This is our story. Robbin and I are very caring and considerate people. Who would help a person in need if possible. Unfortunately we have found out over the years that nice people usually get taken advantage of and finish last. About 10 years ago, when Robbin and myself, where raising 3 children (13 yr son, 11 yr daughter and 9 yr son), all of which have growing in very loving and care young adult, working and living on their own, with the oldest having a child of his own.

We where both very hard workers and always had good jobs. Robbin was a Industrial Sewer, for a company that made cargo nets (the kind that end up in the trunks of cars, vans, truck and planes). Her rate of pay was determined by computer, with Robbin having an average rate of 218%, which was over 100% higher that the average co-workers. I had my own business. I employed nine people. We did custom homes, renovations,deck and just about anything that had to do with a home. Robbin worked for this company, for about 7 years. About 3 years after starting to working for this company, Robbin started to get Migraines, she also started to get chronic pain in her neck, lower back, legs, hips, arms and shoulders. This got so painful they would cause vomiting and total body shaking from the inside out. She also suffered many other secondary related problems. She was diagnosed with Myofascial syndrome, related to her work as an Industrial Sewer. Her company would deal with this by putting her on short term disability. She would get better while she was off, go back to work but it would come back. She went through this cycle of on and off work for about 4 years. Each time she went back to work, her problems would come back faster and more severe. It would take her longer to get better and to be able to go back to work. As I said this went on for about 4 years, then her doctor and specialists, finally said that she would have to just stop working and go on WSIB. Until she could get better and be re-train into some other line of work.
Robbin was on about 10 different kinds of medications(25-35 pills/day). Many of these have bad side effects. Some of them made living a normal life next to impossible. Robbin started to notice, that there where times when she would be able to sleep most of the night and have the pain go to the back ground, instead of the fore-front, with pain being all that was on her mind. We ended up correlating these times with when she had smoked Cannabis (I myself didn't smoke Cannabis, as it just made me want to sleep. I liked my beer instead). I started to do some research on the Internet and found so much about Cannabis as medicine, I couldn't believe it, there was so much. Robbin started to test this theory and found out that with Cannabis she was taken less pills. She was also not getting many of the side effects, as she started to drop off some of the pills all together. She told her Doctors and they also notice, this as well. They told us that they could not tell her to treat herself with this wonderful medicine but to keep up with what we where doing and that they would support her and put it into her file.

In the mean time she had run out of short term disability from her company, had used up her UI sick benefits and was still in the vicious battle with WSIB. WSIB just kept sending one denial, after another. So we could not afford to buy Cannabis on the black market anymore, as our bills and children needs came first even before our own health. Her pill intake started to increase again, along with the bad side effects. So I made a decision, I was not going to watch my Soulmate live like this and I studied and read everything I could on growing our own Cannabis for Robbin and I did, even knowing that we could get in trouble with the law.
About a year went by and Robbin was almost off of all of the pills because she was smoking and or using Cannabis butter, that we made, into cookies or other things that she could eat. All the time these thing where kept as secure from our children as possible (locked grow room, cookies and dried Cannabis in a locked safe).
Then it happened. I had a close friend help me paint the grow room for Robbins medicine. The family was away, while we did this. We lived very far out in the country. He was sub post to spend the night. I woke up the next morning and he wasn't there. I did notice that some of Robbin Cannabis, that was hanging to dry was gone. I went to his home, to discuss this with him that day and after our talk we both knew that was the end of this friendship for the time being. Well 2 days later, while the children where in school 4 police cars showed up at our home with a search warrant and we where arrested. We told them about Robbin's illnesses and her doctors. Also that we would fight this on the grounds of medical necessity. They said go for it. I do have to say, that they seem to understand and didn't destroy our home. They also asked us when the children would be home from school, so that they could be gone before they got home.

We went thought the courts and got a $1000 fine for me and a $150 fine for Robbin. We started right back up again and grew inside in the winter and outside in the summer. Then in 1997, while harvesting some of the plants inside the kitchen, thieves where raiding Robbin's garden. When I went out to get some more plants to trim up, I noticed a row of plants missing. I yelled for Robbin and told her to get bags from the house and cut them all down. I had heard something in the bushes and went running to catch the thieves. I had no luck as the bush was thick. I was close but didn't get them. I wish I had of because they would not have been a problem for us ever again, had I caught them and had my little talk with them.
Then in the summer of 1998, I set up 2 gardens, the old one and a new one in a different location. Remember this is on our property and in our backyard (3 acres). I set up the new garden thinking that the thieves would see the old one and not look any further. I had a old trailer by the old garden and had set up motion senors in the trees around both gardens. These senors where wired back to the house and trailer, underground and would set off radios. One day while the whole family was out, my father whom lived with us at the time was at home. He is disabled and old, told us when we got home, that he thought he seen our son and a friend out back near the new garden, our son was with us, so it wasn't him. The thieves from the year before had found Robbins new garden and was casing it out. This was in July so the buds where just starting, they would wait to steal them until they where almost done. Knowing this I decided to get a friend, that didn't work, to live in the trailer near harvest time, as a guard while I was at work, on midnights.
My fathers brother, that lived in BC, was dieing of Cancer at this time and we had made plans, to take my father to see him, before he past away. So at the beginning of August, we went to BC. While we where on holidays in BC, we had friends come and live in our home to take care of our dogs and to water the gardens out back. They let one of their friends see the gardens while we where gone. This friend, I found out had just been busted with over 200 cuttings a few days before. They came back later and took cuttings from the plants, (over 200 cuttings). He couldn't take them from the bottoms of the plants, NO, they had to be greedy and take them from Robbin's nicely budding tops. This was the 2nd and 3rd wk of Aug. So when I got home and seen what had been done, I asked our friends, "What happened". They said that they didn't know anything about it, which was not true, as our dogs would have freaked out, if someone was on the property, also they had no car to go anywhere and said that they never left the home, at all while we where in BC. So they knew. I then told them that if they couldn't watch things when we where not there, to forget about watching them when I was at work. I don't know for sure but we think they also had something to do with the tops going missing and what happened 3 days later (We think this, because of what was in the disclosure. Things like where empty oil viles where, where copies of grow books where and many other things in our home, that only people that had lived in our home, would know). I guess they told this to their friend and they all got mad because he wasn't going to get to watch the garden (and maybe rip Robbin off), when I was at work. Well 3 days later, guess who comes knocking at the door. That is right the COPS.
We ended up in court. The crown want to send me to jail for 2 years and Robbin to jail for 1 year. The judge asked the crown, if they had read the 4 Doctor reports, for Robbin, they say, "No", that they didn't want that to influence them. The judge got angry with them and said "if the defendants deal with this today, there will be no jail". Our lawyers came back to us and told us what was happening and said that if we dealt with this in front of this judge, I would get 9 Mt's house arrest and Robbin would get 3 Mt's house arrest. I said "No", that we would fight this to the top. Our lawyers said that we might not get the same judge at trial and that the crown could get what they wanted if we lost. So I said "If they let Robbin off (because it was bad enough, with what she had to live with and gave me the 3 Mt's, they where going to give Robbin, we would agree). They went back in and came back out and told us that Robbin had to get something, so I would get 11 Mt's and she would get 1mt. We agreed.
When the judge was sentencing us he said that he understood why we where doing what we where but we where still breaking the law and he had to deal with that. He also said that there was a Section 56 of the law that Robbin and her doctor could apply for an Exemption from, that would allow us to grow and possess Cannabis for Medical reason, and that we should look into this, so that we would not end up in front of the courts again, just to allow Robbin to have some enjoyment of life, in dealing with her illnesses.

This new Exemption from the law was just starting to be fought in the courts, at this time. So there where no forms for applying for the exemption, just outlines of what was need to qualify. I did up an 8 page form, that included all the required questions and information needed by the government. Robbin took this to her doctor and he said that he was in agreement with this form of treatment but because of the responsibilities it put on him (a not clinically tested drug), he could not sign the forms but wish he could. But Robbin's Chiropractor (which was the 1st to diagnose Robbins illness) said he would fill out the form. We then mailed them out to Health Canada and waited.
In the mean- time information about people who where applying and or had exemption's, got released to the media, from someone in Health Canada, so now we didn't just have to be worried about the police, knocking on our door, but also thieves. We decided to go pubic now and had a news outlet come to our home and do an interview, with us about this. They even got HC to do a phone interview, from our living-room about the reasons, the information got released and why it was taking so long for Robbin to get her Exemption. (I bet someone at HC, got in trouble for doing that) because the interview with them, showed just how incompetent HC was on this matter, of Section 56 and privatize laws.
Robbin waited 9 Mt's, for a reply. When she got their reply, they said that because a Chiropractor was not recognized as a real doctor, Robbin didn't qualify. This was a very big let down. I still wasn't going to let my wife live a life she didn't want to live anymore (if she had to take all of the pills she was taking before Cannabis), so we lived a life of constance fear, of being arrested again.
It just happened that at this time in my work career, I had been offered a very good job, at a company in Kingston (I went to college, after high school and was trained as a Mechanical Engineer). This offer was to good to turn down and the money was better. So we sold our home, bought one in the Kingston area and moved. One of the conditions of us moving was that we needed a doctor, before I would accept this job. The owner of the company talked with their doctor and he took our family on. After he went over Robbins file, we asked him if he would sign the forms for an exemption and he said he would. We waited another 6 Mt's and ended up with an exemption under Section 56. These exemptions had to be re-newed every year, which Robbin and her doctor did. Because the rules of these exemptions where unconstitutional, the government was forced by the courts, to change the laws and rules. This developed into the MMAR Act. This act is still unconstitutional in the eyes of the courts. There are still many faults in the rules of the MMAR act but with any hope these will be worked out before too many people have to suffer because of Canada's unjust laws and a government acting slow, doing what is in the best interest for the sick people of Canada.
Just in the last few months, the MMAR Act has had a few changes to it. Some of these changes, made it possible for Robbin to comply with the MMAR Act, so she is now an Exemptee under MMAR.
Robbin ended up, not winning her WSIB case because of a incompetent, WSIB advocate, she had at first. So she is left without any income, until her Old Age Pension, kicks in (about 22 years from now). Her Myofasial Syndrome, has become Fibromyalgia, due to the lack of being able to afford proper Medical help (Chiropractor and rehab). This has made life hard for her, as well as the family because it has put us into financial hardship. She also now has CVS (Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome or Abdominal Migraines). Probably because of the many other illnesses, that go along with the Fibromyalgia. In the summer of 2005, Robbin did have any operation, that helped with the CVS by about 80%, which is a blessing. Robbin would like to go back to work but finds it hard to get a job, with all the restrictions, she has, because of these health problems.
I am now on WSIB because of a workplace illness. I hope that in the near future, I will be retrained and be able to get back to work, as it has become harder to keep up with the bills but we do get by, just bearly. We know that there are many more people out there that have it a lot harder than us. We feel for all of them and pray that things get better for every one of them. One thing that is good, is that all of our children are on their own now because we don't know what we would do if we had to support children, at this time of finical hardship.
These are just some of the trials and tributes we have been thought, to get what every sick person in Canada, has a right too. It also show that if there is a will there is a way to get what you need. We are so glad to live in Canada and not the USA, as things would be very different in our life's if we did, (3 strikes), would have meant that I would have been in jail for life and we would have lost everything, we owned.