Windsor Essex Rotary Club Marijuana information night
Windsor Essex Rotary Club Marijuana information night held an informative event on Tuesday, April 18th, 2017 at 6pm at the Ciociaro Club. The speakers included the co founder of Aphria (a Licensed Producer of Marijuana from Leamington, Ontario) John Cervini, Mohammed Abdul Munim, Doctor from the Canadian Cannabis Clinic, Dr. Caroline Hamm a Medical Oncologist at Windsor Hospital and Sgt Lisa Cheney from the Drug and Gun Enforcement Unit Windsor Police Services.
My personal opinion of Windsor Essex Rotary Club Marijuana information night, is that there should be more events planned over the next year. The Windsor Chamber of Commerce should consider it. The subject of Medical Cannabis is an important subject and needs to be separated from the topic of legalization of recreational cannabis next year. Several Medical Cannabis patients talked about their journey and how it has helped them live a normal life. There were also several patients in the room. At one point Leo Lucier, the organizer for the First 420 event in Windsor stood up and asked how many people in the room had smoked Pot. He announced the event he has organized which will take place on Thursday April 20th.
There were quite a few who put up their hands in response to Leo’s question, but you could see that many of the audience did not want to admit it because of the stigma attached. I would say that most of the evening was pretty positive, but was disappointed with the information that was supplied by Dr Caroline Hamm. She used many slides from the American Cancer Society in her speech, and was obviously not a supporter of Medical Cannabis. The table I sat at said they would have preferred someone with hands on experience treating patients with Medical Cannabis rather than using outdated and material that was under researched. They felt that as a Medical Doctor at an obvious pro cannabis information session, should have researched more. Or the organizers should have found a doctor who could have shared the success stories they had seen at their practice. There were three local doctors in attendance as guests.
Canadian Cannabis Clinic, Dr. Mohammed Abdul Munim gave a great presentation regarding the uses of Medical Cannabis and how to get a prescription. Many medical patients are not aware of how to start, or how to get a referral or if their medical condition qualifies. He stressed one important fact, they do not sell it at the clinic, they will only refer you to Licensed Producers approved by Health Canada or will give you a prescription to send to Health Canada to get permission to grow themselves.
Surprisingly, only one person (Thomas Hensel) in local politics took the time to come out and hear the discussion. Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens was obviously absent. But his name was mentioned by a member of the public regarding his fact finding mission in Colorado where he described individuals as RIFF RAFF. The Windsor Star wrote the following:
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens stands by comments he made about the “riff raff” on the streets of Denver during a recent visit, saying pot legalization in Canada could have similarly damaging results for his border city.
The Windsor Star also did an article in January – Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens among least popular mayors in Canada, says new poll This was before the story about his visit to Denver. I feel that Mayor Drew Dilkens should think of the positive impact it will have. Local doctors are seeing amazing results from patients who are being weaned off of Opiates like Fentanyl. I am sure every Mayor has their views about the legalization, but if done correctly it could bring millions of dollars in tax revenue to the city. Look across the border to Colorado, where the Fortune website was quoted:
It only took Colorado 10 months to pass $1 billion in legal cannabis sales in 2016, one year after the state came up just shy of that milestone revenue figure.
Marijuana businesses in Colorado, which voted to legalize the drug recreationally in 2012, reported roughly $1.1 billion in legal sales of medical and recreational marijuana and related products this year through the month of October, according to the latest batch of tax data from the state’s Department of Revenue. That number easily tops the roughly $996 million in total marijuana revenue the state reported in 2015.
The Denver Post first reported the state’s record sales figures, noting that Colorado saw $82.8 million in retail cannabis sales in October alone, along with more than $35 million in medical marijuana sales. With two months left in 2016, The Denver Post also notes that the state’s legal marijuana market could hit $1.3 billion for the year, which would represent a 30% spike in sales over the previous year. In 2015, the state saw a 42% bump in legal cannabis sales from 2014, which was the year the state’s legal recreational pot market opened for business. Medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 2000.
Through October, Colorado has collected more than $150 million in taxes from legal marijuana sales, including nearly $50 million from a specific excise tax that directs funds to school construction projects. The first $40 million collected annually from the excise tax is earmarked for the school projects.
Something the Mayor of Windsor, and every Mayor should look at. Schools are being closed due to no money in Ontario.
Windsor Essex Rotary Club Marijuana information night
Sgt Lisa Cheney, of Windsor Police educated the public about the changes in the law up to the present time. She said that even with legalization around the corner, that people had to abide by the present laws. She could not comment on the future laws regarding testing for driving under the influence as the law is not in place yet.
Dr. Christopher Blue a local Doctor was in attendance and was one of the audience members who stood up to ask questions. He has seen a rise in patients requesting prescriptions for Medical Cannabis. In his medical practice he sees more than 45 people a day and has a six month waiting list. He was quoted as saying “He supports the use but does not support patients wanting him to sign papers for them to grow Cannabis themselves” He will only prescribe it and recommend a Licensed producer. His reasoning was the liability issues he would hold and as a Doctor he said the risk was too high. In July of 2016 the Windsor Star did an article that included Dr. Christopher Blue and his views on Medical Cannabis at that time.
In a Windsor Star article in July, they mentioned a man from Kingsville, Ontario who I wish had been invited to the event to share his story.
“A lot of people come and talk to me, they figure I’m going to (provide them with marijuana), but no,” said Jack Kungel, a Kingsville man who credits cannabis with rescuing him from terminal cancer and years of miserable poor health brought on by a major workplace injury, diabetes, overweight and being on more than 22 medications. Today, at age 64, he says he’s the healthiest he’s been in his life. Because he’s grandfathered under the old regulations, he said he’s allowed to grow his own, and for a woman with MS he’s been helping for 14 years.
More events like Windsor Essex Rotary Club Marijuana information night should be held to educate the public about the benefits of Medical Cannabis, but also the laws for Patients who want to grow their own.