CANNABIS CULTURE – Vancouver will be a bud battleground during a pivotal court case that could determine the future of Canada’s medical marijuana program and the fate of patients who choose to grow their own medicine.
Allard et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen – a constitutional challenge against Canada’s latest round of medical marijuana regulations – begins next Monday and is scheduled for 15 days at the Federal Court in Vancouver.
Home growing at risk
Stephen Harper’s Conservative government introduced new regulations governing the country’s med-pot program in June, 2013.
The Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations included a ban on all home-growing of marijuana – effective April 1, 2014 – that would have forced patients to purchase their medicine from a small group of corporate Licensed Producers.
Just days before the looming April 1 deadline, cannabis super-lawyer John Conroy and the MMAR Coalition Against Repeal won a temporary injunction against the home-growing ban, allowing patients to continue cultivating until the case is decided.
Conroy says the new regulations will make medical marijuana prohibitively expensive for many patients, as it is much cheaper to grow cannabis than to purchase it at the inflated prices of the Licensed Producers. Those who couldn’t afford to pay would run the risk of arrest if they continued to garden at home. This would violate the Section 7 Charter Rights of patients, Conroy says, and “force patients to chose between their liberty and their health.”