Four B.C. patients challenge medical marijuana regime in Federal Court

Medical marijuana plants are shown at a medical marijuana facility in Richmond, B.C., on Friday March 21, 2014. A lawyer representing four patients has told a Federal Court judge that Canada's new rules governing medical marijuana are forcing them to choose between their health and their liberty.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER - A lawyer representing four patients has told a Federal Court judge that Canada's new rules governing medical marijuana are forcing them to choose between their health and their liberty.

John Conroy launched a constitutional challenge on behalf of the patients, who argue the federal government violated their rights when it attempted to ban home growing and instead move production to commercial operations.

His clients say they can't afford marijuana under the new system, which also doesn't give them control over the specific strains they use.

Conroy has told a Federal Court judge that because the new regulations make marijuana production illegal, patients must choose between medicine and jail.

He's asking the court to force the government to allow patients to grow their own marijuana and possess it in forms other than dried pot.

A federal government lawyer says the old system of allowing patients to grow their own marijuana was unsafe and failed to ensure patients had access to a high-quality, uncontaminated supply.


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