Canada Plans Groundbreaking Medical Marijuana Initiative

Press Release March 21, 2004
Media Contact

Tony Newman at (212) 613-8026 or Elizabeth Mendez Berry at (212) 613-8036

Canada will soon be the second country in the world to allow the direct sale of medical marijuana, after the Netherlands. Since British Columbia’s College of Pharmacists issued a report last year supporting the distribution of medical marijuana through pharmacies, that province has begun planning a pilot project whereby sick patients will be able to purchase medical marijuana at pharmacies.

“Most of the states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes would like to do just what the Canadians are doing: make the medicine available through licensed, regulated pharmacies,” said Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “The irony is that it’s the Bush administration that wants to keep medical marijuana unlicensed and unregulated. I just wonder if Americans are going to start looking to Canadian pharmacies not just for lower priced prescription drugs but also for those that are banned for political reasons in the United States.”

Countless studies, including a landmark 1999 report conducted by the Institute of Medicine, have proven that marijuana can effectively ease the chronic pain, nausea and appetite loss associated with illnesses like glaucoma, cancer and AIDS.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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