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Pubdate: Wed, 08 Oct 2003
Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
Copyright: 2003 Detroit Free Press
Author: Luke McCann, Reuters
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Note: The Associated Press contributed to this report.


TORONTO -- The Ontario Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that businesses and individuals be allowed to grow and supply large amounts of medical marijuana, relieving the Canadian government of its often-criticized attempts to do so itself.

"What is going to change in Canada is that one person or one company can grow for an unlimited number of people . . . and in terms of supply and cultivation, you can now pay people to grow for you," said York University Law Professor Alan Young, a legal counsel to the people seeking more relaxed growing rules. The ruling, he said, will make it easier for sick people to get marijuana by broadening access and choice.

The ruling stems from a January court decision that called on the Canadian government to provide a legal source of marijuana to people suffering from AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other illnesses, so they would not have to buy it from drug dealers.

In July, Canada became the first country in the world to start selling government-grown marijuana to seriously ill people. Several hundred people have registered with the government to use the drug for medical purposes.

Tuesday's ruling, as well as allowing sick people easier access to the marijuana that they use to ease pain, or boost the appetite, also lets the Canadian government wash its hands of the business of selling the drug.

Canadian Health Minister Anne McLellan said she was heartened by the court's decision.

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Toronto Hemp Company