More MS news articles for March 2001

Canada News Briefs

Extracted from:

TORONTO (AP) - An Ontario man dying of AIDS says there's no point giving him the right to use marijuana unless he has access to a safe supply.

And until the government ensures that access, his caregivers should have the right to supply him with pot without fear of prosecution, Jim Wakeford's lawyer told the Ontario Court of Appeal on Friday.

"We've asked to court to order the government to take all necessary steps to establish a supply and, in the interim, exempt his caregivers so he can still acquire assistance," said Alan Young.

"The ultimate goal is that Canada will supply (marijuana) to sick people, but we have to go in increments," said Young, who accused Ottawa of playing a "cat-and-mouse game" with the issue.

Wakeford, 56, has already won his constitutional arguments that he has the right to possess and grow marijuana to help him cope with the symptoms of advanced AIDS and the side effects of other drugs he needs.

But he says obstacles to obtaining his supply infringe on his constitutional rights. Two people who helped him get marijuana have been prosecuted, he noted.

Like Wakeford, about 170 Canadians are now legally allowed to smoke or grow pot as a medicine for illnesses such as AIDS and multiple sclerosis.