Davies Welcomes Ruling on Medical Marijuana

OTTAWA - NDP MP Libby Davies applauded yesterday's Federal Court ruling striking down a regulation restricting medical marijuana growers from supplying more than one user.

"Until now, Health Canada has severely limited access to Canadians who have a legitimate need for medical marijuana," said Davies. "Any challenges to this ruling would be negligent. The government must move forward with the necessary changes immediately."

Currently, patients can grow their own marijuana, get it from a designated grower, or from the Government of Canada. A grower cannot supply more than one user. Judge Strayer's ruling calls those restrictions arbitrary and unconstitutional.

The expense, quality, and accessibility of the Canada's medical marijuana program have long been questioned and Davies has repeatedly called on the Auditor General to review the program. Her latest appeal came after it was revealed that Health Canada has a mark-up price of 1,500 percent on its marijuana. Many government users are in arrears and have been forced to discontinue use.

"The Government's restrictive and overly bureaucratic policies have forced thousands of seriously ill Canadians to turn to illegal sources for their marijuana," said Davies. "In light of Judge Strayer's ruling, these restrictions must be lifted now."

Davies supports the recommendations for, at minimum, higher ratios for suppliers to buyers. She is calling for the expansion of, and fairer access to, Canada's Medical Marijuana program for all Canadians who need it.

This Press Release was posted on February 11, 2008
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