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Recent injunction rules home grow-shows can go on

This hemp star bud will not be destroyed but most likely smoked with latest court ruling. - Dirk Shwartz
This hemp star bud will not be destroyed but most likely smoked with latest court ruling.
— image credit: Dirk Shwartz

Derek Kaye,

Castlegar News contributor

 

With new marijuana licensing rules on the way, medical marijuana patients with Health Canada-issued personal use production licences were set to have their licences expire on April 1 and any growing plants at any stage of growth were to be destroyed. Failure to do so could have resulted in criminal prosecution.

With the police having at least some records of personal production licence information provided by Health Canada, patients would be caught with the tricky decision of whether to disobey the law and keep one's economically feasible access to medicine or to try and afford to purchase marijuana from legally licenced commercial growers at present market price of $10-$12 per gram.

For the average patient this new cost would be in the thousands of dollars per month. A lawyer representing several medical marijuana patients with valid personal use production licences, has successfully argued in a BC Federal court that this new law cancelling these licences is constitutionally unsound. And, that the Health Canada directive to destroy growing medical marijuana violates the patients' rights according to the Canadian Charter of Rights because a patient with a production licence would have to choose between one's liberty or health and that an injunction be placed on this law until the matter be decided by Federal Court.

In discussions with several local growers with personal production licences this latest ruling was gladly accepted. No one wanted their access to medicine to be limited by economics when at present their access to high quality, affordable marijuana is dependable.

Most CBC radio interviews with commercial growers possessing pending or recently issued licences were not opposed to the ruling; considering that choice for any medical marijuana patient was welcome. With the present Canadian medical marijuana population set to grow from the present 40,000 patients to over 200,000 in the next few years these commercial growers expected their market to be adequate and growing.

The court ruled injunction is to last until the matter is decided by the courts. The Federal government as of March 26 has not appealed the ruling. It is expected to be nine months before the case reaches the courts.

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