Canadian flag with marijuana leaf in center

Patients’ Lives Matter

What’s in a successful protest? Primarily attendance. When you get together a group of people that are sincerely sick of the lot they’re being handed, they finally decide to be heard. This is the movement Ming and I are trying to begin.

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As you’ve seen previously, in Ottawa, Ontario on July 11th, we were able to bring traffic to a dead halt at the corner of Wellington and Bank Street. For those of you from out of town, this is three blocks away from our House of Parliament. From there, we took our march down Wellington, with an RCMP escort. We accomplished this with just 25 people. 25. This gives you an idea of how small a group can accomplish so much. It was our first protest – of many yet to come – and some citizens weren’t too keen on us stopping them from getting to where they were headed. Some gave us the thumbs up and encouraged us. Others went so far as to call us child abusers. PLM has decided that here in our nation’s capital, we can no longer be silent, sit back and relax while the government takes their sweet ass time legalizing cannabis. The task force doesn’t even include any activists, patients, caregivers or anyone in the cannabis community who has the knowledge to actually make a difference. The only credible member on that task force is Susan Boyd (criminologist from BC) who has done extensive research on marijuana. From there, we have to rely on the likes of Bill Blair and Anne McLellan who are both STAUNCH prohibitionists that at numerous times have told lie after lie about cannabis and its benefits.

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Here in Ottawa, we have the capacity to be at Trudeau’s door. On the grounds of Parliament; where the decisions are being made for us behind closed doors, by people who have no vested interest in anything other than their own pockets. Trudeau, AT BEST, needs to decriminalize marijuana IMMEDIATELY. Peaceful citizens are still being arrested and prosecuted simply for possessing a plant that gives back life and happiness. Lives and families are being ruined for people using their choice of a natural medicine. Sadly,, we still have people in our community who are being labelled as repeat “offenders” and charged as such. These poor souls are being kidnapped and confined for months by police who claim to have our best interests in mind. These laws are ridiculous and unconstitutional.

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On Thursday July 21st at 11:30 am, Ming and I were given the opportunity to speak at a press conference. There we introduced Patients’ Lives Matter, and gave a speech on who we are and what we have planned. We were given the opportunity to let the media know that we are here, and we are not going to be confined to the dark alleyways that the government prefers to our vapour lounges. While Trudeau claims that legalization will happen come spring 2017, we plan to stand up and EXCLAIM that spring isn’t soon enough. This delay is putting people’s lives on hold with court hearings and jail time.

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We can no longer stand by and watch as millions of tax dollars are wasted shutting down dispensaries across the country. Watching people suffer in pain, anxiety, depression, and slowly dying because they’re being denied their medication isn’t something we can tolerate any longer. Watching the government profit on the hard work and research of the cannabis community over decades of civil disobedience is nightmarish. August 24th is fast approaching, yet the government still has time to present a new regime for the MMPR program, despite the fact that the Allard ruling has deemed it unconstitutional. We can no longer stand down.

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Patients’ Lives Matter urges you to unite. Stand together. Find us on Facebook. Get some friends, local patients, even supporters and sympathizers. Gather together in numbers. Make signs, medicate proudly. Stop traffic. BE HEARD. BE SEEN. They wanted to chase us out into the open with their laws on vapour lounges? Fine. We answer the call, and come back with legal protest. Be peaceful.  We’re not looking for violent demonstration. We’re looking for the medical marijuana community to finally stand together and unite under a common goal, and a common banner. Patients’ Lives Matter. We’ll end with the wise words of Bob Marley:

Get up. Stand Up. Stand Up For Your Rights!

Article courtesy of Expert Contributors: Alex Newcombe and Ming Saad from Patients’ Lives Matter (@nukemsmedibles, @ganjabaabe & Patients’ Lives Matter)

Photos by: Shawn Mac (@shawnmactm)

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