NEWS
03/21/2014 01:01 EDT | Updated 05/21/2014 05:59 EDT

Medical marijuana exemption ruling expected today

A Federal Court judge in Vancouver is expected to rule today on a last-minute reprieve for medical marijuana users who say they need to be able to grow their own pot at home.

Abbotsford, B.C., lawyer John Conroy is seeking an exemption to Health Canada's new laws for medical marijuana

On April 1, the new laws go into effect, ending the home production of medical marijuana. Instead, all those using medical marijuana will have to purchase it from large-scale commercial facilities that are being set up around the country.

Patients have voiced concern about the cost and the quality of the product they will be able to obtain under the new system.

Conroy is seeking an interim injunction for growers, alleging that Health Canada's pronouncements are a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Earlier this week, Conroy argued that the new rules create an intractable dilemma for patients.

"If the patient can't afford the medicine at the prices under the program that's being produced, then they're placed in a position where they have to choose between their liberty and their health," Conroy said.

As it stands, patients must destroy their plants before April 1 and send notification to Health Canada by April 30 stating that they've stopped production and destroyed their plants, or law enforcement will be notified.

The federal government argued in its statement of defence that grow-ops in houses lead to safety problems, such as fire hazards and mould.

The government also argued that home-based grow-ops put people at risk of home invasions — meaning attempted robberies like the one this past weekend at a licensed medical marijuana grow-op in Langley, B.C.

MORE:cbcNews