Medical marijuana user relieved he can still grow at home
Terry Perkins says without recent court decision, he wouldn't be able to afford his medicine
A medical marijuana user near Florenceville says he's relieved a ban on being able to grow his own pot at home has been temporarily halted by a federal court decision.
Terry Perkins, 63, says he suffers from chronic pain from a back injury and rheumatoid arthritis.
Marijuana has helped him cope, but he says he wouldn't be able to afford his medicine under new rules slated to take effect on April 1, which required him to get supplied by a licensed grower.
"Under this program that they brought forward, my cost is $20,500 a year," said Perkins, who lives on his Canada Pension of $332 a month, plus his wife's paycheque.
"And I have to buy something from one of these cropper grow-ops that I'm not sure what they're using to grow it with or what the strain is."
For the past six years, Perkins has grown his own marijuana in his garden, with Health Canada's approval.
But the new rules would end the home production of medical marijuana.
Instead, the roughly 40,000 Canadians with an authorization to possess medical marijuana would have to purchase it from large-scale commercial facilities that are being set up around the country.
Last Friday, a federal court judge in Vancouver granted an injunction, allowing those who have a personal production licence to grow medical marijuana to continue for now, pending the outcome of a trial to be held at a later date.
The court will weigh the constitutionality of the federal legislation.
"Come April the first, you don't worry about having a visit from the RCMP, or are you going to have to lie to Health Canada, or are you going to have to destroy your medicine," said Perkins.
Marijuana is the only effective treatment he has found, he said.
"Tried pharmaceutical drugs and I can't take codeine. I can't take morphine. So I started using marijuana to fight the side effects of the prescription drugs. And after a while, I wondered why I was taking the prescription drugs."
"We didn’t think that we would have to fight our own government for our own health. But this is what it looks like we got to do."