This Man's Letter to Justin Trudeau About Marijuana Is Going Viral

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned on a promise to legalize marijuana, but efforts to implement an effective medical system and reform marijuana laws in the country have not happened fast enough, says 27-year-old David Murphy, a farmer in Nova Scotia who uses cannabis to treat his brain cancer.


In a letter to Trudeau, Murphy described a recent raid against a dispensary that he happened to witness and called on the prime minister to clarify Canada's drug policy so that patients aren't left without medicine in the event that law enforcement authorities shut down legal dispensaries. Currently, medical marijuana is legal in Canada, but raids continue to affect dispensaries across the country, CBC News reports.

"I am a young, epileptic, brain cancer patient (astrocytoma type 2a left temporal lobe) who is prescribed and uses medical marijuana," Murphy wrote. "I was on site for a police raid of our local dispensary yesterday, december third. The events there were a great demonstration of how urgent our need for progressive changes is."

"While I respected his handling the raid, the goal and results were not positive. It left patients without their purchases, traumatized, and not knowing where to turn next... Such dispensaries arise for a reason. The prices and variety of product available at them is a start, but they also foster communities and empathy between patients, and allow a feeling of connection to the care and product you are receiving."

There are often forgotten victims of conflicting marijuana laws.

Murphy raises an important point about the challenges that medical marijuana patients face today, even in countries and jurisdictions where marijuana laws are ostensibly progressive. The conflict between local and federal drug laws — in both Canada and the U.S. — leave authorities with the discretion to raid and disrupt cannabis businesses without warning. (See my article about a series of raids against dispensaries in Los Angeles for more context). While these actions certainly affect members of the marijuana industry, patients are often the forgotten victims of such policy conflicts.

A wide network of patients and advocates empathize with Murphy's struggle and are reaching out.

Neither Trudeau nor the Canadian Health Minister have responded as of yet, but Murphy wrote in a follow-up piece on Huffington Post that he's found widespread support, including an unexpected response from a spokesperson for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, who wrote, "[w]e are watching the news on medical cannabis and heard loud and clear from the brain tumour community that this is something of interest, that people want to hear more about this."


"This movement, lacking in education but thriving in propaganda, has cost us a century of research. It has cost lives," Murphy wrote. "This is a fact, the drug trafficking that would never have existed without prohibition cost lives in many ways. But. BUT... what if this whole time we really have been blinding ourselves against another tool in the fight against cancer?"

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