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Canadian Government Will Legalize Medical Use

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October 5, 2000

Ottawa, Ontario: The Canadian government last Friday decided not to
appeal a July 31st Ontario Court of Appeals decision that declared
Canada's prohibition of marijuana "unconstitutional" and said that if
Parliament did not amend the law to allow for medical use within a year,
marijuana possession in Ontario (for any purpose) would be legal.
Two weeks ago, Canadian Health Minister Allan Rock announced he would
change regulations to allow patients access to marijuana. Until the new
regulations are approved Canadians can continue to apply for a medical
exemption under Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. To
date, 71 Canadians are allowed to legally smoke marijuana.
"We want to bring greater clarity to the process for those Canadians who
may request the use of this drug to alleviate symptoms," Rock said. "We
want to do so in recognition of a need for a more defined process for
those in pain and suffering."
"Progress towards legalizing marijuana in Canada is bound to have a
positive impact on U.S. policy," said Keith Stroup, NORML Executive
Director. "It is impossible for the U.S. to ignore the positive changes
occurring with our neighbors to the north."

For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Executive
Director at (202) 483-5500.
NORML Foundation
1001 Connecticut Ave., NW
Ste. 710
Washington, DC 20036
202-483-8751 (p)
202-483-0057 (f)