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Local activist hails marijuana ruling

By Martin Allen  [1]

BELLEVILLE – A local marijuana activist is hailing a Federal Court judge’s ruling on medicinal marijuana.

Deborah Middleton of Belleville’s own BMA Hydroponics says the decision to allow medical users to grow their own marijuana is a step in the right direction.

Judge Michael Phelan ruled Wednesday that the previous federal government’s Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations legislation is null and void. He said the restrictions didn’t accomplish what the law was intended to; improving public safety.

The MMPR restricted marijuana growing to licensed producers only, making it a serious crime to grow your own supply. Middleton says this put many people in a criminal position.

“The system that had been in place, which dealt with licensed producers, was unfair to the medical community,” she said. “As far as supplying cannabis, it put most of it way out of reach of most people who are on disability and pensions.”

“It forced them to go back to the black market or grow it illegally for themselves,” she said.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government campaigned in 2015 on a platform that included marijuana legalization and regulation. The ruling gives the Liberal-majority federal government six months to change the laws.

Middleton hopes the coming legalization will differentiate between medicinal and recreational.

“Even though legalization is coming that is for recreational, not medicinal. It’s very important the medical be kept separate because there are many people who are under the MMPR system.”

Middleton hopes laws will be in place to cover the purchase of medical marijuana by insurance.