Bruce Sutton likes music and he believes in justice so he’s organizing a one-day music festival in Coe Hill, Ont. in support of his physician, Dr. Rob Kamermans. The event is planned for Sept. 26th and Sutton has a long list of musical acts booked for the family-friendly concert.
It makes sense that the Jam for Justice would be held in the small community in Eastern Ontario because this is where Dr. Kamermans and his wife Mary, a registered nurse, became the unintentional leaders of the National med pot debate.
Dr. Rob and Mary worked with their first medical marijuana patient in 2009 when the doctor agreed to sign Health Canada’s MMAR application papers. The doctor believed in the efficacy of the home-grown medication and after years of seeing patients struggle with opioid addiction, he was happy to offer another option.
Thanks to the internet, word got out that the doctor was supportive of the Federal program and the patients started arriving in droves looking for relief from pain and other symptoms related to chronic and terminal illnesses.
By 2011 there were 4,000 patients recommended to the program by Dr. Kamermans.
And then the cops showed up.
In January of 2012 the RCMP and the OPP raided the small health centre in Coe Hill and removed patient’s medical charts and files. Months after the raid charges were laid which meant Dr. Kamermans was no longer supporting applications to the Federal program; resulting in a long list of patients that were going to lose legal access to the only medication they said helped reduce their symptoms and their suffering.
The doctor and his wife have been through a preliminary trial and are now waiting on an appeal regarding the preliminary proceedings. There are still charges against them but no trail date has ever been set and through the past three years they have had to fight ever step of the way.
Bruce Sutton doesn’t think that’s fair.
“This is about freedom of choice,” Sutton explains. “This is not ok.”
So Sutton reached out to others and the Jam for Justice started to come together. Sutton says the musicians are all donating their time and all proceeds will go to supporting the Doctor and Mary as they work through the confusing maze of legal proceedings.
On Sept. 26 the Jam for Justice will run at the Coe Hill Fair Grounds from 12 to 8pm. The event features artists like Mike Kelly, Dave Embury, Band on the QT, Jessica Wedden, Gord Arnold and the Coe Hill Girls.
“I hope people come out for the music and to support our doctor,” Sutton said. “He helped his patients and now he shouldn’t have to face this alone.”