Medical marijuana advocates descended upon South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale MP Russ Hiebert's office in South Surrey Thursday to let it be known they are against proposed changes to Canada's Medical Marijuana Access Regulations.
Consisting of supporters and users of medicinal marijuana, the group of about 10 stood outside of Hiebert's office for half an hour starting at 11 a.m. as part of a nationwide movement to raise the issue at local MP offices.
The issue at hand is a proposal by the federal government to phase out all personal production of medical marijuana by March 2014, essentially making it so users will have no choice but to get their medicine from commercial dispensaries. Currently, users can apply for a licence to grow their own marijuana at home or choose to make their purchases at a dispensary or private seller.
David Hutchinson, whose 19-year-old daughter is a user of medicinal marijuana, came out to show his concern over the proposed changes.
"These changes would make it unaffordable for those who take medical marijuana, I have a daughter who takes it and this would make the medicine unaffordable by essentially making it go from $200 a month to over $3,000 a month," he said. "They're taking away people's opportunities to grow it themselves or buy from private growers and that makes it unaffordable for some users."
Hutchinson said his daughter uses medicinal marijuana to relieve the symptoms caused by brain tumours.
For Joy Davies, who suffers from fibromyalgia and grows her own medicinal marijuana, she's concerned that the changes would essentially make her a criminal for growing her own medicine.
"If I have to pay for my medication that's $6,000 a month I don't have," she said.
Currently there are nearly 30,000 people in Canada licensed to grow medical marijuana, with 11,500 in B.C.