3 June 2016
Vice has an interesting report this morning with regard to the recent medical marijuana dispensaries closures by the city of Toronto
A search on Hathaway reveals very little
A medical marijuana patient has filed a human rights complaint against the City of Toronto demanding $1 million because the dispensaries closest to him were shut down during the Project Claudia raids.
Raymond Hathaway, a paralegal who uses a cannabis extract called Rick Simpson oil, aka Phoenix Tears, to treat an inoperable tumour in his spine, told VICE that dispensaries in Scarborough, where he lives, were targeted by Project Claudia. As a result, he said he can’t access the medicine he needs to treat pain and swelling caused by the tumour. He’s now suing the city for infringing on his rights.
“I consider this harassment and direct attack on my security of person specifically targeting medical cannabis patient access,” Lee wrote in one of two emails addressed to the city and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Lee shared the emails with VICE.
Having to hunt for new dispensaries to source the oil has “left me with less money resulting in less medication and more pain,” he said.
“As a person with a diagnosed inoperable tumor I am now wasting an inordinate amount of my limited time sourcing and trying to find medication I was using a very specific topical treatment and a very effective oral treatment that is now gone.”
Following the Project Claudia raids, Toronto police said legitimate medical patients would still be able to access cannabis through the federal government’s Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). But Health Canada-approved licensed producers do not carry Rick Simpson oil.
In February, the MMPR program was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge, who said patients should be able to grow their own weed. The government has been given six months to revise the legislation. Additionally, the Supreme Court last year ruled patients have the right to consume cannabis in any form, including edibles.
“The city is enforcing bylaws, and police the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, based on an unconstitutional program that continues to violate access rules even to this day by not offering all medical marijuana products,” Hathaway wrote in his email.
Hathaway told VICE he’s not heard back from the city (respondents have 35 days to file a response to a human rights complaint). He’s encouraged other patients to file similar complaints.
A spokesperson for the city told VICE the municipal licensing and standards department, which laid zoning violation charges against dispensaries, is not aware of the complaint.