in many western countries.
On one hand, you have the medical 'establishment', which refuses to recognize
the therapeutic qualities of marijuana until they have been experimented
and approved using current scientific and business methods, even though
just 70 years ago, marijuana was commonly found in many pharmaceutical
On the other, you have gravely ill patients who have found relief from
marijuana that they cannot get from chemical products. In Canada, marijuana’s
therapeutic values are not yet recognized even though drugs like heroin
can be legally prescribed by physicians.
However, under public and judicial pressure, Health Canada decided to
include an exemption to the Canadian narcotics law which would exceptionally
allow some people to consume marijuana to help relieve serious ailments
for which it has been shown to be beneficial.
In April 2000, health minister Allan Rock even announced a broadening
of the regulations for this bureaucratic authorization.
Unfortunately, this announcement has only managed to cause an even greater
confusion for patients, the authorities and the general public, althought
the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is supported by over 90% of
Canadians (National Post, May 2000).