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Kamloops  

Kamloops compassion club puts up fight

It's the first day in what may be a long legal journey for the owner-operator of a Kamloops compassion club.

Carl Anderson and his business partner Wesley Jenkins are each facing a single charge of drug trafficking after RCMP busted their club in 2011.

Anderson plans to launch a constitutional challenge to the federal law banning such non-profit clubs from selling unsanctioned medicinal marijuana, saying the current regime violates patients' charter rights.

More than 37,000 Canadians are authorized to possess marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Patients with a prescription used to be able to grow their own pot, designate another grower or buy it from Health Canada, but many "compassion clubs" opened across the country to provide pot to medical users.

Beginning April 1, medicinal marijuana users will no longer have to buy pot from Health Canada's one approved supplier, but will be restricted to buying from a list of approved growers.

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