BLOG (Susanne Jean): Sudbury Forum on Medical Marijuana

Sep 19, 2012

BLOG (Susanne Jean): Sudbury Forum on Medical Marijuana

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On Sunday, September 17, 2012, Laurentian University hosted a symposium, headed by Neil Magnuson, Cannabis Activist. Neil is travelling across Canada, meeting with Mayors, Police Chiefs and representatives of local police in each town, including the

OPP and RCMP personnel, in his Freedom Tour 2012.(  or www.FREEDOMTOUR.CA)

Neil explained that the tour was not only about ‘freeing the leaf’, but also included the freedom and right of all Canadians to produce and consume cannabis legally, without government interference. Neil is particularly interested in ending the prohibition placed on cannabis in 1937, due to the influence of corrupt members of the corporate elite. Current judicial practices fail in the face of prohibition, cost taxpayers an enormous amount of money regarding trials and/or jail sentences, and the failure of the government to provide schools and social services the funds to reduce and/or prevent the use of cannabis for recreational purposes versus medical purposes.


Dubois is a medical cannabis user, and grows his own medication. He spoke about his experiences with Health Canada to obtain his license to grow cannabis. David also organized the symposium with the help of Laurentian University’s President of Student Council. The symposium was held in the student lounge, which is a wide open area, filled with invitingly comfortable couches, perfect for holding long conversations. The audience was free to wander around the speakers, ask questions and join in the discussions regarding issues such as police interference with legal cannabis users and growers, taxing cannabis as it is not recognized as a prescription, but as a license to possess dried cannabis.

Jamy McKenzie went into detail about his fight to become a legal cannabis user, due to his numerous health issues, including a liver transplant. Jamy is also involved in a law suit against the Greater Sudbury Police for a brutal assault upon him after her consumed his medication outside the local court-house. Between his injuries, health issues and legal concerns, Jamy is an inspiration to all who hear his story.

Susanne Jean has been a medical cannabis user for 44 of her 55 years. “I started using cannabis at age 11 because I knew there was something ‘wrong’ with me all my life,” she stated. “And, I am allergic to all man-made chemical poisons from antibiotics to morphine.” After fighting with her doctor for over ten years to become a ‘legal’ cannabis user, Susanne finally received his signature and holds a ‘license to possess’ from Health Canada. She buys her cannabis from Health Canada. Susanne continues to try to ‘meducate’ her doctor, and others in her fight to see cannabis free to adults who wish to grow, possess, smoke or eat it, be they medical or recreational users.

During the symposium, numerous other medical cannabis users participated and told their stories regarding their usage of, and fight for, medical cannabis. Most cannabis users, who volunteered information, stated that they used cannabis mostly as a pain reliever. Some used it for nausea relief due to chemotherapy, some used it to make themselves eat, and others used it for psychological issues.

As the symposium wound down, it was clear to all that more ‘meducation’ was needed for doctors who are afraid to prescribe cannabis as they don’t understand its power as a medicine, as well as dosing and using the right strain for the desired outcome of the patient. The College of Physicians and Surgeons needs to look into Health Canada practices as they are slowly but surely making their way out of the medical cannabis program. Patients fear that privatization of the production of medical cannabis will lead to an increase in prices, and as most medical users are disabled in some way, their funds are limited; their fears are real fears for their own health and safety.

To end the day, we all met in the parking lot, medicated ourselves and wished Neil well as he continued his journey across Canada with Ottawa being his next stop to educate and meet with city officials, police and political representatives. We wish Neil luck on his journey and continue to support his efforts to make cannabis accessible to everyone.