420 Magazine Background

Court To Issue Ruling On Government-supplied Pot

Thread starter #1


TORONTO -- Canadians who are allowed to use medicinal marijuana could be
forced to buy their medicine from the black market if the Ontario Court of
Appeal rules today that the federal government doesn't have to provide pot
to critically ill people.

Alison Myrden, one of the litigants in the case, said the issue of having a
legal supply of marijuana is "critical" for her because the drug -- which
she takes instead of more than 30 pills and morphine -- helps her deal with
the pain of chronic progressive multiple sclerosis and other ailments.

Myrden said she hasn't yet applied to receive the government-grown marijuana
due to quality concerns.

So far, the pot being grown in Flin Flon by a company on contract to the
government hasn't had good reviews.

In today's ruling, the Ontario court could force the government to continue
supplying pot to medicinal users, while allowing it to uphold the laws
prohibiting pot possession.

The court could also rule the government doesn't have to provide a legal
source of pot to medicinal users, and continue to prohibit possession of the
drug. That would mean that people approved to use the drug would have to
turn to an illegal source. Another possibility is the court ruling that the
laws prohibiting marijuana possession are unconstitutional and hurt those
who use pot for medical reasons.

The appeal stems from a case in January in which Ontario Superior Court
Justice Sidney Lederman ruled it was unfair for the federal government to
allow people to use medicinal marijuana but put them in a position where
they have to buy it from the black market because Ottawa doesn't provide
legal access to cannabis.

Lederman gave the government a July 9 deadline to either fix the regulations
or supply the pot itself. As a result, the government instituted an interim
policy where it supplies pot at set prices to approved users.

Pubdate: Tue, 07 Oct 2003
Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)
Copyright: 2003 Winnipeg Free Press
Contact: letters@freepress.mb.ca
Website: Winnipeg Free Press - Breaking News, Sports, Manitoba, Canada