The Supreme Court upholds decision to deny public funding for marijuana growing equipment


Judge upholds decision to deny public funding for marijuana growing equipment
AMHERST— The Canadian Press
Published Monday, Oct. 31, 2011 2:45PM EDT
Last updated Monday, Oct. 31, 2011 2:50PM EDT
The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia has upheld a provincial decision to deny a man public funding for equipment to grow medical marijuana.

Sam Riley went to the court to challenge a decision of the Assistance Appeal Board, which found the equipment was not a “special need” under provincial regulations.

The board had also determined that his use of marijuana did not qualify for funding as a “special need” through the Department of Community Services.
Judge Cindy Bourgeois, who heard the case in Amherst this month, dismissed Mr. Riley's application to the court.

Ms. Bourgeois ruled that the board did not err in its interpretation of regulations governing such funding requests.

She also noted that Mr. Riley did not provide proof that he has a licence to produce medical marijuana from Health Canada, as required by law.

“Although medical equipment and supplies certainly can fall within the definition of ‘special need,' it would be unreasonable to interpret the regulations in such a way that coverage of growing equipment could fall within that definition, if the very product being grown had not received the same designation,” the judge wrote in her decision released Monday.

“It would, in my view, be contrary to public policy for the Department of Community Services to provide funding either for the purchasing or manufacturing of marijuana, unless an applicant can establish that Health Canada has issued an appropriate licence.”

Mr. Riley says he needs medical marijuana to cope with a number of health conditions, which weren't specified in the decision.


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