A few bureaucratic hurdles are all that remain between Jean Charles Pariseau and the medicine his doctors believe is saving his life. Pariseau, who suffers from AIDS and its associated "wasting syndrome," had tried more than a dozen prescription drugs to fight nausea and increase his appetite, but none of them had worked. He weighed just eighty-two pounds and was told he had three months to live when, on a friend's advice, he began to smoke marijuana.

Today Pariseau weighs in at over one hundred pounds, and his life expectancy has been extended to three years. His doctor, Don Kirby, is convinced that marijuana made all the difference. So when Pariseau was arrested in October and charged with marijuana possession, Dr. Kirby set out to find a way to get Pariseau's medicine restored to him. Now, with the help of a former head of Health Canada's Special Access Program and legal assistance from the Canadian Foundation on Drug Policy, he appears to have succeeded.

Health Canada's Emergency Drug Release Program allows doctors to apply for permission to prescribe unauthorized medicines as life-saving measures on a case-by-case basis. Such applications are common, and are usually approved within 24-72 hours when there is evidence to indicate a drug's usefulness. In Pariseau's case, Dr. Kirby's initial application was rejected on the basis of two technicalities, both of which are expected to be remedied quickly, and neither of which is related to a lack of evidence of medical necessity.

"It would be approved, if the changes are made," said Dann Nichols, who oversees the regulation of all drugs and medical devices in Canada. "There is no problem, basically, with marijuana as medicine." NOTE: Also in Canada this week, prosecutors indicated that they would appeal last week's decision by an Ottawa court declaring the prohibition of medicinal marijuana unconstitutional in the case of Terry Parker, an epileptic.

<

A few bureaucratic hurdles are all that remain between Jean Charles Pariseau and the medicine his doctors believe is saving his life. Pariseau, who suffers from AIDS and its associated "wasting syndrome," had tried more than a dozen prescription drugs to fight nausea and increase his appetite, but none of them had worked. He weighed just eighty-two pounds and was told he had three months to live when, on a friend's advice, he began to smoke marijuana.

Today Pariseau weighs in at over one hundred pounds, and his life expectancy has been extended to three years. His doctor, Don Kirby, is convinced that marijuana made all the difference. So when Pariseau was arrested in October and charged with marijuana possession, Dr. Kirby set out to find a way to get Pariseau's medicine restored to him. Now, with the help of a former head of Health Canada's Special Access Program and legal assistance from the Canadian Foundation on Drug Policy, he appears to have succeeded.

Health Canada's Emergency Drug Release Program allows doctors to apply for permission to prescribe unauthorized medicines as life-saving measures on a case-by-case basis. Such applications are common, and are usually approved within 24-72 hours when there is evidence to indicate a drug's usefulness. In Pariseau's case, Dr. Kirby's initial application was rejected on the basis of two technicalities, both of which are expected to be remedied quickly, and neither of which is related to a lack of evidence of medical necessity.

"It would be approved, if the changes are made," said Dann Nichols, who oversees the regulation of all drugs and medical devices in Canada. "There is no problem, basically, with marijuana as medicine." NOTE: Also in Canada this week, prosecutors indicated that they would appeal last week's decision by an Ottawa court declaring the prohibition of medicinal marijuana unconstitutional in the case of Terry Parker, an epileptic.

<

-- END --
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Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #23, 12/20/97 California's Prison Population Expected to Increase Dramatically | California Court Rules Cannabis Buyers' Clubs Not Caregivers Under 215 | Report on Institute of Medicine's First Public Hearing on Medicinal Marijuana | Cannabis Decriminalization Conference in the UK | Health Canada Set to Approve Medical Marijuana on a Case-by-Case Basis | Media Alert from Families Against Mandatory Minimums | November Coalition Spearheads National Show of Protest | Editorial: The drug warriors claim they are "Protecting our children?" | How to Donate to DRCNet
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Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #23, 12/20/97 California's Prison Population Expected to Increase Dramatically | California Court Rules Cannabis Buyers' Clubs Not Caregivers Under 215 | Report on Institute of Medicine's First Public Hearing on Medicinal Marijuana | Cannabis Decriminalization Conference in the UK | Health Canada Set to Approve Medical Marijuana on a Case-by-Case Basis | Media Alert from Families Against Mandatory Minimums | November Coalition Spearheads National Show of Protest | Editorial: The drug warriors claim they are "Protecting our children?" | How to Donate to DRCNet
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]