Open letter to Hon. Dr. Jane Philpott and Hon. Dr. Terry Lake:
The upcoming meeting of health ministers in Vancouver supporting collaboration and co-operation between levels of government prompts me to bring forward a current problem of some seriousness and urgency. Although I am sure your agenda is set and covers many issues of importance to Canadians, I would like to use a local example to illuminate the question posed at the outset of your upcoming summit: How can provincial authorities and federal regulators work together to better effect?
If an individual has the legal right to use medical marijuana and, of necessity, lives in a government facility, how can various authorities work in concert to accommodate this patient? At present there is stonewalling and finger-pointing to suggest the ‘other’ authority is responsible for the failure to provide shelter and assistance. Perhaps it is naivety to believe that those charged with caring for people in these circumstances should do their best to find solutions rather than put their energies into blaming the ‘other.’? If there are, in fact, legalities that prevent a patient from gaining access to their medicine in what is supposedly a fair and compassionate system, then the inescapable conclusion must be that further, improved co-operation is desperately needed.
I would like to conclude by noting that I do not pose this question as a pot advocate, but rather as a people advocate. I applaud the revived efforts of jurisdictions to work collaboratively; and I refuse to believe that access to medical marijuana is only possible for those with financial resources to be cared for in their own homes.
Mary Weston, Kelowna