Judge grants reprieve to medical marijuana growers, users

A court reprieve has allowed medical marijuana users to keep growing pot at home instead of destroying it and going to licensed producers.

A court reprieve has allowed medical marijuana users to continue growing pot at home instead of destroying it and turning to licensed producers.

The Marijuana Medical Access Program was to end March 31. The following day, Health Canada’s new regulation banning personal growing was slated to take effect.

But Friday, federal court judge Michael Manson granted a temporary injunction for those with a personal production licence to continue growing medical marijuana, pending the outcome of a constitutional challenge.

“It’s excellent news,” Comox Valley activist Ernie Yacub said. “There are a lot of people who were afraid, who were facing having to get rid of their medicine on April 1. You’re supposed to cut down all your plants and get rid of all your medicine by mixing it in with kitty litter and disposing of it. Now how’s that for an April Fool’s joke?

“Consider sick people having to worry about their medicine,” he added, noting the pain relief benefits of cannabis. “Think about the stress. We all know that stress is a killer.

“This is very cruel of the federal government to try to do this to sick people.”

Yacub praises the efforts of Abbotsford lawyer John Conroy for challenging the new program. A trial date is expected this year.

Government cited problems such as fire risks and mould outbreaks under the system of permitted users growing pot at home.

Studies suggest grow operations are more likely to burn than regular homes. Yacub counters that people who use kitchens are more likely to burn down their house.

He suggests a solution would be to require every licence holder to have a fire and electrical inspection conducted at their premises.

“It’s a bogus argument,” Yacub said. “Where’s the evidence that grow operations cause all these fires? There’s all kinds of fear-mongering around cannabis.”

Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula said the City has received numerous complaints from people living next door to grow-ops, which have been “nothing but an unmitigated disaster” in residential neighbourhoods.

“Life becomes very, very unpleasant for them,” Jangula said, noting the unpleasant stench from grow-ops. “I still feel the federal government has done the right thing in moving to get these things out of the residential areas.”

Licensed users can grow about 200 plants for themselves and as many as three other growers, he added.

“That’s hardly a little backyard garden event,” Jangula said.

Growers licensed under the current system had been ordered by Ottawa to give written notice by April 30 that they’d halted production and destroyed all leftover pot, or face potential police enforcement.

The injunction doesn’t stop the launch of new commercial pot producers.

With a file from Black Press

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Pride Society of the Comox Valley set to kick off week-long celebration

The organization is celebrating Pride Week with a variety of events to bring the community together.

Work continues on Courtenay’s 4th Street Improvement Project

4th street will be closed to traffic between Duncan and Cliffe Avenue

Inside the music: step behind the curtain at the venerable Vancouver Island Music Festival

Big Read: VIMF in the Comox Valley exemplifies the spirit of an Island summer music festival

Cannabis facility planned in Courtenay

Design up to 100,000 square feet

Major private donation to Kus-kus-sum project

Frank and Bobbi Denton, longtime residents of the Comox Valley, have donated… Continue reading

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Bob Castle’s Under the Glacier cartoon for July 19, 2018

Bob Castle’s Under the Glacier cartoon for July 19, 2018… Continue reading

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Most Read