Between the law and the people: BC Compassion Club Society makes a place for medical marijuana
Compassion clubs are opposed to any Bill that imposes a minimum sentencing on growers of as little as six marijuana plants. Compassion Club cultivators grow plants to help patients cope through their illnesses. Compassion clubs walk a fine line between borderline legitimacy and illegality due to current regulations, but Leung believes “compassion clubs need to be given a legitimate place in the whole picture.”
A legitimate place
“The majority of our members are seniors, or in late middle-age, and first-time cannabis users, and they have never been recreational users,” says Leung.
The Club’s Wellness Centre has a holistic and client-centered approach where dispensing cannabis is part of a larger holistic healing model and just one of many therapies offered here. The therapies include acupuncture, counseling, massage therapy, herbal medicine and other natural healing modalities.
Pictured below: The Vapourizer, a smoke-free option
The cost of treatment is determined on a sliding scale. The centre subsidizes costs for its members. Members typically only $8 per treatment. “But the actual cost of treatment is about $66 and the amount that we cover is from what we make on the sale of cannabis,” says Leung.
50 practitioners with backgrounds in social justice, social change, social work participate in the community. The team includes homeopaths, nurses and doctors of Chinese medicine.
"We also do a lot of free events in the community, at community workshops and advocacy, information and support while continually growing a positive presence in our members' lives. We hope that translates into good Karma," Leung says.
Marc Emery at a pro-Marijuana rally in Calgary, September, 2007. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
Commenting on Marc Emery, the “Prince of Pot”, Leung says it is a “travesty to extradite someone to another country for something that is punishable by a fine here. There is a whole other political motivation to why they wanted to particularly take him down, for being so outspoken. It’s sad to see the Canadian government collaborate with that kind of unjust punishment.”