Section 56

The term “Section 56” relates to the Canadian legislation Bill C-8 which provides for an exemption from the cannabis laws under Section 56 of the criminal code. Straight drug war propaganda.

This, of course, is actually a legal fiction. In my opinion, by May of 1999 the Liberal government no longer had any other option. A court ordered exemption had been granted; based upon a medical necessity defense. The “Section 56” expemption was created by the government to otherwise stall, incarcerate and persecute cannabis consumers in Canada.

The courts have even more recently provided that the laws against cannabis are “fundumentally unjust” in relation to medical use and are therefore unconstitutional. Further the process of APPLYING for a Section 56 exemption itself is a matter between a physician and the patient; not between a bureaucrat and a ‘criminal’.

Prohibition creates all of these problems at the most basic level. Harm reduction, medical necessity and social costs are all interconnected to the fundamental issue of prohibition. In that the “drug war” has not been successful in erradicating controlled substances, it is illogical to conclude that the basis of prohibition is NOT the control of marijuana – for recreational or medical consumers. Prohibition must have the sheer numbers in order to justify the tax dollars wasted.

Prohibition maintains an extremely large and very well funded engine in our criminal justice system. The large numbers of marijuana arrests have fueled an ever-increasing structure composed of police, enforcement officials, testing personnel, court employees, government employees, judges, lawyers and all sorts of bureaucrats. It is ONLY in the best interests of THIS small percentage of the population that prohibition is maintained at any costs. This is pure job protection.

Thus the absolute injustice and hypocrisy perpetrated by the “Section 56” exemption offered up by the government. In July, 2000 the government was ordered to change or amend the laws regarding cannabis. The resulting “regulations” published in July, 2001 are actually WORSE than the prior “Section 56” restrictions prior. In no sense of the word has medical access to cannabis been enhanced, facilitated or engendered. A requirement for TWO medical specialists places all applicants in an untenable situation. Terry Parker, for example, cannot find two neurologists who agree with each other, much less with medical marijuana. After all, without approved studies, there can be no prescription. After all, without a prescription, there cannot be any acknowledged medical use. Without this “acknowledged” theraputic use, the drug war continues. The courts recognize this – at the same time the government stalls people who are dying.


In the considered opinion of lawyer John Conroy, the laws regarding possession of cannabis have been declared null and void; without force or effect. The Ontario Court of Appeals has struck down the law as being unconstitutional. I believe it is now up to the people of Canada to sue the Crown for violation of the Charter of Rights in Canada. It is time to hold these people accountable for the persecution of cannabis consumers. It it time to hold our “leaders” accountable for the dirty little drug war waged upon Canadians for the past four decades or so.

In the considered legal opinion of Alan Young, the government will continue to play out a long term stalling tactic which will include a lack of supply; problems with their own contracted supply; incarceration of citizens who disobey the Liberals agenda…. Recently the Canadian Medical Association pointed out that arrest and incarceration are serious health problems in our country. They suggest decriminilization as a rational response to the failure of the Drug War.

In the mean time, it is open season on growers – medical or otherwise. The police have ramped up their own little civil war: soon they will be knocking on your door. Tell the politicians in your town that being “hard on drugs” is political suicide because our children have already received the “wrong message”. Join the Marijuana Party of Canada… support NORML… help out your local medical marijuana patients. Get off the couch and vote with your dollars TODAY. Buy some hemp cereal. Grab a pair of hemp jeans. Grow more ganja. Volunteer an hour to cleaning up your corner of the globe. Rock on my brothers and sisters of the kind! No amount of persecution will ever change the rightousness of the Tree of Life, cannabis sativa, True Hemp. Healing of the Nations.