Long-time Fraser Valley marijuana crusader John Conroy is finalizing a lawsuit accusing Ottawa of infringing on the rights of medical pot users and growers.
He and a handful of other lawyers working on the lawsuit to be filed in Federal Court within weeks have reviewed more than 3,000 victim impact statements from across the country to pick the 15 best representatives.
Conroy says the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations recently adopted by Health Canada violate several sections of the constitution. In particular, he claims the radical changes introduced by Ottawa to end home-growing and designated production will unduly restrict the safe access by patients to their medication.
“The suit has taken longer to frame than expected,” Conroy said.
“Still, we’re going to be looking for injunctive relief so that after March 31 — when the new rules come into effect — the status quo is maintained until after the court ruling so there is no damage done to these people and they have a supply of medicine.”
Approved patients — 60 to 70 per cent of whom are on fixed disability pensions — are going to suffer under the new regime, Conroy explained, because they will no longer be able to grow their own medicine nor use a designated grower.
The soon-to-be-available medical marijuana will be too expensive, he added.
Under the new program that starts in the spring, patients will be forced to purchase pot from licensed producers who will distribute various strains of dried cannabis by mail for an estimated price of between $8 and $10 a gram.
Most can grow their own for between $1 and $4 a gram, Conroy said.
“Thousands and thousands of patients are approved to use more than 10 grams a day — that’s $100 a day at the new rates. No one can afford that,” Conroy said.
“We’re not asking the government to spend money and support these people. We’re just asking they be allowed to keep doing what they have been allowed to do. We think they should at the very least grandfather-in the current personal production licences.”
– Read the entire article at The Vancouver Sun.