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"OSC" 2003 Obituary


OSCAPELLA 

OSCAPELLA o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-11-01 published
Medical pot activist dies after mishap handling it
Canadian Press, Saturday, November 1, 2003 - Page A10
Ottawa -- An outspoken advocate of marijuana for medicinal purposes has died of burns he suffered when he tried to extract oil from marijuana.
Donny APPLEBY died Thursday in the company of Friends at an Ottawa hospital.
"He ended his life peacefully and surrounded by Friends," said Mike FOSTER, a long-time friend and owner of Crosstown Traffic, a cannabis paraphernalia store.
Mr. APPLEBY was an Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome patient on a disability pension and couldn't afford the marijuana he used for his illness.
While his Friends are trying not to turn his death into a political issue, many are blaming the federal government for restricting access to marijuana for medicinal purposes.
"It's a travesty that people don't have access to this stuff - a clean, safe good source and supply of it," said Eugene OSCAPELLA, a lawyer with the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy and a friend of Mr. APPLEBY.
APPLEBY suffered severe burns while trying to extract oil from low-grade cannabis using butane, which exploded in his apartment.
He was admitted to hospital with no chance of survival and had been on a ventilator until his death on Thursday.
Mr. OSCAPELLA, who was at Mr. APPLEBY's side when he died, described his friend as an "activist who tried to help people."
"The guy didn't have a lot of strength physically, but he had a lot of strength in other ways, and I think you've got to hand it to him," Mr. OSCAPELLA said.
In a July protest on Parliament Hill, Mr. APPLEBY smoked a joint and burned his Health Canada exemptions to demonstrate dismay at the government's handling of medical marijuana.

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