CannabisIIFollowing the huge boner Health Canada pulled last week when they sent 40,000 patients in the Marijuana Medical Access Program letters via regular, as opposed to registered, mail using envelopes clearly marked to indicate the recipient was a participant in the MMAP instead of unmarked envelopes, the Halifax law firm McInnes Cooper has filed a proposed national class action in Federal Court against the Government of Canada for breaching the privacy rights of the patients.

Here’s a link to the law firm’s announcement, and here’s an excerpt:

“As a result of Health Canada’s error, we have already spoken with a number of people whose lives have been affected by this breach,” said David Fraser, a national expert on privacy law, and McInnes Cooper’s lead lawyer on this case. “We have heard that some individuals have already lost their jobs as a result, and everyone we’ve spoken with is concerned about their safety in their homes.”

We’ll have more on the privacy breach, and the impending changes that Health Canada is making to the MMAP, in our Nov. 28 issue.

As well, in Regina Queen’s Bench Court Justice J.A. Whitmore released his decision in an appeal launched by injured worker  Carey Heilman against the Saskatchewan Workers Compensation Board for its refusal to cover the cost of the medicinal cannabis he’s been using for over 10 years to control spasms associated with a painful spinal injury he suffered over two decades ago. Heilman has been using the cannabis under the supervision of a world-renown local neurosurgeon, and has obtained relief that he had previously been unable to find using WCB-funded prescription drugs that had proven toxic to his health.

In denying Heilman’s appeal, Whitmore basically deferred to the almost god-like powers of the WCB to make decisions on behalf of injured workers as long as said decisions were in the ballpark of being based on reasonable grounds. Because the medicinal benefits of cannabis and the absence of potential harmful side effects, in the WCB’s mind, had yet to be definitively proven, it was justified in its decision not to reimburse Heilman, who is on long-term disability and unable to work, for the cost of his cannabis.

Here’s a link to the full decision.