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Pot Decision Celebrated by Medical Marijuana Boosters

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Restrictions on the sale and production of medicinal marijuana in Ottawa have been loosened, thanks to a decision by the Federal Court of Appeal.

That decision is being celebrated this week by those who provide marijuana to sick people.

Richard Payne, a member of the Mid-Island Compassion Society, set up in Nanaimo earlier this year to provide medicinal marijuana, said it's a decision that should have been made a long time ago.

"It's pitiful that the federal government has insisted on maintaining a monopoly over the production and sale of medicinal marijuana in this country in the first place," he said. "Marijuana is essentially just a natural plant and people with sicknesses that can be helped using it should be able to take care of themselves without government interference."

Monday's court decision comes after years of legal challenges to Health Canada's restrictive policies towards the growth and sale of medicinal marijuana.

Health Canada's medical cannabis program has been plagued with problems since its inception, with reports of contamination, low potency and inflated prices.

Health Canada has never been able to sell its cannabis, grown by Prairie Plant Systems of Flin Flon, Man., to more than 20% of all licensed medical users in Canada and each government-approved private grower was limited to supplying the needs of no more than three approved users.

However, in January Federal Court Justice Barry Strayer concluded that Health Canada's "ineffective monopoly" didn't meet the needs of patients and the restriction limiting the size of other medical grow-operations was struck down as unconstitutional.

Appeals to the decision by the federal government were turned down with Monday's decision.

Philippe Lucas, executive-director of Victoria's Vancouver Island Compassion Club, said allowing individual growers the ability to grow for more than three patients is a big step towards meeting the needs of Canada's legal medicinal marijuana users.

He said, however, the court decision does not make the full legalization of recreational marijuana use in Canada any closer. But Payne is confident the ruling is a first step in that process.

News Hawk: User: 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Nanaimo Daily News
Contact: letters@nanaimodailynews.com
Website: Nanaimo Daily News
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