Medical cannabis patient campaign fighting a new tax on medical cannabis and targeting Canada’s Minister of Finance far surpasses outreach goal
WATERLOO – Today the Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM)’s Don’t Tax Medicine campaign hit an impressive milestone with over 12,000 patients sending personal messages to their Members of Parliament.
Canada’s medical cannabis patients are asking their representatives to support the removal of all taxes from medical cannabis and support a tax structure equal to other medications by exempting medical cannabis from GST/HST and dropping the proposed excise tax.
CFAMM founder and medical cannabis patient Jonathan Zaid was impressed with the strength of the grassroots patient movement but not surprised.
“The use of medical cannabis should be recognized in line with all other prescription medications and accordingly exempt from taxation” said Zaid. “Patients have a fundamental right to have access to affordable medicine.”
CFAMM’s campaign came together when patients learned the government was recommending medical and recreational cannabis be taxed at the same rate. Outraged and disappointed, patients (many of whom struggle to afford their treatment today), organized through CFAMM to take their message to Parliament Hill.
“We heard from patients in every province across the country, many angry, some just devastated to learn that their medical treatment would be made even less affordable by the Minister of Finance” said Zaid. “Patients and their family members can’t understand why a sin tax reserved for alcohol and cigarettes is being applied to their medicine”.
CFAMM anticipates the level of grassroots engagement will continue to rise rapidly as word spreads about the government’s ill-advised recommendations. The organization plans to help patients connect personally with their representatives before the holidays, telling their stories and advocating against this discriminatory approach.
CFAMM’s campaign website features a number of different calls to action and encourages patients to send their own original messages to their Members of Parliament. Patients across the country have embraced the campaign hashtag. Their thoughts can be found on Twitter at #DontTaxMedicine