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Court Hears How Marijuana Helped Woman Cope With Illness

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
A woman, diagnosed with HIV and hepatitis C, first turned to marijuana to deal with pain and nausea, court heard Tuesday.

"I smoked this pipe. It was amazing. It was so amazing. I actually even went to a restaurant half an hour later and had something to eat," testified Michelle Christensen in B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria.

Christensen said since that day in 2001, she uses marijuana daily. She likes to eat it in a cookie that she buys from the Vancouver Island Compassion Society and the Victoria Cannabis Buyers' Club.

She was testifying in the trials of Michael Swallow, 41, and Mat Beren, 32, both charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and production of marijuana.

Swallow and Beren were arrested in May 2004 when RCMP raided a house near Sooke used by the Vancouver Island Compassion Society to grow marijuana for its approximately 600 members.

Lawyers for the men, John Conroy and Kirk Tousaw, have launched a constitutional challenge contending Canada's drug regulations force Canadians onto the black market to buy medical marijuana. They claim that interferes with their Charter right to security of person.

Christensen also testified she is aware of the Health Canada regulations which allow people to sign up as medical marijuana users. The federal government grows its own supply in an abandoned mine shaft in Flin Flon, Manitoba.

But she said the regulations ask for signatures from doctors and she hasn't been able to find a doctor willing to to do that. "I can't get anybody to sign the stupid papers."

Christensen agreed using marijuana as she does is criminal. But marijuana means the difference between lying in bed all day and a comparatively pain-free and useful life.

She is executive administrative assistant for the Vancouver Island Persons with AIDS Society.

Under cross-examination by Crown lawyer Lori McMorran, however, Christensen admitted she knows other marijuana users who have managed to register with Health Canada.

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Source: Times Colonists
Author: Richard Watts
Contact: canada.com
Copyright: 2007 CanWest Interactive
Website: Court hears of how marijuana helped woman cope with illness
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