Plenty of people have opinions and worry about the proposed changes to Health Canada medical marihuana program. I’m not sure how these changes are going to play out. However if you think the Harper government will do something positive for med pot – what are you toking because I want some. My favorite document is Harper Government Announces Proposed New Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations.
I do know the proposed changes will not suddenly go before Ontario Court of Appeal in R v. Mernagh because only evidence at trial is reviewed. The court of appeal wasn’t waiting for the feds to make changes to come to their conclusions. Unlike civil cases like R v. Hitzig this is a criminal case and my freedom is at stake here.
The justices can uphold R v Mernagh ruling or not. There’s little wiggle room to come up with a third option. Many months ago one my biggest fears was a mysterious third option. At trial we were unable to furnish the court with our ideas (ie evidence) on how to improve Health Canada’s medical marihuana program because this would violate R v. Little Sisters Art Emporium case law.
Yet during our May 2012 Ontario Court of Appeal hearing, to me, it appeared Justice Doherty was seeking solutions from the crown and intervenors. Something more akin to a civil ligation like R v. Hitzig. However, this is criminal and there can be no middle ground. We are warriors and both sides are out for blood.
‘What should he have done?’ Justice Doherty asked the crown.
‘He should have sued the government.’ The crown responded.
‘That’s your solution – he should have sued.’ Justice Doherty, who didn’t look too impressed by their answer retorted.
Suing the federal government is no solution and its cheaper to grow marijuana and ask for forgiveness than hire lawyers to go on the offensive. The costs of civil litigation against your government are prohibitive. Think of it this way, Big Tobacco (who have floors of lawyers) sued over the labeling of ciggies and lost. If the feds want you to sue them as they suggested I do, you can bet your bottom dollar (and you will have too) that they intend to come out on top.
Given no viable third option, I doubt the Ontario Court of Appeal would create a happy middle ground. They could continue to stay my charge and wrap Health Canada on the knuckles for not doing a better job. Then create some suggestions on how to improve, which may or may not violate R v. Little Sisters.
I read Canada Gazette and believe Health Canada is preparing for a loss in my case. Once again losing, but getting a happy middle ground ruling that they can ignore. I get my stay and they get to keep their program with slight changes.
Unfortunately for Health Canada a stay would force the prosecutors to seek an appeal because I should be in prison for growing personal pot. The prosecutor’s handbook guided prosecutors in their appeal decision last time. Therefore another stay – one would presume following their logic and handbook – would force them to appeal again.
I just want to laugh at prospects of a salvage a program only to be forced to appeal because they couldn’t get a conviction.
Now let’s say I get my stay and the feds are happy too and opt not to appeal for a criminal conviction. Highly doubtful, but it’s my worst nightmare. I asked my counsel over lunch months ago and was informed a ruling that differs from the original Ontario Superior court ruling is grounds for appeal – even if I got a stay. Making me possibly the first criminal to appeal a stay.
Nurse Practitioners Possibly Sign For Med Pot
Nurse practitioners would be permitted to prescribe med pot if the corresponding provincial legislation governing nurse practitioners is changed. Considering it took 25 years to allow Nurse Practitioners in Ontario to be legislated (lobbying from 1973 to 1997 when the law was passed) don’t hold your inhale waiting for something to happen.
Behold my favorite example.
The McGuinty Libs allowed Nurse Practitioners to sign special diet allowances for Ontario Disability Support Program people. Clinics were set up by poverty groups who hired Nurse Practitioners to fill out forms. The McGuinty Libs seeing the tidal wave response quickly stopped allowing Nurse Practitioners sign for ODSP special diet allowances.
The governance of Nurse Practitioners is provincial not federal – possibly allowing Health Canada to say ‘its not us – its the province’ in future court cases. Another hint Health Canada is preparing for a loss is the introduction of the new program. It’s timely and they might be able to beat the 90 day Stoner Sword of Damocles imposed in R v. Mernagh ruling.
The reality is the feds are actually readying a new medical marijuana program for a person who opts to use R v Mernagh case law. Then a crown somewhere will say, ‘We made dramatic changes. It’s a whole new program. We improved access since R v. Mernagh. Here’s our stats that show more people than ever are in the program. We’ve added nurse practitioners and we are working with our provincial counterparts to implement, but this takes time.’