Cannabis court rolls on

May 22, 2007

, BC News Group

Eight days of hearings on a medical marijuana case in the B.C. Supreme Court ended May 18 with plans for several more days in court in June and August.

“It looks like it’s going to take a little longer than anyone anticipated,” says Philippe Lucas, the executive director of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society. “So far it’s gone really well,” he says. “It’s taken three years to get here. We want to get our evidence in.”

The charges stem from 2004 when West Shore RCMP busted a marijuana grow operation that supplied the VICS, an organization that provides medical marijuana to sick people. The VICS case rests on the fact it was providing a safe supply of cannabis at a time when the federal government’s own medical marijuana program was failing.

AG scratches program

While Philippe Lucas and the Vancouver Island Compassion Society battle the federal government in court, Vancouver East MP Libby Davies has learned auditor general Sheila Fraser is looking at Health Canada’s medical marijuana program.

“We are in the early stages of an audit of certain user fees,” Fraser told Davies in a May 16 letter.

Fraser won’t be ordering a full audit for the program, at least not yet, but Lucas says, “You can’t really scratch very deeply . . . without realizing it’s a disappointing and frustrating scam for chronically ill Canadians.”

Scamming people out of their smokable medicine? Now that’s sick.

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