N.S. man starts hunger strike in protest of ‘unconstitutional’ medical cannabis access

Bob Dillman hopes the hunger strike will push government to hear out concerns raised by medical cannabis users. Reynold Gregor / Global News

A Nova Scotia man who says he has been unconstitutionally denied access to medical cannabis has started a hunger strike in protest.

Bob Dillman says he takes medical cannabis for his injured back, but has had his supply cut off several times over the past 10 years by the provincial government.

“They’re cutting us off at every access point,” Dillman said. “We have no access. That’s what medical cannabis was supposed to be all about. That’s why we have licenses, and police are ignoring legitimate licenses.”

READ MORE: Nova Scotia sells more than $660K in cannabis during 1st day of legalization

The Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. [NSLC] is the only licensed retailer allowed to sell cannabis in Nova Scotia. But Dillman claims NSLC cannabis does not meet his needs.
Story continues below advertisement

“The stuff they have at the liquor store, it’ll kill me. I have proof of that because there’s people I know that have tried that stuff and got sick,” Dillman said.

“I have to have organic cannabis, that I know where it came from. If I don’t know where it came from, I can’t smoke it.”

WATCH: Cannabis becomes legal in Nova Scotia

Click to play video: 'Cannabis becomes legal in Nova Scotia'
Cannabis becomes legal in Nova Scotia

Chris Backer, vice-chair of Maritimers Unite for Medical Marijuana, says many other medical cannabis users face a similar dilemma.

“As much as the government would hate to admit it, they’ve kind of thrown the patients under the bus. Recreational [cannabis] is all they were really worried about,” he said, attributing the recreational focus to widespread cannabis shortages this week.
Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: How much weed was sold on Canada’s legalization day, province-by-province

Dillman says he needs five grams a day to function, but claims he’s only given three grams a day through workers compensation.

“I have no access. This is not legalization. … It’s eliminating the competition so they can monopolize on cannabis.”

Dillman hopes the hunger strike will push government to hear out concerns raised by medical cannabis users and allow independent dispensaries to reopen.

“Explain this to me how this can be, or I am not going to eat one scrap of food. I’m just going to drink water and tonic water, that’s it, until I get heard,” Dillman said.

Sponsored content