A veterans advocacy group is organizing legal action against Veterans Affairs Canada in the wake of changes to medical marijuana coverage for vets.
Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) used to cover the cost of up to 10 grams of cannabis per day for veterans, but after spending cuts were made last year VAC dropped the amount covered down to a mere 3 grams. Now, a veterans advocacy group called Veterans for Healing is preparing to sue the Canadian government for not living up to their responsibilities in caring for vets.
"We are asking for a declaration by the court that reducing from 10 grams to three grams is a violation of the government’s obligation to the veterans," David Lutz, the attorney representing Veterans for Healing told High Times. "We need to make a new law here."
He says Canadian veterans would like to see the government cover enough medical cannabis to eliminate the need for other, more dangerous prescription drugs.
The cost of providing medical marijuana to vets in Canada had recently reached $60 million per year. That makes it the VAC's highest drug coverage expense. Despite this, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Seamus O'Regan says the change was about science, not money.
"We still have a heck of a lot of research to do when it comes to cannabis use and how it affects PTSD and other mental-health conditions," O’Regan said.
But Lutz isn't content with that answer. He claims this will only mean that vets will be forced to take other, less desirable, drugs.
"The theme here is plants, not pills," Lutz said. "Medical marijuana has replaced every pill that these people were on before. I expect to be able to demonstrate that."