The Liberal government has six months to change the rules around growing medical marijuana after a Federal Court judge ruled Wednesday that regulations preventing users from growing their own are invalid.
The Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, introduced three years ago by the Conservative government, require patients to buy cannabis from licensed producers.
Government lawyers argued that the regulations kept patients safe, while the lawyer representing four B.C. residents said the legislation denied patients affordable access to medicine.
The Liberals have committed to regulating and legalizing recreational marijuana but have said little about their plans for medical marijuana since being elected.
Should medical marijuana users have the right to grow their own?
Readers let us know in the latest CBC Forum — a live, hosted discussion about topics of national interest.
(Please note that user names are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the user name to see the full comment in the blog format.)
Some readers objected to the court's ruling:
"No, they should not be allowed to make their own product. Product safety and quality should be solely processed through strict regulatory authorities (Health Canada, drug authority, etc.) — JS
However, a large majority of commenters were in favour, often comparing marijuana to legal plants and legal mood-altering substances:
"Anyone over the age of 19 should be able to grow it and use it legally. Why treat it differently than growing tomatoes or onions? It's a natural plant. If folks can make their own beer and wine, then why not grow their own marijuana?" — Johnny B
"I find it ridiculous I can grow sage, rosemary, thyme, even deadly poison nightshade in my garden, but I cannot grow cannabis." — World community
Several people said they were concerned about the smells and moulds possible because of home growing...
And others responded to those concerns.
"I have noticed many of the comments are concerning black mould. This is obviously a problem when a house is turned into a greenhouse for cannabis or tomatoes, etc. There is a huge difference between growing a couple of plants versus literally filling a house with plants." — PrarieDog
"Bake it into brownies or whatever. Nobody ever got an unwanted second-hand high from baked goods." — ThinkOrThwim
Some shared their personal stories about their use of medical marijuana.
"It is absolutely possible to grow anything at your own home safely. My wife has been off of pharmaceutical drugs for months now, and now that her cannabis-derived medication won't be covered, we are forced to pay almost $800 per month when we could grow and process our own. We need to have at least the opportunity to save money to benefit our health however we see fit. Compassion clubs are too expensive and dealers are sketchy. Give us a real choice!" —Jason W
"As someone who had brain surgery and finds marijuana the only way to cope with side-effects, I say people absolutely should be able to grow their own marijuana, if done responsibly. My obligation isn't to support the burgeoning marijuana industry; it's to take care of myself. I've had my licence several years and had no problem producing quality marijuana at less than 1/10th of what the big new companies charge. I've done so with none of my neighbours being aware."— APotPatient
You can read the complete conversation below.