|Photo: Bristol County District Attorney’s Office|
The government of Nova Scotia is facing a lawsuit by a couple who say the Canadian province should pay for their equipment to grow medical marijuana because they’re too poor.
Sam and his wife, Tanya, have disabilities and are on income assistance, reports CBC News. They both have medical marijuana licenses from Health Canada, and are allowed to grow a total of 25 plants.
But the couple said they don’t have enough money to buy the lights.
“We’re out of medication quite often,” Sam said. “We can’t keep up on the amount that we need to grow.”
Sam asked that his last name not be used, because he fears his grow operation could be targeted by thieves.
Sam and Tanya, both in their 40s, use marijuana medicinally. He has glaucoma and a blood disorder, and she has debilitating injuries from a car crash.
They are asking the Nova Scotia Supreme Court to force the province to pay them a one-time setup fee of $2,500, then $100 every three months for nutrients and supplies.
About $200,000 has already been spent by the province fighting their request, according to a lawyer from the Department of Community Services, Sam 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,” Sam said. “It’s pathetic and sickening.”
The couple’s lawsuit is against Community Services, the cabinet member responsible and the income assistance appeals board. Sam and Tanya also allege they’ve been discriminated against by the department since initiating the lawsuit.
They are representing themselves; their next court date is scheduled for October.
Last year, Sally Campbell, a Halifax, Nova Scotia woman, won her legal battle to have the province pay for her medical marijuana.
A court ruled that it wasn’t up to the Community Services department to decide if the benefits of medical marijuana have been proven, and ordered it to start paying for Campbell’s cannabis.