Nova Scotia Ordered to Pay for Medicinal Marijuana

Excerpts from the article: Province Ordered to Pay for Medical Pot
by Richard Foot.
Vancouver Sun April 9, 2010.

Advocates of medical marijuana are hailing a landmark Nova Scotia court ruling, hoping it leads the way to taxpayer-funded pot supplies for low-income patients across Canada.

Last week, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court ordered the province to pick up the tab for the medical marijuana smoked by Sally Campbell, a chronically ill woman on welfare.

Until now, no province has covered the cost of doctor-prescribed marijuana for people on social assistance, according to a cross-Canada survey by the Nova Scotia government.

“This is a new and developing area of law. I’m not aware of any precedent in this area,” says Kirk Tousaw, a Vancouver Island lawyer who represents people seeking licences for the medical use of marijuana.

Tousaw says the Nova Scotia ruling may not immediately or directly influence the law in other provinces. However, “it does represent a court saying that this particular drug deserves to be financially covered in certain circumstances,” he says.

“I think it’s a very positive development, and I think the ruling is going to benefit people in other provinces who are seeking to make similar claims.”

Campbell suffers from chronic hepatitis C and fibromyalgia, and has a licence from Health Canada to use marijuana to alleviate her symptoms.

The court ruled that since Parliament has made marijuana legal for medical purposes, and since the drug is “essential” for Campbell’s quality of life, its costs should be covered by the province in the same way prescription drugs are covered for people on income assistance.

Read the whole article here.

Nova Scotia government isn’t so happy with the situation and may appeal. This article gives their side of the story and sparked some interesting comments, I liked this one in particular:

I am licensed by the Government of Canada to grow medical marijuana. Many of the people our grower’s collective grow for have had no choice but to use very addictive prescribed drugs like fentanyl, oxy’s, morphine and anti-convulsive medication. With cannabis, they have been either able to get off the opiates et al all together, or at least substantially reduce the levels. Now I ask all you naysayers: What would you prefer the government pay for? A harmless plant, or synthetic opiates? Keep in mind that opiate abuse and addiction is one of the largest problems facing our country’s youth right now. – Cheryl9608

You can find more comments here and get involved in the conversation as well.

Van Isle Medical Marijuana

Medical Benefits of Marijuana

  • Relieves chronic pain from a variety of causes and reduces the need for addictive narcotic pain killers.
  • Increases appetite, relieves nausea and vomiting, reduces pain and helps patients sleep while undergoing chemotherapy.
  • Improves appetite, may reduce pain and helps HIV patients sleep.
  • May reduce brain and lung tumors and slow the growth of cancer, may stop breast cancer from spreading throughout the body.