Supporters Speak Out For Pot Doc

Sep 2, 2012

Sup­port­ers of a con­tentious med­ical mar­i­juana pro­gram are ral­ly­ing behind a Coe Hill-area fam­ily prac­ti­tioner fac­ing med­ical marijuana-related fraud charges across Canada Dianne Bruce is a vocal advo­cate for the Health Canada oper­ated pro­gram and the drug she praises for enabling her to enjoy sim­ple plea­sures such as get­ting out of bed in the morn­ing.  With­out med­ical mar­i­juana she said she would be over­come by a bar­rage of ail­ments includ­ing crip­pling aches and chronic pains. Bruce’s first hand knowl­edge of the pro­gram is fuelling her dis­plea­sure about the scrutiny and pub­lic back­lash being shown to Dr.  Rob Kamer­mans since news of his arrest ear­lier this month. She wor­ries that Kamerman’s ordeal could threaten the pro­gram and patients like her who depend heav­ily on daily dosages of mar­i­juana – her “med­i­cine” – to func­tion.  Bruce cred­its med­ical mar­i­juana for eas­ing a range of ail­ments includ­ing spinal disc her­ni­a­tion and pan­cre­atist. Kamer­mans, 66, was sub­jected to myr­iad of restric­tive con­di­tions to which he and two sureties agreed when he was then granted bail. His wife and co-accused, Mary Kamer­mans, 64, also released on strict con­di­tions – includ­ing report­ing to the Ban­croft OPP detach­ment once per week– The cou­ple was charged in rela­tion to fraud­u­lent endorse­ment of Health Canada’s med­i­c­i­nal mar­i­juana doc­u­ments in Ontario, Nova Sco­tia, New Brunswick, Que­bec and British Colum­bia, between Jan­u­ary 2011 and April 2012, police said. Bruce has licences to pos­sess and a per­mit to pro­duce what’s des­ig­nated by Health Canada as med­ical mar­i­juana.  Proof of her par­tic­i­pa­tion in the pro­gram is cru­cial, some­what akin to hav­ing a driver’s licence, she said. “They want to take this pro­gram away,” she said. The doc­u­ments issued by Health Canada details whether the licence holder is per­mit to grow indoor or out­door, plant lim­its and the amount they can pos­sess.  Cobourg res­i­dent “No doc­tor will want to go near this after what’s hap­pened to Dr.  Kamer­mans,” she said.  “We have a med­ical doc­tor that has been doing the right thing.” Bruce relies on doc­tors like Kamer­mans who have been active par­tic­i­pants in the pro­gram.  She vis­ited Kamer­mans about a year ago in an attempt to bump up her dosage and said Kamer­mans should not be penal­ized for trav­el­ling to other juris­dic­tions to care for patients seek­ing his help. “It’s very hard to find doc­tors who are will­ing to sign,” Bruce said.  “If other doc­tors would take care of their patients, he wouldn’t be as needed as he his.” Inside Bruce’s purse is hand­ful of pill bot­tles con­tain­ing syn­thetic “pot” in the form of a pill, which Bruce requires a pre­scrip­tion to acquire. She takes six tablets daily to stem effects of fibromyal­gia, a syn­drome which involves body pains and ten­der­ness in the joints, mus­cles and other soft tis­sues.  Fibromyal­gia has also been linked to fatigue, sleep prob­lems, headaches.  Bruce cred­its the pills for sooth­ing her chronic pain issues. “I take the pill in the morn­ing and within 20 min­utes I can get up out of bed,” she said. Debby Smits also attrib­uted her improved mobil­ity and notice­able reduc­tion in chronic pain to her con­sump­tion of the “syn­thetic med­ica­tion.” She said she bat­tles a plethora of ail­ments, includ­ing arthri­tis.  She too has a licence that allows her to pos­sess and pro­duce mar­i­juana and has made prior vis­its to Kamer­mans to seek assis­tance. “I was there the day before his office was raided,” she said about the Jan­u­ary raid at Kamer­mans’ Coe Hill office. Smits said there is a mis­con­cep­tion about some patients are mis­us­ing the prod­uct as a drug rather than for legit­i­mate health rea­sons. Con­trary to pub­lic per­cep­tion, patients like say med­ical mar­i­juana does not pro­vide the eupho­ria enjoyed by peo­ple who use it on a recre­ational basis.. “We don’t get high when we use it,” she said. Dr.  Kamer­mans was charged Aug.  15, in Stur­geon Falls while his wife Mary – a reg­is­tered nurse – was charged in Ban­croft.  The Kamer­mans are sched­uled to re-appear in court in Belleville on Sept.  20. Source: Intel­li­gencer, The (CN ON) Copy­right: 2012, Osprey Media Group Inc. Con­tact: http://​www​.intel​li​gencer​.ca/​f​e​e​d​b​a​c​k​1​/​L​e​t​t​e​r​T​o​E​d​i​t​o​r​.​a​spx Web­site: http://​www​.intel​li​gencer​.ca/ Author: Jason Miller

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