Pubdate: Wed, 09 Jul 2003
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Copyright: 2003, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Canadian Press
Bookmarks: (Alan Young) (Health Minister Anne McLellan) (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


TORONTO -- The federal government will ask doctors to distribute
medical marijuana grown in a Manitoba lab, CTV News reported yesterday.

While officials had claimed the quality of the marijuana was too
inconsistent to use, they now say 370 kg have passed the test, sources
told CTV.

An Ontario court ordered Health Canada to broaden access to medical
marijuana six months ago. The judge said current laws made "seriously
ill, vulnerable people deal with the criminal underworld to get medicine."

While Ottawa is appealing that decision, the court imposed a deadline
of today to set new rules for people who need pot but have trouble
getting it legally.

However, lawyer and marijuana crusader Alan Young suspects Ottawa will
only hand out a bit of pot to buy time.

"What they're going to do is probably as a test case approve two or
three different applications, see how that goes and then hope the
court overturns the judgment so they don't have to do it anymore,"
Young said.

Ottawa unveiled its plans for medical marijuana under the leadership
of former health minister Allan Rock and began growing a supply in an
abandoned mine in Flin Flon, Man.

But when Anne McLellan took over as health minister, Health Canada
announced it would not make any of the marijuana available because it
first wanted to see scientific proof about whether the drug is effective. 
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