VANCOUVER - The lawsuits challenging Ottawa's attempted overhaul of the medical marijuana system continue to pile up, meaning the government will be forced to defend the new regulations in multiple courts as patients across the country claim they have a charter right to grow their own pot.

Hundreds of people have filed lawsuits in recent months in various courts, arguing new regulations that took effect in April restricting marijuana production to licensed commercial growers are unconstitutional.

Most of those cases have been delayed until the results of an ongoing Federal Court case, expected to be heard in February of next year, challenging the new regime. The judge in that case issued an injunction allowing many patients to continue growing at home in the meantime.

But three patients in B.C. say their circumstances are too different to simply wait for the existing Federal Court case to play out. Even the injunction in the earlier case, they say, doesn't go far enough to meet their medical marijuana needs.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled the men's legal action can continue, even as the Federal Court hears similar arguments. The federal government had asked for the cases to be delayed.

"The plaintiffs are alleging that the medical marijuana laws interfere with their charter rights in a way that is deeply personal and which has grave impacts on their health," Judge Susan Griffin wrote in a decision posted to the court's website Tuesday.

Griffin said it would be "unjust" to make the three men wait for the Federal Court case, which involves different plaintiffs and a different set of facts.

In the Federal Court case, a group of patients are alleging the updated regulations prevent them from adequately accessing medicine they need, because pot prices were expected to be higher under the new system and patients won't be able to control the strains they consume.

A judge issued an injunction in March that said patients who were previously licensed to grow or possess marijuana under the old rules could continue to do so, though the judge said they could only possess dried marijuana and only 150 grams at a time. Both of those restrictions are contained in the new rules.

The federal government is appealing the injunction.

The B.C. Supreme Court case involves Kevin Garber, Philip Newmarch and Timothy Sproule, who all use marijuana to treat a variety of medical ailments.

Garber, who is also asthmatic, consumes marijuana tea, while Newmarch and Garber also say they prefer to consume marijuana in non-dried forms, such oils or resin.

Their lawsuits argue limiting patients to dried marijuana means they cannot consume it in the way that works best for them.

They also say the 150-gram possession limit means they cannot travel far from home without risking running out of their medical marijuana. They plan to argue the limit infringes on their mobility rights under the charter.

Their lawyer Kirk Tousaw, said he'll be asking for a temporary injunction to exempt his clients from the new rules until their cases are heard, which isn't likely to happen until some time next year.

"If a trial is a year or a year and a half down the line, all that time my clients are suffering, and that's not right," Tousaw said in an interview.

Last week, a Federal Court judge released a decision that affected more than 200 self-represented plaintiffs, many of whom filed statements of claim using a legal kit they downloaded from the Internet.

The judge put those cases on hold until after the existing case is finished, though patients who aren't covered by the earlier injunction will be permitted to ask for their own injunctions.

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  • 50: Snoop Lion

    <a href="http://www.esquire.com/features/what-ive-learned/snoop-dogg-0708" target="_blank">“It makes me feel the way I need to feel.”</a>

  • 49: Rick Steves

    <a href="http://www.laweekly.com/2012-04-12/art-books/rick-steves-pot-marijuana-advocate/" target="_blank">"I have used cannabis all over the world."</a>

  • 48: Oliver Stone

    <a href="http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/06/29/oliver-stone-marijuana-saved-me-from-becoming-a-beast-in-vietnam/" target="_blank">“I went to Vietnam, and I was there for a long time. [Using marijuana] made the difference between staying human or, as Michael Douglas said, becoming a beast.”</a>

  • 47: Rihanna

    <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2087637/Rihanna-smoking-weed-Hawaii-Singer-posts-cannabis-quote-Twitter.html" target="_blank">"Kush rolled, glass full... I prefer the better things!"</a>

  • 46: Hugh Hefner

    <a href="http://www.druglibrary.org/special/anderson/highinamerica8.htm" target="_blank">“Smoking helped put me in touch with the realm of the senses.”</a>

  • 45: Miley Cyrus

    <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2011/nov/28/news/la-heb-miley-cyrus-marijuana-health-20111128" target="_blank">"You know you're a stoner when your friends make you a Bob Marley cake."</a>

  • 44: Bryan Cranston

    <a href="http://business.highbeam.com/137462/article-1G1-266750728/bryan-cranston-breaking-bad-intriguing-drug-kingpin" target="_blank">"Pot always just made me sleepy.” </a>

  • 43: Robert Downey Jr

    <a href="http://www.nbcnewyork.com/entertainment/celebrity/Downey-Jr-Dishes-to-Rolling-Stone--92440874.html" target="_blank">“Robert Downey Jr. said he started smoking weed at age 8.”</a>

  • 42: Madonna

    <a href="http://www.vulture.com/2009/10/madonna_on_letterman.html" target="_blank">"It [my behavior on the show in 1994] wasn't because I was excited about you [David Letterman]. I think it may have had something to do with the joint I smoked before I came on."</a>

  • 41: Johnny Depp

    <a href="http://www.celebstoner.com/201201199489/celebstoners/top-celebstoners/johnny-depp.html" target="_blank">"I'm not a great pothead or anything like that… but weed is much, much less dangerous than alcohol."</a>

  • 40: Phil Jackson

    In 1975 he wrote “Maverick,” a memoir about his days playing in the NBA. Among other things, Jackson spoke frankly about marijuana use. -- <a href="http://www.salon.com/2001/05/29/jackson_16/" target="_blank">Salon</a>

  • 39: Sarah Palin

    <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/08/29/politics/politico/thecrypt/main4397109.shtml" target="_blank">"I can't claim a Bill Clinton and say that I never inhaled.”</a>

  • 38: Justin Bieber

    "Bieber both confirmed that he'd been caught smoking weed and apologized for it." -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/10/justin-bieber-apologizes-smoking-weed_n_2657314.html" target="_blank">Huffington Post</a>

  • 37: Maya Angelou

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Angelou-Blooms-BioCritiques-Cindy-Dyson/dp/0791061779" target="_blank">“Angelou settled into a job as a waitress and began smoking marijuana with abandon.”</a>

  • 36: Lincoln Chafee

    <a href="http://news.providencejournal.com/politics/2012/03/chafee-declines-to-state-views-on-marijuana-decriminalizationreadynens-to-h.html" target="_blank">"In 1999, then-Warwick Mayor Lincoln D. Chafee won accolades for his honesty in acknowledging he used marijuana and cocaine as a 1970s student at Brown University."</a>

  • 35: Matt Damon

    <a href="http://weedquotes.blogspot.com/2011/05/matt-damon-weed-quotes.html" target="_blank">“The first time I smoked was at home with my mother and step-father.”</a>

  • 34: Conan O'Brien

    <a href="http://www.pinkisthenewblog.com/2010-11-05/conan-obrien-talks-to-playboy-magazine" target="_blank">“I’ve tried pot, but it doesn’t do much for me.”</a>

  • 33: Susan Sarandon

    <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/1992-08-30/entertainment/ca-8213_1_susan-sarandon/2" target="_blank">"Cocaine didn't interest me. Not at all. I'm way way back in the early pot…"</a>

  • 32: Andrew Sullivan

    <a href="http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/brainiac/2009/09/sullivan_avoids_pot_charges.html" target="_blank">"The blogger and commentator Andrew Sullivan was busted in July for possessing a small amount of marijuana within the Cape Cod National Seashore."</a>

  • 31: John Hickenlooper

    <a href="http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v07/n997/a08.html?1263" target="_blank">"As I've already been open about in the past -- and as I assume many would expect -- I made personal choices when I was younger that I neither support nor condone for others and certainly wouldn't encourage through public policy."</a>

  • 30: Seth MacFarlane

    <a href="http://www.starpulse.com/news/index.php/2008/07/03/seth_macfarlane_swears_off_marijuana" target="_blank">"I don't smoke much pot anymore."</a>

  • 29: Martha Stewart

    <a href="http://laist.com/2013/06/21/martha_stewart_of_course_i_know_how.php" target="_blank">"Of course I know how to roll a joint."</a>

  • 28: Angelina Jolie

    <a href="http://www.metro.co.uk/showbiz/66340-angelina-jolies-reefer-madness" target="_blank">“… the one that has the worst effect for me was pot. I felt silly and giggly - I hate feeling like that.”</a>

  • 27: Morgan Freeman

    <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2003/apr/21/artsfeatures" target="_blank">"Never give up the ganja."</a>

  • 26: David Letterman

    <a href="http://www.cannabisculture.com/node/9795" target="_blank">“I went through one period when I smoked a surprising, a really breath-taking, amount of grass almost every night.”</a>

  • 25: Jennifer Aniston

    <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-71729/I-enjoy-cannabis-says-Jen.html#ixzz24Cka4lW5" target="_blank">“I enjoy it once in a while. There is nothing wrong with that. Everything in moderation. I wouldn't call myself a pot-head.”</a>

  • 24: Michael Phelps

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nick-graham/michael-phelps-bong-pictu_b_162842.html" target="_blank">“[Phelps] firmly denies that he takes drugs, suggesting that the notorious photo of him smoking from a bong was a one-time lapse of judgment.”</a>

  • 23: Tom Brokaw

    <a href="http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/brokaw-on-politics-pot_b17951" target="_blank">“…what I did was experiment with a little marijuana like a lot of other people and walked away…”</a>

  • 22: Ted Turner

    <a href="http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/2606.html" target="_blank">"CNN anchor Gwen Scott claimed it is common knowledge that Turner sits in his office and smokes marijuana."</a>

  • 21: Brad Pitt

    <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2091647/Brad-Pitt-quit-smoking-marijuana-turned-doughnut.html#ixzz24BzxWK00" target="_blank">“I was hiding out from the celebrity thing, I was smoking way too much [marijuana].”</a>

  • 20: Lady Gaga

    <a href="http://content.usatoday.com/communities/entertainment/post/2011/02/lady-gaga-i-smoke-a-lot-of-pot-when-i-write-music-/1#.T143xczXEfI" target="_blank">"I smoke a lot of pot when I write music."</a>

  • 19: Michael Bloomberg

    <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/10/nyregion/bloomberg-says-he-regrets-marijuana-remarks.html" target="_blank">"You bet I did. And I enjoyed it.''</a>

  • 18: George Clooney

    <a href="http://www.theweedblog.com/ten-celebrity-potheads-that-might-surprise-you/" target="_blank">“The owner of a local cannabis café told reporters George Clooney was no stranger there.”</a>

  • 17: Rush Limbaugh

    <a href="http://www.chronicle.su/news/rush-limbaugh-endorses-marijuana/" target="_blank">"I wouldn’t have been able to make it through hundreds of shows if it weren’t for the benefits of medical marijuana"</a>

  • 16: LeBron James

    <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4350557" target="_blank">“James also revealed he and his teammates smoked marijuana one night after getting access to a hotel room in Akron.”</a>

  • 15: Sanjay Gupta

    <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/08/health/gupta-changed-mind-marijuana/index.html?hpt=hp_c4" target="_blank">"I have tried it."</a>

  • 14: Rand Paul

    <a href="http://www.gq.com/blogs/the-q/2010/08/gq-exclusive-rand-pauls-crazy-college-days-hint-theres-a-secret-society-involved.html" target="_blank">"According to this woman, who requested anonymity because of her current job as a clinical psychologist, "He and Randy came to my house, they knocked on my door, and then they blindfolded me, tied me up, and put me in their car. They took me to their apartment and tried to force me to take bong hits. They'd been smoking pot."</a>

  • 13: Andrew Cuomo

    <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/attorney-general-andrew-cuomo-smoked-pot-younger-years-illegal-drugs-article-1.178948" target="_blank">"I did experiment with marijuana when I was a youth."</a>

  • 12: George W. Bush

    <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/20/politics/20talk.html" target="_blank">"I wouldn't answer the marijuana questions. You know why? Because I don't want some little kid doing what I tried."</a>

  • 11: Bill Gates

    <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Gates-Microsofts-Reinvented-Industry-Himself/dp/0671880748" target="_blank">“As for drugs – well, Gates was certainly not unusual there. Marijuana was the pharmaceutical of choice…”</a>

  • 10: Bill Maher

    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FLKkxPu2hfA#!" target="_blank">"Look, I have never made a secret of the fact that I have tried marijuana... About 50,000 times."</a>

  • 9: George Soros

    <a href="http://www.reuters.com/" target="_blank">"He said he had tried marijuana, enjoyed it, 'but it did not become a habit and I have not tasted it in many years.'"</a>

  • 8: John Kerry

    <a href="http://www.ontheissues.org/2004/John_Kerry_Drugs.htm" target="_blank">"Yes." [In response to the question: "Which of you are ready to admit to having used marijuana in the past?"]</a>

  • 7: Jay Z

    <a href="http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2009/09/feature-time-to-build/" target="_blank">"I smoked some weed, and that’s how I finished ‘Izzo.’"</a>

  • 6: Jon Stewart

    <a href="http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-august-5-2008/seth-rogen" target="_blank">“Do you know how many movies I wrote when I was high?”</a>

  • 5: Stephen Colbert

    <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/tgoodman/2006/01/" target="_blank">"First, [in high school], I smoked a lot of pot...and that’s how I got to know the people ‘half in’ the society of my high school and we waved at each other over the bong. Then I got to know people by making jokes.”</a>

  • 4: Clarence Thomas

    <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1991/07/11/us/thomas-smoked-marijuana-but-retains-bush-support.html" target="_blank">"The White House said today that Judge Clarence Thomas, President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, had smoked marijuana while in college."</a>

  • 3: Bill Clinton

    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpBzQI_7ez8" target="_blank">"I experimented with marijuana a time or two."</a>

  • 2: Oprah Winfrey

    <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/oprah-admits-smoked-marijuana-1982-hear-better-article-1.1428915" target="_blank">"To kick things off, [television show host Andy Cohen] asked the last time Winfrey had smoked marijuana. 'Uh … 1982,' Winfrey replied. 'Let's hang out after the show,' Cohen joked. 'Okay,' Winfrey laughed. 'I hear it's gotten better.'"</a>

  • 1: Barack Obama

    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpBzQI_7ez8" target="_blank">"When I was a kid, I inhaled frequently. That was the point."</a>