Editor’s note: Canadian medical marijuana patient, activist, and blogger Matt Mernagh won perhaps the biggest marijuana court victory in Canada’s history last year, forcing the Canadian government to argue in court for the validity of its marijuana laws.
Here, previous Toke of the Town contributor Mernagh shares his plans and insights regarding his next court appearance.
By Matt Mernagh
To save Canada’s marijuana laws from becoming null and void, U.S. state medical marijuana programs will be cited as working examples of what other countries have created. Canada’s federal legal medical marijuana program is similar to what U.S. states have, a Canadian prosecutor will argue in May before the country’s second highest court.
It’s one of many arguments designed to overturn a landmark court ruling (R v. Mernagh) that eliminated Canada’s weed laws, decimated their federal government-run medical marijuana program, and allows me to legally grow and possess my own without a government license of any kind.
The feds really need to win their appeal if marijuana is to remain a prohibited substance, so naturally they’ve thrown plenty of arguments on why the ruling must be overturned by two of three justices on the Ontario Court of Appeal.
One of the prosecutor’s suggestions is, medical marijuana programs in the U.S.A. require a physician declaration just like Canada’s.
|This article was written by prominent Canadian cannabis activist, patient and writer Matt Mernagh, above, a contributor to Toke of the Town.|
The comparison between Canada’s flawed federal program and a hodgepodge of U.S. state programs is bizarre — like suggesting there is no such thing as sativa and indica marijuana plants. Wait, Canada’s federal government did that, too.
The difference between U.S. med pot states is dramatic, but between two neighboring countries — it’s, well, the difference between indica and sativa.
Canada has a federal medical program that licenses individuals to possess and grow their own, or the person can designate someone to grow for them. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people who want access to the federal program can’t.
The United States of America does not have a federal medical marijuana program. The White House is crushing med pot states and doesn’t even recognize marijuana has medicinal value, but that hasn’t stopped a Canadian prosecutor from arguing 17 U.S.A. jurisdictions have medical marijuana and the vast marjority of them require a physician to fill out an application.
Washington state allows practitioners of naturapathic medicine to declare someone needs medical marijuana to treat their illness. Vermont accepts registered physician assistants and advance practice registered nurses. The Mernagh Ruling recommends Canada medical marijuana program open up to permit other professions to sign applications other than just doctors — an idea the prosecutor declares “unworkable.”
Washington and Vermont seem to think doctors don’t need to be the only one’s to sign applications….
The prosecutor argues Canada’s program is designed to be exclusive, not inclusive, and the government envisioned only a small number of Canadians would require med pot. This idea was declared a constitutional flaw, but how do we know how many people require plant therapy?
The judge writes there’s possibly 400,000 Canadians in need, but approximately 10,000 Canadians are in the federal program. California and Oregon have almost 60,000 people each registered in their state programs.
Yet, neither of these states is six times the population size of Canada. California, with 37 million people is only three million more people than Canada’s 34 million. Oregon has a population of four million, about double the size of Canada’s most populated city, Toronto, Ontario. Compared to Oregon there should be 25,000 medical patients in Toronto alone.
Who doesn’t like a great hybrid? A combination of all these programs would probably create a workable medicinal marijuana model. This is something I considered when working on my defense.
It’s a weird and crazy idea, but prohibition is a global problem with all roads leading to The White House.
The prosecutor will also argue the ruling is in violation of Canada’s United Nations commitments, which has me worried President Obama will sign an executive order allowing the DEA to raid my home to search for doobies of mass destruction. “We will not stand idly by while a rogue pothead enriches marijuana,” President Obama would justify.
The international vibe is pretty awesome because we’re in Ontario Court of Appeal Monday, May 7 and Tuesday, May 8. The Global Marijuana March is Saturday, May 5.
This allows us to create a pre-fight UFC, Wrestlemania, Daytona 500, Super Bowl atmosphere leading into the biggest constitutional challenge in Canada’s history.
We’re going to take all that amazing legalization energy generated around the world Saturday to court with us on Monday morning to stomp a hole in prohibition and walk it dry.