A Windsor marijuana advocate is praising the Canadian government's recent changes to laws surrounding medical marijuana.
Health Canada announced on Thursday that Canadians who have been prescribed medical marijuana can now grow limited amounts for personal use, or designate someone to grow it for them. Those looking to grow their own medical marijuana will require authorization from a doctor.
Jon Liedtke, the co-owner of Higher Limits in Windsor and director of the Canadian Cannabis Confederation, says it's a great step in the right direction.
"Any time the government comes forward with expanded access to medical cannabis, it's a positive thing," he says.
Medical marijuana users will also continue to have the option to purchase cannabis from one of 34 producers licensed by Health Canada.
"I think it's also smart to make sure to look at this like it's a battle won, but there's still a war to be had in terms of ensuring the government doesn't go back on what they've talked about," says Liedtke.
The Liberal government announced in April that it plans to introduce legislation legalizing marijuana in the spring of 2017. However, dispensaries and compassion clubs that hand out marijuana are still considered illegal operations.
Liedtke says in the future, he would like to see more flexibility from the government on the dispensaries, as well as legislation that protects the rights of cannabis users.
"There are whole industries that will develop around this. We need to make sure the legislation that's brought forward isn't a continued prohibitionary model, but rather one that will allow for personal freedoms and individual liberties, [as well as] economic growth," he says.
The change to the medical marijuana regulations are a response to a federal court decision earlier this year that found the ban on patients growing medical marijuana to be a violation of their constitutional rights.
The new medical marijuana regulations will come into effect on August 24.
-With files from the Canadian Press