What’s happening at the Canadian Capital?
Canadian non-profit organization TheraPsil is leading a delegation of patients, advocates & experts to return to Ottawa this February from the 11th-17th seeking compassionate access to psilocybin for Canadian adults suffering from palliative depression, addiction, PTSD and chronic disease. Attendees will be lobbying in the spirit of love, with a focus on Indigenous sovereignty, reconnection to plant medicines, and upholding a responsibility to mental wellbeing.
The delegation will include stage IV cancer patients who are flying out to Ottawa and will personally meet with federal decision-makers in person- because Health Canada has proven woefully unresponsive up until this point. Many haven't heard back about a renewal for their exemptions for over a year despite their terminal diagnoses, which is unacceptable, frustrating, and frankly surprising. Some patients pass away while waiting.
Through events & meetings, demonstrators hope to educate decision-makers and parliamentarians (MPs, Senators, Ministers), with an expectation to meet with the Health Minister, Jean-Yves Duclos & the Minister of Mental Health & Addictions, Carolyn Bennett, who they hope will commit to work together to resolve the issue of access for patients with mental health conditions. The goal is to work with Health Canada & its ministers to get patients the help they need.
Demonstration of Love & Support
Date: Thursday, February 16th, 2023 @ 4pm EST
Location: Parliament Hill – Ottawa, Ontario
Why are they doing this?
Section 7 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that all Canadians have the rights to “life, liberty and security of person”. By denying Canadians access to medicine, the government is infringing on patients’ rights. Canadian courts have ruled in two landmark cannabis cases (R. v Parker, Ontario Court of Appeal, 2000 + R. v. Smith, Supreme Court of Canada, 2015) that the absolute prohibition of cannabis by the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) contravenes section 7.
These rulings compelled the federal government to amend the CDSA to allow for the medical use of cannabis. The decision to use cannabis medically is now made between patient and doctor, with no requirement for bureaucratic approval. Many Canadians believe that Psilocybin, like cannabis, represents a reasonable medical choice, and a more effective treatment for many patients suffering from anxiety, depression, PTSD, substance misuse and end-of-life distress.
What are the goals?
- Right to Die → Right to Try:
- Make psilocybin a viable, supplementary treatment and/or alternative for MAiD.
- Access through SAP is considered in “emergency” situations & all other forms of treatment must have failed
2. Settle the Charter Challenge:
- The delegation insists that Health Canada drop the senseless and cruel court case against cancer and mental illness patients and commit to medical psilocybin regulations
- A recent poll conducted by TheraPsil showed 80% of Canadians believe psilocybin should be available for medical use
3. Healthcare Practitioner Access:
- Grant healthcare workers access to psilocybin so patients can access trained professionals
- When psilocybin is eventually legalized for medical use, there will be a severe lack of trained professionals to support the number of patients in need of therapy
- Court disclosures have revealed Health Canada has been acting against its own internal guidance, and healthcare practitioners are being given the run-around
How else can people help?
TheraPsil is on the frontlines of policy change for end-of-life psilocybin therapy.
They are in the process of raising $100k to fund the first stages of this charter challenge, and cover patients’ legal costs. [With over $86,000 raised as of 1/30/2023!]
Learn more about TheraPsil and the mission to legalize Psilocybin throughout Canada: