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MLA Nicholas Simons Speaks Up For Medical Marijuana:


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Demonstrating that Marc Emery's support was not misplaced

Prior to the 2005 provincial election, B.C. Marijuana Party Leader Marc Emery told the Straight that he was a supporter of two NDP candidates: Nicholas Simons in Powell River-Sunshine Coast and Tim Stevenson in Vancouver-Burrard. Emery chose to run against then-solicitor general Rich Coleman in Langley-Fort Aldergrove rather than run in his home riding of Vancouver-Burrard and potentially siphon away votes from Stevenson.

Emery said at the time that both Stevenson and Simons had previously spoken out against marijuana prohibition. Stevenson narrowly lost to Liberal MLA Lorne Mayencourt, but Simons was elected, defeating then-Green leader Adriane Carr and Liberal incumbent Harold Long.

On Thursday, Simons once again demonstrated his support for the medical-marijuana movement by issuing this statement in the legislature:


N. Simons: I rise to speak about a specific health care problem facing people in every one of our 79 constituencies. These are people living with a range of illnesses and conditions, including multiple sclerosis, cancer, spinal cord injuries, HIV and AIDS, epilepsy, chronic pain and arthritis. They have found marijuana to provide relief from their symptoms. Among other things, marijuana helps in the management of their seizures. It assists those with anorexia and wasting, and it combats the numerous horrendous side effects of pharmaceuticals. We're coming up on ten years since the right to use marijuana was granted to Jim Wakeford by our courts. Despite his victory, patients continue to suffer in this province because of the difficulty they have in finding a free, consistent and quality supply of their medicine. Doctors know that marijuana will help their patients. In order to exercise their rights, patients have to break the law or get gouged with high prices and poor quality. The fact that they have to pay anyone — a drug dealer, a compassion club or the federal government — goes against the principle of fairness. While the federal government charges less than the average drug dealer, they charge tax and shipping. It's estimated that the markup on government-approved marijuana is in the range of 1,500 percent. Over 200 doctors in British Columbia and almost 1,000 doctors across this country refer patients to marijuana. Over one and a half million Canadians use marijuana recreationally. Over half of Canadians support its legalization or its decriminalization. The marijuana industry in this province is estimated to be worth $6 billion. I'm hoping that a rational, levelheaded and even-tempered discussion on this subject will result in patients getting good consistent quality marijuana at no cost to them.

Source: Georgia Straight, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 The Georgia Straight
Contact: editor@straight.com
Website: Straight.com | Vancouver's online source for news, arts, entertainment, culture and lifestyle.
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Thats great news. I must visit Canada because despite the generalization of a place with no military and butterflies everywhere, Canada sounds like a fairly peaceful place. Despite the silence, Canada seems extremely progressive due to the open mindedness of it's citizens.
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