| Jan 19, 2006

Feature Article - January 19, 2006

Feature Article

January 19, 2006

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Ernest Rathwell:Legalize Marijuana

by Jeff Green

Ernest Rathwell, as an advocate for the legalization of marijuana, does not have a full-fledged political platform to fall back on, but he presents a passionate argument in favor of the legalization of a substance that he says has been a lifesaver for both him and his wife.

Ernest was born and raised in Carleton Place.

When he grew up he went to Alberta to work in the oil patch, returning home due to family illness. It was back in Ontario that his wife was diagnosed with MS and he suffered depression as he struggled with alcohol problems and with coming to terms with issues from his childhood.


His wife tried a variety of therapies for her MS, including steroid therapy, but it was only when Ernest gave her marijuana, which he was using to combat depression, that her symptoms began to subside.

“I was already using marijuana myself medicinally, and I suggested it to my wife. Well my wife tried it, and continued until all signs and symptoms dissipated through usage. It enabled her to go to school and graduate with honours in her class and obtain her nursing certificate. I believe in marijuana and its capabilities. But, how many Canadians know the good this herb can do to help heal people’s minds and bodies?” Ernest Rathwell says on his Marijuana Party web page.

He has decided to become politically active because, after being denied a certificate to use marijuana for medicinal purposes by Health Canada, he was eventually arrested for cultivation and jailed for nine months.

Ernest Rathwell argues that alcohol is a depressant and a dangerous drug, whereas marijuana use leads to clear thinking.

“Medical marijuana has been, and still is, immensely beneficial to me and members of my family. I believe that it would help many other people too, if the government stopped trying to stop that,” he wrote.

Ernest Rathwell also argues that legalizing marijuana would lead to a decrease in crime rates, and that if hemp were grown for fuel it would ease the energy crisis that Canada is facing.

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