Canadian government ordered to pay for couple’s marijuana

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The Canadian flag, with a cannabis leaf in place of the usual maple

A Canadian appeals court has told Nova Scotia's Community Services Department that it must help fund a cannabis garden owned by two of its needy medical marijuana users. The aggrieved couple, who have permission to grow up to twenty-five medical marijuana plants in their backyard, are already on assistance and can only afford to grow six marijuana plants on their current income. The Nova Scotia government will have to pay a one-time assistance fee of $2,500 to start the garden growing, and then a yearly sum of about $400 for gardening supplies.

"When I don't smoke marijuana, I have so much pain that I don't want to get out of bed. I have no energy; I don't want to do nothing," the wife in the couple told CBC News. She was injured in a car accident, and her husband suffers from glaucoma, both of which qualify them to grow legal North of the Border weed. The Canadian government approved a medical-marijuana bill in July 2000.

The appeals court stated in its ruling that the couple's need for marijuana was indeed real and that the government must subsidize their garden's growth, reasoning that it was cheaper than paying another licensed grower to handle the load. The Nova Scotian Community Services Department is considering its next legal steps, according to a spokeswoman. For both parties involved in the decision, $2,500 is a lot of green.