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LETTER: Open letter to Grand Forks city council on medical marijuana

Dear Mayor Taylor, and Council, 
Many of you may know me as having been an active member of Grand Forks community from 2000 until my demise of three years ago. While I am a resident of Christina Lake now, I do work in Grand Forks so I hope that the following will be accepted as my voice on a very important issue that has been brought to my attention. I do not know where you all stand on this so I address you each individually and ask for your open minds and hearts. Here is my letter:

Three years ago I was unable to walk, reach, sit, stand, lie down, bend or kneel without excruciating pain. Happiness was a walking stick and a raised toilet seat on loan from the local Red Cross. I parked right by the door. Stairs were a nightmare. I was depressed, tired, angry, frustrated, afraid – all because of pain. My lesson? Empathy for all pain sufferers.


I went the clinical route for three months but weaned myself off because of potential side-effects. I reached a real low. I was faced with a choice – buck up or check out. I chose to buck up and went my own route, putting my stomach, liver and blood pressure at risk by using Ibuprofen, and lived with the pain. It took over a year. Now, I am mostly pain free.


A respected doctor I knew on Vancouver Island gave up his clinical practice of many years to become an herbalist. He developed a tincture for pain using marijuana. When my mother was dying with cancer he let me know in confidence that this choice was available for her. (This was before the legalization of medical marijuana.)


Had that choice been presented to me three years ago I would gladly have taken it. Should my condition return, and I pray to God it doesn’t, I would like to think that I do have a choice for pain management and that accessibility will be there for me.


For this reason, and in empathy for all those who suffer from pain now and in the future, I support the motion that is being put forth to Grand Forks City Council on February 8, “that a resolution be passed requiring the AKBLG/UBCM to petition the BC Government to assume licensing and regulation of medical marijuana in the province of British Columbia.”


This is but one small step. As history has shown, change of any kind begins in community at the grass roots level (pun is purely coincidental.) It will then be up to the Association of Kootenay and Boundary Local Governments (AKBLG) and the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) to carry the torch to the provincial and federal governments.


This is about democracy and choice. It is about making a difference. It is about opening our eyes to see the hold the pharmaceutical machine has on our health system. It is about taking responsibility for our own health and well-being. Change begins at home. How is your health? 

Submitted by: Rosemary Phillips