Make way for medical marijuana

Feb 25, 2016 | News

Greg Chow

Medical marijuana users and growers could be on their way to lighting up without the restrictions.

Judge Michael Phelan ruled Wednesday in Vancouver that the current federal regulations were an infringement on Charter rights in Canada, and therefore they have no force and effect. With this ruling, a six month suspension has taken place while the federal government comes up with new rules.

Jon Liedtke, a medical marijuana user and co-owner of Higher Limits, the first medical marijuana lounge in Windsor, Ont., talked to Humber News about the federal ruling.

“The government wasn’t able to infringe upon our ability to produce our medication at a cheaper price than the market, so it was a very positive day for medical marijuana in Canada.”

The medical benefits and the accessibility for patients can outweigh cost or side-effects.

“It’s not about business at the forefront, it’s mostly about providing our medical marijuana users a safe and comfortable environment where they can consume their medication away from stigma, stereotypes and away from negative perceptions surrounding cannabis,” Liedtke said.

There are some more ambitious hopes for the ruling, as former editor of Cannabis Culture magazine, Dana Larsen told Humber News. Known for sending samples of the well known batch of cannabis to  each MP of Canada’s Liberal party, Larsen said he “hopes this means legalization includes home grows for all.”

Wednesday’s injunction and eventual change of guidelines will add to the evolution of legalizing cannabis in Canada.

In 2013, access to the drug was allowed for commercial growers as well as grow and supply stations. The amount of authorized growers in possession spiked to nearly 40,000 from less than 100 in 2001. The following year both patients and producers were ordered to destroy stocks of pot and cannabis seeds.

Right now there is roughly 90,000 medical marijuana users in Canada.

“What needs to happen is we need to pop the stigma of the stereotypes so people could start learning and having conversation about cannabis being useful to some people who need it on a daily basis,” said Liedtke.