Should Nova Scotia Be Responsible for Medical Marijuana Costs?

The Nova Scotia government is facing a lawsuit by a couple claiming the province should pay for their equipment to produce medical marijuana because they’re too poor.

originally published on CBC News

Sam and his wife, Tanya, have disabilities and are on income assistance. They both have licences from Health Canada to grow marijuana for their own use and are allowed to keep a total of 25 plants.

But the Cumberland County couple say they don’t have the money to cover the lighting costs.

Sam told CBC News:

“We’re out of medication quite often. We can’t keep up on the amount that we need to grow.”

Sam and Tanya, both in their 40s, use marijuana to lessen their pain. He has glaucoma and a blood disorder, while she has debilitating injuries from a car crash.

They want the Nova Scotia Supreme Court to force the province to cover a one-time setup fee of $2,500 and $100 every three months for chemicals and supplies.

Sam says that according to a lawyer for the Department of Community Services, about $200,000 has already been spent fighting their request. He said:

“That just goes to show you that there’s something wrong with the system when they’re willing to spend that amount of money to stop two disabled people from getting their medication. It’s pathetic and sickening.”

The lawsuit is against Community Services, the cabinet minister responsible and the income assistance appeals board. Sam and Tanya also allege they’ve been discriminated against by the department since launching the suit.

They are representing themselves. Their next court date is in October.

Community Services did not return calls to CBC on Thursday.

Last year, a Halifax woman won her legal fight to have the province pay for her medical marijuana.

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