Federal government threatens to share medicinal marijuana patient information with law enforcement

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      Health Canada has warned it will share with law enforcement the private information of citizens in lawful possession of medicinal marijuana unless they comply with a new order within six weeks’ time.

      Today (March 14), the federal government posted a notice online stating that medicinal-marijuana licence holders are required to destroy all marijuana they have and provide written notice stating that they “no longer possess marijuana (dried marijuana, plants or seeds) obtained under the old program”.

      “If participants do not comply with the requirement to notify Health Canada, the Department will notify law enforcement,” the release states.

      Licence holders have until April 30, 2014, to meet the terms of the order.

      Another Health Canada website provides vague details on the consequences of not complying with the new directive.

      "The Department will take compliance and enforcement action," it states. "This includes informing law enforcement of your failure to notify Health Canada as required under section 259.3 of the MMPR. In addition, the Department will continue to cooperate with police, and provide information needed to protect public safety, as appropriate."

      A “notification form” is available for download on the Health Canada website. 

      There are more than 16,500 British Columbians licensed to possess medicinal marijuana.

      When the Conservatives’ new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulation takes effect on April 1, licence holders will only be allowed to purchase dried cannabis via mail order.

      The Health Canada directive issued today—on a Friday afternoon when government officials know media outlets are least likely to report it—contradicts information included in a September 2013 briefing note prepared for B.C. Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton.

      “Health Canada, citing privacy concerns, does not intend to disclose the addresses of former licensed grow operations once they are no longer permitted to legally grow marijuana,” that memo states.

      It’s unclear what has changed that has led Health Canada to believe it can turn over the information of citizens licensed to possess medicinal marijuana without violating individuals’ privacy.

      For months, Health Canada has refused the Georgia Straight’s repeated requests for an interview on the topic of the new rules governing medicinal marijuana. A message left today requesting clarification on the March 14 notice was not returned.

      In a media release, Sensible B.C. campaign director Dana Larsen called for demonstrations against the Health Canada order.

      “Patients across Canada registered with Health Canada in good faith, to protect themselves against arrest for cultivating their own medicine,” Larsen said in the release. “Now they are being threatened with police action if they don’t destroy their perfectly good medication.”

      Sensible B.C. has scheduled a “day of action” in protest of Health Canada’s threat to share patients’ information. Events are planned for April 1.

      “We are going to flood [Health Minister] Rona Ambrose’s office with thousands of phone calls and emails from our supporters, to let her know that the Canadian public won’t stand for these changes,” Larsen said. “With these unnecessary new rules, Health Canada is causing great harm to medical cannabis patients all across the country.”




      Mar 14, 2014 at 7:00pm

      Why is it whenever I read about some Government invasion of my privacy or breach of my charter rights, Suzanne Anton's name continually shows up?

      bho blaster

      Mar 14, 2014 at 7:22pm

      conservatives are gross in every country


      Mar 14, 2014 at 8:58pm

      Thanks for the article. I didn't know. Appreciated.

      john p

      Mar 14, 2014 at 10:34pm

      Welcome to the new World order where all your right are legislated away. The canadian charter of right is slowly being erode away by our wonderful freedom loving fascist conservative government . Wait for the rest


      Mar 15, 2014 at 2:43am

      Meathead; As much as I hate defending Susan Anton, I'm not sure how you can blame her for receiving an earlier briefing note that contradicts the current federal insanity.

      "provide information needed to protect public safety" Insane! Completely and utterly insane! They are protecting us from a cancer cure, from a plant that has never harmed anyone and they can't even be bothered to use its actual name. By doing so they employ police forces and provide income to criminal gangs, that both kill us. But the most damage is from stigmatizing and suppressing the best cancer cure there is. Cannabis cures cancer and our government has known for 30 years.

      Legalize it!

      A sick & dying Canadian citizen

      Mar 15, 2014 at 5:50am

      My government has declared war on me....
      How am I threatening the safety & security of the country???
      I am NOT!
      I am a sick person trying to curb my suffering.... No one is harmed...not even the creepy fucking corprorations...

      No, satan harper took the minority of creepy criminal fraudusters who had licenses under false pretenses to divert to the illegal market (what the harper government is blaming the REAL ACTUAL SICK & DISABLED PEOPLE WHO HAVE STRUGGLED SO HARD TO BE LAW ABIDING CITIZENS INSTEAD OF STAYING UNDER THE RADAR for the sins of these few profiteering bastards.... THEN they consipred with these people to unethically and illegally strip sick people of their basic right to access medicine in order for these DRUG LORDS to be legitimized by the harper government so they could basically HOLD OUR MEDICINE FOR RANSOM unless we pay their prices...

      And the nastiest detail of this, besides the fact that Health Canada is about to breach the privacy of 40,000 of it's citizens YET AGAIN by reporting our 'alleged" activities to the police for a warrantless search...

      So instead of protecting Canadians form REAL CRIMINALS (like the harper government???), police across the country will be breaking down the doors of DYING & DISABLED CANADIANS, will be throwing their pain wracked & broken bodies to the ground and steipping with their big black boots on our necks....and taking away from us...if we still had any, the only medicine that gives us any relief from the pain and the suffering that is our everyday existance...

      I am in complete and utter shock.

      Harry Morgan

      Mar 15, 2014 at 6:28am

      The federal Privacy Commissioner has been notified. The threats are clearly illegal.

      Kevin Mark Bauer

      Mar 15, 2014 at 7:10am

      I have every faith that the legal team of John Conroy, in Federal Court March 19,2014,for the M.M.A.R. Coalition against repeal(the plaintiffs), will win an injunction against the new regulations pending their Constitutional challenge of the new regulations,added to the other groups/private citizens also filing suit against Health Canada. Onward we grow!


      Mar 15, 2014 at 8:41am

      They already released our private info with their mass mail out! Brown shirts!


      Mar 15, 2014 at 8:55am

      many people growing weed are notcharging prices the legal grow ops would charge as they are growing not to make money but help sick people. I know 2 people in jail now for growing and giving weed to people who had advanced stages of sickness.