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1CN BC: Man Convicted For Dispensary Pot BuyTue, 04 Oct 2016
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Dickson, Louise Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/06/2016

People who buy pot from medical marijuana dispensaries can still be charged criminally, even though the City of Victoria has implemented regulations for the storefronts, warns a local defence lawyer.

Last month, Chantelle Sutton represented a Victoria man who bought marijuana at a local dispensary in August 2015. After a brief trial, Leslie Ian Hall was convicted of possessing marijuana.

But Hall was handed an absolute discharge when the judge found Hall honestly believed he could legally buy marijuana with a doctor's prescription and his membership with the Vancouver Island Compassion Society.

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2Canada: Medical Pot Users Push For PillsFri, 12 Aug 2016
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Watts, Richard Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:08/13/2016

Some Canadian veterans and their supporters, including long-time cannabis crusader and former Victoria city councillor Philippe Lucas, are petitioning Canada's Parliament for marijuana in pills.

The group says marijuana can help veterans suffering from chronic pain and in dealing with the psychological and emotional residue of combat tours, generally known as post-traumatic stress disorder.

They point out that Veterans Affairs Canada refuses to pay for marijuana extracts or in pills, covering only raw marijuana leaves or buds to be smoked.

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3CN BC: Victoria Mayor 'Not OK' With New Pot-consumption LoungeTue, 03 May 2016
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Chamberlain, Adrian Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/05/2016

Mayor Lisa Helps is unhappy with the opening of a cannabis lounge in Victoria. However, its owner said the new business provides a much-needed service.

Helps said she's "not OK" with The Green Ceiling, which provides a public place for pot puffing. She said the city is devising regulations that might put the kibosh on the enterprise, which opened its doors on April 18.

The Green Ceiling is the first of its kind in the city, said Ashley Abraham, the 28-year-old owner. While it doesn't sell cannabis, the "vapour lounge" offers a coffee shop-style atmosphere for people wanting to smoke weed publicly.

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4CN BC: Column: Victoria's Pot Shops Growing Like a WeedSat, 27 Jun 2015
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Knox, Jack Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:06/29/2015

Unregulated Dispensaries Rival Liquor Stores in Numbers

For those keeping score at home, Victoria now has 24 liquor stores and 20 marijuana-related businesses. OK, a few of the latter sell just paraphernalia, not pot. And you can argue the real comparison should be the number of medical-marijuana dispensaries versus the number of pharmacies, not liquor stores (though how many pharmacies sell just one drug?).

But can't deny the storefront marijuana-sellers - dispensaries and clubs - are coming on strong. Victoria now has 11 of them, in one count, almost all popping up in the past year or so. Victoria's Natural Way Dispensary opened at the Oak Bay junction two weeks ago. Another place is about to open on Fort Street. They're sprouting like weeds, as it were.

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5Canada: Home Pot-Growers Heartened By Court RulingSat, 22 Mar 2014
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Bell, Jeff Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:03/23/2014

Licensed medical-marijuana users allowed to keep producing plants

Advocates of medical marijuana are encouraged by a Federal Court decision to allow licenced individuals to keep producing homegrown pot.

Judge Michael Manson issued an injunction Friday exempting patients who are licensed to possess or grow medical marijuana under current rules, either for themselves or someone else, from new regulations that would have made the practice illegal.

A trial on the constitutional argument is expected within nine months to a year.

A group of patients behind a constitutional challenge asked for an injunction to preserve the status quo until their legal case goes to trial.

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6CN BC: Column: Medical Users Caught Up In War On Pot DealersSat, 01 Feb 2014
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Knox, Jack Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/03/2014

The reception area of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society looks more like your doctor's office than a head shop.

Water cooler. Magazines. Hand sanitizer dispenser on the wall. Demurely dressed woman behind the desk. No dope in sight, or in the air.

Louis Ferreira would much rather buy his marijuana here than on the street. Guys in their 50s don't want to go skulking around like it's 1974 and they're looking for a $20 lid before the Crowbar concert.

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7CN BC: Political Activist Uses His Creativity To Enjoy LifeFri, 28 Dec 2012
Source:Alberni Valley Times (CN BC) Author:Dobson, Kristi Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/29/2012

Mik Mann is known for his passion for pot, but he is also a man who uses his creativity and ingenuity to live a life he enjoys. A political activist, Mann is primarily self-taught in his knowledge, but made a living using his hands.

Born and raised in Toronto, Mann went to work right out of high school. Jobs were plentiful through the 1970s and 1980s and he was able to move around to various positions.

He got behind the wheel driving a cab and as a courier for the Bankers Dispatch Company, but construction and painting were his trades of choice. While in the big city, Mann became interested in racing an Austin Mini car as an amateur when the vehicle was first introduced to Canada.

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8CN BC: Cannabis a Substitute for Prescription Drugs: LucasTue, 11 Dec 2012
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Cleverley, Bill Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/13/2012

Medical marijuana may be an effective substitute for prescription drugs or alcohol, just as methadone is used to treat heroin addicts, says addiction researcher and former Victoria city councillor Philippe Lucas.

"The fastest rate of addiction right now is to pharmaceutical opiates, and it's also the fastest rising rate of morbidity and mortality. In other words, people are [overdosing] on pharmaceutical opiates," said Lucas, who recently published a research paper online in the Journal of Addiction Research and Theory.

"This is the second paper I've published this year that suggests cannabis can significantly potentially reduce the amount of pharmaceutical opiates that particularly those who suffer from chronic pain need."

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9CN BC: $147,000 Tax Bill for Medical-Marijuana ClubSat, 08 Sep 2012
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Bell, Jeff Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:09/09/2012

Leader Hopes to Foot Bill Himself

The tax man has come knocking at the door of the Cannabis Buyers Club of Canada, and its founder said there will be full compliance from the organization.

Ted Smith, who has run the club for more than 16 years, said it now has a tax bill of more than $147,000 from the Canada Revenue Agency for unpaid HST in the first six months of this year.

"We started to collect HST here in the store around July 28. So, for over a month now, we've actually been giving out receipts and collecting HST that we are going to remit to the government."

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10CN ON: Pot Ruling Expected To Face Federal AppealThu, 14 Apr 2011
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Bouzane, Bradley Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/14/2011

Drug Will Be Legal to Possess If Ruling Not Challenged

When Nick Bala started chemotherapy, he asked his doctor for something to help with the nausea and vomiting that followed each treatment.

After about four months, Bala asked his doctor for a prescription for medicinal marijuana.

"I found that it made a huge difference to the nausea," Bala said Wednesday. "For me and many other people, it made chemotherapy much more bearable. It's very important this be made available to people who are suffering."

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11 US NJ: Compromise Can't Quell New Jersey Medical MarijuanaSun, 05 Dec 2010
Source:Gloucester County Times (NJ) Author:Livio, Susan K. Area:New Jersey Lines:216 Added:12/05/2010

Diane Riportella is in the final stages of Lou Gehrig's Disease. She expects to die soon.

The 54-year-old Egg Harbor Township woman says smoking pot "gives me a reprieve from this living nightmare" by suppressing her pain without relying solely on morphine, which leaves her "lifeless."

"When I smoke marijuana, I feel normal. I can express myself and be the person I want," she said at a Senate committee hearing last month.

Poonam Alaigh, the state health commissioner and a doctor, also says she has seen the value of medicinal marijuana. One patient suffering from severe nerve pain recently confided to her he has been using pot in addition to prescription painkillers and feels remarkably better.

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12 CN BC: Federal Exemptee Fights Weed-Smoke EvictionThu, 22 Jul 2010
Source:Monday Magazine (CN BC) Author:Youmans, Jason Area:British Columbia Lines:116 Added:07/24/2010

An Esquimalt woman says a local social housing organization is trying to evict her from her home of two-and-a-half years for using cannabis to treat her chronic conditions.

Christina Goluch, who suffers from debilitating arthritis and lupus and has Health Canada permission to possess and use medical cannabis, says she is the target of a campaign by the site manager of the Greater Victoria Housing Society's Lions Lodge to rid the building of marijuana smokers, many of whom, says Goluch, are elderly and disabled and consume the drug to treat a variety of maladies.

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13 CN BC: Edu: A Passion for Social JusticeMon, 14 Jun 2010
Source:Ring, The (U of Victoria, CN BC Edu)          Area:British Columbia Lines:73 Added:06/16/2010

Victoria City Councillor and Vancouver Island Compassion Society founder Philippe Lucas has had his share of life experiences. Lucas was exposed to hepatitis C through the tainted blood supply at age 12, but the condition was only diagnosed in 1995, the same year that his father committed suicide. "Sometimes life makes choices for us, and with the benefit of a little longevity we can see that even the most adverse event or situation can lead to some positive outcomes," says Lucas, whose personal experiences with medical cannabis led him to conduct a number of research projects on this topic over the last 15 years.

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14 CN BC: Club Reopens To Sell Medical PotThu, 13 May 2010
Source:Nanaimo News Bulletin (CN BC) Author:Hamlyn, Chris Area:British Columbia Lines:150 Added:05/13/2010

Although a medical marijuana compassion club was shut down in Oceanside a few years ago, Bob Estes believes the mid-Island is ready for the service.

It is legal for people with a Health Canada licence or doctor's note to use medical marijuana in Canada, but it is not legal for people to buy or sell it.

As of April 2, 1,405 people were licensed to possess marihuana for medical purposes in B.C. and 4,907 in Canada.

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15 Canada: PUB LTE: Compassion Club DefenceMon, 19 Apr 2010
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Bodner, Nicole Area:Canada Lines:33 Added:04/19/2010

Re: 'Maybe Marijuana Is Right For You,' letter to the editor, April 14; 'Opponents Of Compassion Clubs Clearly Have Never Had Cancer,' letter to the editor, March 25.

I'm happy to hear that letter-writer Dr. David Saul and others help patients obtain legal marijuana. But I disagree with his assessment of the compassion club I belong to, the Vancouver Island Compassion Society (VICS), not the Vancouver version of the same. VICS offered me different cannabis products (hemp lozenges for mouth sores, hash for nausea, and different strains of marijuana for different symptoms). What's more, the application process was simple and hassle-free.

When you're really sick, you need help immediately. And the less paper work and other nonsense, the better.

Nicole Bodner, Squamish, B.C.

[end]

16 CN ON: When Marijuana Is The Only Source Of ReliefSat, 17 Apr 2010
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Yang, Jennifer Area:Ontario Lines:250 Added:04/19/2010

When Georgia Peschel first heard police had raided CALM, a compassion club in Toronto, her initial panicked reaction was this: "Now where will my son get his marijuana?"

For the past three years, Peschel and her 17-year-old have made the hour-long drive into Toronto every two weeks. They would knock on a darkened Queen St. E. storefront, follow a doorman inside, and buy $140 worth of marijuana from the people at CALM, or Cannabis As Living Medicine.

The Newmarket-area, church-going family hardly seem the type to frequent drug dens. But Storm Peschel - named for his tendency to "kick up a storm" while in his mother's womb - is no regular kid.

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17 CN BC: PUB LTE: The Pot And The KettleThu, 05 Nov 2009
Source:Monday Magazine (CN BC) Author:Raycroft, Nancy Area:British Columbia Lines:46 Added:11/07/2009

Re: Letters, Oct. 29-Nov. 4

I have been a member of both Ted Smith's Cannabis Buyers Club and Phillipe Lucas' Vancouver Island Compassion Society for about nine years. I am grateful to these men and the work they do, and while both clubs are working towards a common goal which I fully support (safe and legal access to marijuana), I only "shop" at the VICS.

As Smith's letter stated, no doctor's recommendation is required to join his club. Lucas has a far more professional approach; VICS members all have legitimate medical conditions and their doctor's support regarding medical use of marijuana. Smith is a media hound and I applaud his in-your-face tactics: from distributing free pot cookies to regular public smoke-ins, he has done a great job keeping marijuana a hot topic. Lucas and VICS have also been covered by the media, but the focus tends to be on the advancements in medical marijuana research to which the club is committed, or the legal and political obstacles facing medicinal pot users.

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18 CN BC: Pot-Activist Councillor Passing the BongSun, 25 Oct 2009
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Cleverley, Bill Area:British Columbia Lines:150 Added:10/25/2009

After 10 Years, Philippe Lucas Leaving Medical-Marijuana Supplier

Aside from the pungent odour of fresh marijuana in the air, the Vancouver Island Compassion Society's Cormorant Street office has the feel of any other medical clinic.

"I've been doing this for so long I don't even notice it any more," says Philippe Lucas, of the sweet aroma that permeates all four rooms in the office.

Lucas is both founder and, for 10 years, executive director of the non-profit society, which sells marijuana to those in medical need. But Lucas, who also serves as a Victoria city councillor, no longer has the time and is now passing the bong, as it were, to Steve Roberts, the society's day manager for the past two years.

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19 CN BC: Crimes Of CompassionWed, 21 Oct 2009
Source:Monday Magazine (CN BC) Author:Kemp, Anna Area:British Columbia Lines:192 Added:10/23/2009

Phillipe Lucas looks back on 10 years with the Vancouver Island Compassion Society

No question, marijuana stirs up a lot of controversy for a simple plant. Advocates on either side of the fence argue about the merits and evils of pot legalization. However, for many Canadians coping with serious medical conditions-including cancer, arthritis, MS, epilepsy, HIV and Hepatitis C-using marijuana is not a lifestyle choice, with over one million Canadians using marijuana for medical purposes, according to a national survey conducted by Pricewaterhouse-Coopers for Health Canada. Yet despite the fact Canada became the first country in the world to legalize the medical use of marijuana back in 2001, the legislation only protects a handful of patients; the majority of medical cannabis users still risk arrest and prosecution for simply using an effective medicine. Community-based dispensaries, like the Vancouver Island Compassion Society (VICS), play a vital role in supporting many of these people.

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20 CN BC: Canada's War on Drugs Bucks the Global TrendThu, 22 Oct 2009
Source:Georgia Straight, The (CN BC) Author:Pablo, Carlito Area:British Columbia Lines:123 Added:10/22/2009

Since founding the Vancouver Island Compassion Society 10 years ago, Philippe Lucas has seen changes in the way countries around the world deal with drug users. As recently as August 20, for example, Mexico decriminalized the possession for personal use of substances like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, and methamphetamine. Five days later, Argentina's Supreme Court declared unconstitutional legislation that punishes possessors of marijuana with prison sentences ranging from one month to two years.

Elsewhere in Latin America, according to Lucas, a first-term Victoria city councillor, countries like Colombia and Peru have set aside policies that regard drug use as a criminal offence.

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21 CN BC: PUB LTE: Bill Too HighThu, 18 Jun 2009
Source:Monday Magazine (CN BC) Author:Lucas, Philippe Area:British Columbia Lines:51 Added:06/20/2009

Re: “MP abstains on C-15,” June 11-17

As the executive director of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society and a Graduate Research Fellow for the Centre for Addictions Research of B.C., I was honoured to be one of the researchers and experts invited by the House of Commons Justice Committee to comment on Bill C-15, the Conservative Party’s mandatory minimums drug bill.

As I told the committee, Parliament will not pass another bill that has a greater potential to harm Canadians than this failed and expensive approach to reducing substance use. For evidence of this threat to human rights and public health we only need to look south of our border. Mandatory minimum sentences have made our American neighbour the biggest jailer nation in the world, with over 2 million of their citizens behind bars. But I don’t really blame the Conservative Party for this debacle; it would be naive to expect anything but ideological and ill-considered legislation from the Conservatives on complex issues like gay rights, the environment or substance use. However, while the NDP and Bloc Quebecois rallied their troops to strike down this bill, the Liberals sat on their hands, leaving their moral and ethical principles at the doors of Parliament for short-term political gain.

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22 Canada: Legal HazeSat, 02 May 2009
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Kari, Shannon Area:Canada Lines:144 Added:05/02/2009

Health Canada Has 'Obstructionist Approach' Over Medical Marijuana: Expert

It was nearly 25 years ago that Jamaican dance hall reggae singer Frankie Paul crooned "Canadian people love the tusheng peng" as he exhorted them to "pass it ovah" in his breezy ode to the joys of marijuana.

The musical sentiment was expressed long after the LeDain Commission recommended in 1972 that marijuana should be legalized and regulated like alcohol.

Whether accompanied by a reggae backbeat or the more formal findings of a Royal Commission, the conclusions were the same -- there should be fewer restrictions on marijuana access.

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23 Canada: Martin Pushes Softer Pot Law!Thu, 02 Apr 2009
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:DeRosa, Katie Area:Canada Lines:59 Added:04/06/2009

Keith Martin wants the federal government to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca MP will submit a private member's bill in the House of Commons today that recommends fines instead of criminal charges for anyone with less than 30 grams of marijuana or two marijuana plants.

Decriminalizing simple possession will sever ties between casual drug users and organized crime, Martin said in an interview yesterday. "If a person is growing a couple of their own plants, they won't have to go out and purchase it from illegal sources, which are usually linked to crime gangs and illegal grow-ops."

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24 CN BC: Edu: B.C. Court Makes Med Marijuana More LegalThu, 12 Mar 2009
Source:Xaverian Weekly, The (CN NS Edu) Author:Farris, Andrew Area:British Columbia Lines:85 Added:03/15/2009

The quasi-legal status of Victoria's compassion clubs may have come a step closer to resolution this week after a B.C. Supreme Court ruling declared parts of Canada's current medicinal marijuana laws unconstitutional.

The law, which forbids any supplier from distributing medical marijuana to more than one patient, has forced the non-profit clubs into operating illegally, despite the consent of Victoria's police.

The judge has given Health Canada one year to review the laws and make it easier for purveyors of medicinal marijuana, both inside and outside the law, to keep patients supplied.

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25 CN BC: B.C. Court Makes Medicinal Marijuana More LegalThu, 12 Mar 2009
Source:Sheaf, The (CN SN Edu) Author:Farris, Andrew Area:British Columbia Lines:87 Added:03/15/2009

Review Of Laws Could Mean Changes To System

The quasi-legal status of Victoria's compassion clubs may have come a step closer to resolution this week after a B.C. Supreme Court ruling declared parts of Canada's current medicinal marijuana laws unconstitutional.

The law, which forbids any supplier from distributing medical marijuana to more than one patient, has forced the non-profit clubs into operating illegally, despite the consent of Victoria's police.

The judge has given Health Canada one year to review the laws and make it easier for purveyors of medicinal marijuana, both inside and outside the law, to keep patients supplied.

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26 CN BC: Edu: Medical Marijuana More Legal, Says CourtThu, 05 Mar 2009
Source:Martlet (CN BC Edu) Author:Farris, Andrew Area:British Columbia Lines:85 Added:03/06/2009

The quasi-legal status of Victoria's compassion clubs may have come a step closer to resolution this week after a B.C. Supreme Court ruling declared parts of Canada's current medicinal marijuana laws unconstitutional.

The law, which forbids any supplier from distributing medical marijuana to more than one patient, has forced the non-profit clubs into operating illegally, despite the consent of Victoria's police.

The judge has given Health Canada one year to review the laws and make it easier for purveyors of medicinal marijuana, both inside and outside the law, to keep patients supplied.

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27 Web: VICS Constitutional Challenge of Health Canada Medical Cannabis Program SucFri, 06 Feb 2009
Source:DrugSense Weekly (DSW) Author:Lucas, Philippe Area:Canada Lines:76 Added:02/07/2009

Dear friends and supporters,

It is with great pleasure that I announce the successful outcome of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society (VICS) Constitutional challenge of Health Canada's medical cannabis program and practice. On Monday, February 2nd 2009 Justice Koenigsberg ruled that the federal regulations limiting the number of people who could grow cannabis in one location, and the rules limiting the number of patients that a producer could grow for were arbitrary, served no public interest, and were therefore unconstitutional. She stayed her decision for one year in order to allow the federal government to amend their medical cannabis regulations to reflect her ruling.

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28 Web: Hot Off The 'Net and What YOU Can Do This WeekFri, 06 Feb 2009
Source:DrugSense Weekly (DSW)                 Lines:186 Added:02/07/2009

************

http://www.mapinc.org/lte_awards/lte_gold.htm

************

An online conversation with author April Witt and Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo at WashingtonPost.com

http://drugsense.org/url/lg3Bo8dT

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By Radley Balko at www.theagitator.com

http://www.theagitator.com/2009/02/01/a-letter-id-like-to-see-but-wont/

************

JURY NULLIFCATION IN ILLINOIS?

By Pete Guither at www.drugwarrant.com

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29 CN BC: Judge Allows Medicinal Pot PlotsWed, 04 Feb 2009
Source:Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC) Author:Barron, Robert Area:British Columbia Lines:89 Added:02/04/2009

Strict limits on the production and distribution of medical marijuana are unconstitutional, B.C. court determines

Another court decision, ruling that restrictions on the sale and production of medicinal marijuana in Canada are unconstitutional, is seen as "one more small step forward" by those who provide marijuana to sick people in Nanaimo.

Richard Payne, a member of the Mid-Island Compassion Society that set up in Nanaimo last year to provide medicinal marijuana, applauds the decision of B.C. Supreme Court Justice Marvyn Koenigsberg. On Monday she gave Ottawa one year to fix the medical-marijuana access regulations so compassion clubs or producers can get together and run a common marijuana-growing operation.

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30 CN BC: Medical Marijuana Restrictions Get Thumbs-DownTue, 03 Feb 2009
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Mulgrew, Ian Area:British Columbia Lines:70 Added:02/04/2009

Federal Laws Governing Supply Are Ruled Unconstitutional

A B.C. Supreme Court justice has endorsed a recent federal court decision saying the national marijuana program is unconstitutional.

Justice Marvyn Koenigsberg gave Ottawa a year to fix the medical-marijuana access regulations so compassion clubs or producers can get together and run a common marijuana-growing operation.

At the moment, the federal government restricts any licensed grower to supplying only one licensed user and prohibits more than three growers from pooling resources.

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31 CN BC: Grower Handed An Absolute DischargeTue, 03 Feb 2009
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Fraser, Keith Area:British Columbia Lines:66 Added:02/04/2009

He's Guilty, Judge Rules, But Law Is Unconstitutional

A B.C. judge has struck down as unconstitutional provisions of a federal law that restrict the supply of marijuana to patients authorized to use the drug.

B.C. Supreme Court Madam Justice Marvyn Koenigsberg also found the man at the centre of the ruling, a worker for a marijuana compassion club on Vancouver Island, guilty of producing and possessing for the purpose of trafficking the drug, but gave him an absolute discharge.

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32 CN BC: Column: Rules Surrounding Medicial Marijuana Somewhat HazyTue, 03 Feb 2009
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Knox, Jack Area:British Columbia Lines:92 Added:02/04/2009

So, bits of Canada's medical marijuana rules were ruled unconstitutional yesterday, except Ottawa was given a year to fix them, and the Victoria guy charged with growing the dope was convicted, except he got off.

Huh?

Saying the B.C. Supreme Court decision makes Canada's medical marijuana laws clearer is like saying cowboy boots make Danny DeVito taller -- really, it's just a matter of degree.

Justice Marvyn Koenigsberg, sitting in Vancouver, struck down Health Canada regulations that say a licensed marijuana grower may only supply a single client and that bar more than three growers from pooling their resources. Her ruling echoed a 2008 federal court decision that tossed out the one-grower, one-client regulation; coincidentally, Ottawa lost its appeal of that decision yesterday.

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33 CN BC: All The Pot News Fit To PrintWed, 04 Feb 2009
Source:Monday Magazine (CN BC) Author:Youmans, Jason Area:British Columbia Lines:63 Added:02/04/2009

The Canadian government's crumbling monopoly on the production and distribution of medical cannabis was dealt another blow Monday with a B.C. Supreme Court decision that effectively exonerated a grower who supplied the Vancouver Island Compassion Society with the good grass.

The charges against Mathew Beren stemmed from a 2004 RCMP raid on a VICS facility in Sooke. The compassion society and its lawyer, Kirk Tousaw, argued that since the federal government was failing to provide citizens with a safe and secure supply of medicinal marijuana, compassion societies and their growers fulfilled a critical service.

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34 CN BC: Compassion Clubs Can Grow PotTue, 03 Feb 2009
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)          Area:British Columbia Lines:34 Added:02/03/2009

Canwest News Service A B.C. Supreme Court justice has endorsed a recent Federal Court decision saying the national marijuana program is unconstitutional.

Justice Marvyn Koenigsberg gave Ottawa one year to fix the medical-marijuana access regulations so compassion clubs or producers can get together and run a common marijuana-growing operation.

The federal government restricts any licensed grower to supplying only one licensed user, and prohibits more than three growers from pooling resources.

Both those restrictions are unconstitutional, Koenigsberg ruled. Although she ruled the regulations are unconstitutional, she also found Mathew Beren of Victoria guilty of illegally trafficking and producing marijuana. But she gave him an absolute discharge.

A 35-year-old hydroponic-store owner, Beren was charged in 2004 after a raid on a research facility operated by the Vancouver Island Compassion Society.

[end]

35 CN BC: BC Supreme Court Rules in Favour of Medical MarijuanaTue, 03 Feb 2009
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Kieltyka, Matt Area:British Columbia Lines:60 Added:02/02/2009

Compassion clubs and other medical marijuana distributors should have restrictions on them lifted, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled on Monday.

To the delight of a packed courtroom in Vancouver, Justice Marvyn Koenigsberg said federal regulations that limit people's access to medicinal cannabis are "constitutionally invalid" and gave the government a year to amend the rules.

The current rules under the federal medical marijuana program limit a supplier from providing marijuana to more than one patient and restrict growers from sharing a common space.

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36 CN BC: Column: Pot Smokers Won't Get An Exemption From LawMon, 12 Jan 2009
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Mulgrew, Ian Area:British Columbia Lines:108 Added:01/12/2009

The B.C. Supreme Court has rejected complicated constitutional arguments that deficiencies in the medical marijuana regime and conflicting jurisprudence should invalidate the criminal drug law.

In an important, cogent 18-page judgment released Friday, Justice Austin Cullen quashed the suggestion that pot smokers should get an exemption from the criminal law because the medical marijuana scheme isn't working.

He acknowledged that the pot prohibition is constitutional only as long as medical need is accommodated: "There must be a constitutionally acceptable exemption from prosecution for seriously ill people with legitimate medical needs for the drug."

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37 CN BC: Medical Marijuana Grower To Go National?Fri, 26 Sep 2008
Source:Cowichan Valley Citizen (CN BC) Author:Mcculloch, Sandra Area:British Columbia Lines:96 Added:09/28/2008

Marijuana grown on Vancouver Island could soon be offering pain relief and other benefits to medical patients across Canada.

Horticulturist Eric Nash and his partner Wendy Little operate Island Harvest in the Cowichan Valley, which they say is Canada's first and only production facility of certified organic medical marijuana.

Their operation is licensed and approved by Health Canada, and they have been supplying two patients with marijuana who are registered with the Health Canada program authorizing use of the drug for certain medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord disease and cancer.

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38 CN BC: Island Pot Could Be Canada's SupplyFri, 19 Sep 2008
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:McCulloch, Sandra Area:British Columbia Lines:100 Added:09/19/2008

Cowichan Growers Apply for Contract to Be Major Supplier of Medical Marijuana

Marijuana grown on Vancouver Island could soon be offering pain relief and other benefits to medical patients across Canada.

Horticulturist Eric Nash and his partner Wendy Little operate Island Harvest in the Cowichan Valley, which they say is Canada's first and only production facility of certified organic medical marijuana.

Their operation is licensed and approved by Health Canada, and they have been supplying two patients with marijuana who are registered with the Health Canada program authorizing use of the drug for certain medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord disease and cancer.

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39 Web: Hot Off The 'Net and What YOU Can Do This WeekFri, 15 Aug 2008
Source:DrugSense Weekly (DSW)                 Lines:133 Added:08/15/2008



Conservatives should oppose federal prosecution of medical marijuana providers

By Jacob Sullum

http://www.reason.com/news/show/128062.html



http://thephoenix.com/Boston/Movies/66150-16-greatest-stoner-movies/



Norm Stamper is a cop who saw it all during his 34 years on active duty. As police of Seattle from 1994 through 2000, he was in charge during violent World Trade Organization protests in the Emerald City.

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40 CN BC: Column: Drug Laws Tested This Week In B.C. Supreme CourtMon, 28 Apr 2008
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Mulgrew, Ian Area:British Columbia Lines:131 Added:04/28/2008

Canada's drug prohibitions and the laws upholding them will be under attack in B.C. Supreme Court this week in two separate significant legal challenges.

In one court, the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users and the Portland Hotel Society are asking the senior trial bench to step in and prevent Ottawa from closing the supervised injection site.

They'll argue in part that the anti-drug laws shouldn't apply to heroin and cocaine addicts while they're seeking treatment and that Ottawa is overstepping its constitutional bounds by interfering in provincial health responsibilities.

[continues 728 words]

41 Web: Hot Off The 'Net and What YOU Can Do This WeekFri, 04 Apr 2008
Source:DrugSense Weekly (DSW)                 Lines:166 Added:04/04/2008



By Pete Guiter at Drugwarrant.com

http://blogs.salon.com/0002762/2008/03/31.html#a2777



The report below is a fascinating read from the Florida NGO Consultation. They did not invite drug policy reformers to participate in their forum, and the report below reflects their mindset. It was a completely different experience from the Vancouver NGO Consultation. (See http://carbc.ca/portals/0/resources/Beyond2008.pdf )

http://www.spcollege.edu/central/collaborative/08/DFAF/DFAF_RTR.HTM

[continues 649 words]

42 CN BC: Marijuana Prescriptions Getting Lost in SmokeSat, 22 Mar 2008
Source:Cowichan News Leader (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:97 Added:03/22/2008

Since the current incarnation of Canada's medical marijuana program was established, doctors have been forced by Health Canada to act as sentinels for a product whose complexities, methods of delivery and side effects they have little firsthand information.

It's a situation that leaves many physicians hesitant to sign their names to the documents required for patients to access government pot.

"Our No. 1 complaint is that patients can't find a doctor who will endorse their MMAD application," says Eric Nash of Duncan's Island Harvest.

[continues 519 words]

43 CN BC: Blowing SmokeWed, 27 Feb 2008
Source:Monday Magazine (CN BC) Author:Youmans, Jason Area:British Columbia Lines:439 Added:02/27/2008

When Victoria's Tim Wilkins realized his Health Canada licence to possess medical cannabis was set to expire last year, he diligently filled out the eight-page renewal form, paid $65 to obtain his physician's signature and submitted the package to Health Canada's Marihuana Medical Access Division in Ottawa on August 22-13 weeks before it was due.

"I'd dealt with [MMAD] for a few years, so I knew how long it could take," says Wilkins, who declined to let Monday publish his real last name, fearing the stigma still attached to medical cannabis use. On November 27 Wilkins' new license arrived-five weeks after the promised eight-week processing period had passed-and three days after the old one had already expired.

[continues 3327 words]

44 CN BC: Doubtful DoctorsWed, 27 Feb 2008
Source:Monday Magazine (CN BC) Author:Youmans, Jason Area:British Columbia Lines:101 Added:02/27/2008

Since the current incarnation of Canada's medical marijuana program was established, doctors have been forced by Health Canada to act as sentinel for a product whose complexities, methods of delivery and side effects they have little firsthand information-a situation that leaves many physicians hesitant to sign their names to the documents required for patients to access government pot.

"Our number one complaint is that patients can't find a doctor who will endorse their MMAD application," says Eric Nash of Duncan's Island Harvest.

[continues 558 words]

45 CN BC: Illusion of AccessWed, 27 Feb 2008
Source:Monday Magazine (CN BC) Author:Youmans, Jason Area:British Columbia Lines:75 Added:02/27/2008

It is only thanks to favourable decisions by a handful of committed lawyers and sympathetic judges that Canada boasts even the anaemic national medical cannabis program it has today.

The slow march toward establishing the rights of the sick to access therapeutic pot began in 1999 when a superior court judge recognized Ontario resident Jim Wakeford's right to grow and possess cannabis to treat symptoms of his HIV/AIDS without fear of legal recourse by the state. In response to that ruling, Health Canada declared it would henceforth allow clients meeting its vague criteria to receive an exemption to Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA).

[continues 375 words]

46 Canada: OPED: Eight Years of Reefer MadnessWed, 27 Feb 2008
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Preston, Brian Area:Canada Lines:147 Added:02/27/2008

Why Can't Ottawa Deliver a Sensible, Humane Medicinal-Marijuana Program?

Jim Kerr was making lunch one Friday afternoon last month when seven police officers burst in, put him up against the wall and handcuffed him.

"I have multiple sclerosis and grow marijuana for it," he told them.

"Shut up," said an officer. "You're not under arrest yet."

"The marijuana is upstairs in a room I keep locked when the kids are home," he said.

"Shut up," he was told again. From upstairs came the gleeful howls of policemen: "We got it! Bust him!"

[continues 984 words]

47 Web: Hot Off The 'Net and What YOU Can Do This WeekFri, 15 Feb 2008
Source:DrugSense Weekly (DSW)                 Lines:114 Added:02/15/2008



By Bill Conroy

Presented at the Narcosphere

http://narcosphere.narconews.com/story/2008/2/10/173039/177



By Paul Armentano, AlterNet. Posted February 12, 2008.

Changing public opinion about pot isn't easy. Changing America's anti- pot laws is even harder -- here's a blueprint to get it done.

http://alternet.org/drugreporter/76698/



Cultural Baggage Radio Show - 02/13/08 - Philippe Lucas

[continues 334 words]

48 CN BC: Plenty O' Pot NewsWed, 16 Jan 2008
Source:Monday Magazine (CN BC) Author:Youmans, Jason Area:British Columbia Lines:63 Added:01/16/2008

Lawyers for the Vancouver Island Compassion Society (VICS) will be back in court in February to defend the organization's constitutional right to distribute medical cannabis, despite the death of the judge who was presiding over the now two-year-old trial.

VICS defence lawyer Kirk Tousaw was informed by Madame Justice Marvyn Koenigsberg on Monday the case will continue next month from where it left off in November, before the fatal heart attack of Justice Robert Edwards.

VICS executive director Philippe Lucas says that's good new for his group, which has spent $200,000 defending Mike Swallow and Mat Beren against charges stemming from a 2004 police raid on a grow operation the group managed at an East Sooke property.

[continues 280 words]

49 CN BC: Decision Has Pot Growers Gearing UpMon, 14 Jan 2008
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Watts, Richard Area:British Columbia Lines:81 Added:01/14/2008

Owners Of Duncan Company Applaud Court Ruling, Await Appeal Decision

A Duncan company is gearing up to supply nearly 300 customers with medical marijuana in the wake of a Federal Court ruling striking down a key restriction on sales of the drug.

Island Harvest applauded the decision to declare unconstitutional a regulation that had prevented growers from selling marijuana to more than one patient.

Federal Court Judge Barry Strayer said the Health Canada policy violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

[continues 396 words]

50 CN BC: Judge's Death Puts Cases In JeopardyWed, 19 Dec 2007
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Watts, Richard Area:British Columbia Lines:54 Added:12/19/2007

Crown and defence lawyers are working to keep on track two long-running and ongoing Victoria cases temporarily delayed by the sudden death of a Supreme Court judge.

Conferences have been scheduled for January to make sure of continuations of the murder trial of Ruby Ann Ruffolo and the constitutional challenge to the marijuana charges levelled at two men arrested in a raid on a house used by the Vancouver Island Compassion Society as a grow operation.

Both cases were the responsibility of Justice Robert Edwards, who died suddenly on Nov. 5, at the age of 61. Those cases have been handed to Justice M. Marvyn Koenigsberg.

[continues 194 words]


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