HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Group Going To Court For Medical Pot
Pubdate: Thu, 23 May 2002
Source: Kitchener-Waterloo Record (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 Kitchener-Waterloo Record
Author: Frank Etherington
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


KITCHENER -- A Kitchener woman, who is allowed to smoke marijuana for 
medical reasons, is one of nine Canadians who will launch a civil 
lawsuit this week against the federal government in an effort to ease 
access to pot.

To be announced at a Queen's Park press conference tomorrow, the 
lawsuit will demand in Ontario's Superior Court of Justice that 
Catherine Devries, 44, of Kitchener, and other Canadians who have 
legal exemptions to smoke pot be given access to experimental 
marijuana crops grown by Health Canada.

Medicinal cannabis users from Burlington, Hamilton, Toronto and 
elsewhere in Canada along with several doctors will speak at the 

The conference was organized at Queen's Park because users are too 
sick to travel to Ottawa. In the lawsuit, Toronto lawyers Alan Young 
and Leora Shemesh will also ask judges to rule that pot laws are 

Devries, who suffers painful spine and bowel conditions, said 
yesterday the federal government has created the appearance that it 
has changed laws to help about 200 sick Canadians get access to 

"The Liberal government should stop the double talk and admit they're 
conning the public. . . . They say marijuana is available (but) they 
have no intention of providing it for medical reasons. They have been 
growing crops in Flin Flon for two years, but now they don't want to 
dispense or distribute it."

Devries, who buys marijuana from Kitchener dealers or from compassion 
clubs in Toronto and London, said Ottawa should distribute cannabis 
through pharmacies the same way other narcotics are dispensed.

Shemesh said she and Young will argue marijuana legislation is 
unconstitutional because medicinal users of marijuana can't comply 
with a complex law that is difficult to understand.

She said doctors who are willing to prescribe marijuana to users have 
been warned by medical insurers they won't be covered if they do 
anything to provide cannabis.
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