News Canada

Federal Court reverses ban on grow-your-own medical marijuana 0

By Daniel Proussalidis, National Bureau

REUTERS/Anthony Bolante/Files

REUTERS/Anthony Bolante/Files

OTTAWA - A Federal Court judge in Vancouver issued an injunction Friday against the government's plans to end the practice of grow-your-own medical marijuana.

The order gave a coalition of people who use the drug for medicinal purposes an exemption from new Health Canada rules, which were set to eliminate 30,000 licences for homegrown pot on April 1 and force patients to buy what the feds say would be "quality-controlled" marijuana from approved commercial producers.

"I am very stressed about the plan to take away my ability to produce my medicine," plaintiff Neil Allard said in his affidavit.

RCMP officer Shane Holmquist said in his sworn statement the current system is rife with crime.

Holmquist testified that licence holders "are known to transport shipments of marijuana for sale under the guise of their authorized possession amount."

Health Minister Rona Ambrose said she's disappointed with the Federal Court's ruling.

The marijuana access program has had "significant unintended consequences on public health, safety and security," including the risks of home invasion, fires and toxic mould for those growing the plant at home, their neighbours and community, the agency said in a statement late Friday.

"Health Canada will review the decision in detail and consider its options."

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