DEA, U.N. Strong-Arm Canada On Legal Med Pot Program


Photo: Matt Mernagh
Activist Matt Mernagh: Cannabis sovereignty for Canada!

​​It would be reasonable to assume that Canada is in charge of its own medical marijuana program — wouldn’t it?

Apparently not. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the United Nations are offering unsolicited “advice” and “expressions of concern” to our neighbors to the north due to Canada’s 5,000 legal medical marijuana patients.

Thanks to prominent Canadian cannabis activist and writer Matt Mernagh for this excellent guest post, and for being on top of the story. ~ Steve Elliott

Photo: Matt Mernagh

Guest Post by Matt Mernagh

With DEA offices throughout Canada, it’s not surprising that U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency reps weaseled their way into meetings with Health Canada, the government agency responsible for overseeing Canada’s national legal medicinal marijuana program.
America’s DEA has “expressed concern” to Health Canada regarding 5,000 Canadians legally possessing marijuana to treat a variety of ailments, the majority of whom have also been given permission to grow cannabis. 
Crazily, the DEA is “worried” these Canadians are illicitly supplying an underground market.
Whom, exactly, is being illicitly supplied is not known. But these Canadians are supposedly doing so under the disguise of legal medical marijuana grows.
What have the DEA been smoking?

Photo: Matt Mernagh
Here’s to you, DEA.

​It’s not known when the DEA opinion was given. Most likely it was some time before President Obama’s infamous medicinal marijuana memo to the DEA. Therefore the opinion provided by DEA to Canada could be out of date.
However, on May 27, 2009, Health Canada amended Marihuana Medical Access Regulations disclosing they were “cooperating with domestic and international agencies.”
Health Canada’s revelation went unnoticed as it was done using a government sleight of hand — a trick they’ve often used when amending their medicinal marijuana program.

Photo: Matt Mernagh

​It reveals that Canada ratted itself out to international hard line prohibitionists with intentions on making changes to their legal medicinal marijuana program based on their suggestions. Canada could claim to the Canadian people and courts they had to make the changes to “appease foreign demands.”
Health Canada revealed, “It is expected that the International Narcotics Control Board and United States law enforcement and regulatory counterparts will be supportive of the amendments because they serve to limit the amount of marihuana for medical purposes a designated person can produce at one time.”
Health Canada has never consulted with doctors or 5000 patients who rely on the program. They haven’t held seminars for doctors. They haven’t sent a rep, like pharmaceutical companies do, to family doctors discussing benefits of prescribing medicinal marijuana. No free samples were given out for patients to try, like with Big Pharma.
Yet, when a doctor prescribes outside what Health Canada believes to be a fair amount, five grams daily, a form letter is sent “expressing concern” to the doctor.

Photo: Matt Mernagh

​Doctors can prescribe up to 10 grams, but the agency has been told by prohibitionists that this “too much.” Not for health reasons, mind you, but to uphold laws.
Health Canada has consulted with U.S law enforcement (DEA), International Narcotics Control Board (UN), Public Safety Canada (responsible for controlling terrorism), Department of Justice (prosecuting potheads), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (prohibitionist soldiers), Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (reps to UN), Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and even reps from the Ontario Fire Marshal.
A few weeks ago Canada’s Conservative minority government received the response they wanted to help them fight the medical marijuana program without appearing to be bashing sick people: UN Watchdog Takes Aim At Canada’s Medical Marijuana Program.
After being informed that 5,000 Canadians receive legal med pot, the United Nations’ International Narcotics Control Board determined this was a violation of a 1961 narcotics treaty. (Canada’s parliament never ratified the treaty.)
Based on that UN finding, the Conservative government has responded that they will “reassess” Health Canada’s med pot program. 
Matt Mernagh is a grassroots lobbyist and freelancer. He blogs frequently about marijuana and contributes to Toronto alt-weekly NOW.