Letter: Statements need clarification

An open letter to mayor and council regarding medical marijuana derivatives, and dispensaries.

Dear Mayor and Council of Grand Forks

Thank you for giving our family the opportunity to attend your recent council meeting and for me to address council. Since reviewing the council meeting video online, I felt the need to clarify some statements that were made and further to support my point.

I felt that Jim Leslie gave a very good overall review of what they have been providing folks in need in your community and the general overall need for access throughout our country. I realize this issue of a dispensary in Grand Forks is a contentious one which has come up because 2 local citizens complained. There is much stigma attached to this complex medicinal plant and we all need to take every opportunity to learn. Education will dispel the myths associated with marijuana.

The RCMP have been put in a very tough spot and were compelled to enforce the law due to these 2 complaints. They are asked to use discretion and I believe, as they stated, they have used discretion. They could have gone into the dispensary with force, like they said and confiscated all the product, charging Jim and his partners with dealing in an illegal substance. They could have searched us when we were there and found Kyla?s 1 gram syringe of her high CBD cannabis oil and seized that. For your information, CBD is just as illegal as THC. We did not have our medical requisition form with us so we would have had no recourse. So, yes… some discretion has been used knowing that the laws in Canada presently are preventing us from free and easy access to something very vital for many people like us.

I did however, feel very strongly that it was highly inappropriate for the RCMP to speak to the death of Cst Wynn in Alberta as part of a concern for safety of members and citizens alike in Grand Forks because of what criminal element a dispensary might attract. We would be doing a disservice to Cst Wynn by comparing the failings of our legal system in his unfortunate, tragic death and this issue before you in Grand Forks. Scare tactics do not work. AK47s are not being used as a form of protection. I believe strongly from my close ties to the RCMP, that your bigger concerns are the illegal grow ops in houses and building as well as illegal dealing of the highly addictive drugs like meth. As the one councillor mentioned, Pharmacies are just as at risk if not greater, for robberies. Marijuana is not addictive, it is does not have nicotine as was falsely stated by the one RCMP officer, and it is not a ?Gateway Drug?. People addicted to drugs are not desperate to get their hands on medical marijuana, at all costs!!

I need to also speak to the statement by the police officer that all people could simply go online to purchase their cannabis medicine legally rather than going to a dispensary and speaking to a person of knowledge like Jim Leslie. Do you buy your pharmaceutical medicine online even though it is available there? Kyla?s paediatrician was fully behind trying the oil on Kyla and was given the approval by the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons but not one person in the medical field, could tell us where to get what we needed for Kyla. They do not know what the dose should be or how to administrate it. We were completely on our own. Our doctors are at a loss because of the laws and the restrictions to using only dried product. Kyla needs a highly concentrated oil produced in a lab that gives lab results. Jim found us that lab. You can not purchase this online for a child. Adults should not be subjected to that either. Keep in mind, Kyla is just one of many children in Canada in desperate need. As I said, you can not achieve

?good results from making the oil at home.I have referred many suffering people to Jim because of his knowledge of the product and it?s uses. I trust the product he gets is from reliable sources and safe. He cares about the people he is helping. This is why dispensaries are so necessary and this needs to be included with your request for changes in our law. No doubt we need regulations and approval processes but people need a place to go to talk to someone and get their medicine now. Eliminating dispensaries is wrong. Again I state, Grand Forks is very lucky to have some one like Jim Leslie and his team in their community. It would be your great loss to have him move to a community that is more accepting and encouraging of his work.

Again, thank you and we wish you much success in the difficult task of managing your community.

Thank you for your motion to send a letter forward to the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal Government in support of all derivatives of marijuana as a form of medicine. Your understanding of that need is evident and your support with changing the law is a huge step forward.

Warmest regards,

Elaine and Chris Nuessler, rtd RCMP Kyla Williams’ Grandparents, Summerland, B.C.