A Court of Québec judge stayed trafficking charges laid in February 2000 against two Montréal men in conjunction with the operation of a medical marijuana compassion club. The judge determined that it would be unjust to allow the criminal procedure to continue. Section 5 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) unjustifiably infringed the accuseds' Charter rights to life, liberty, and security of the person (section 7) by prohibiting the distribution of marijuana for medical purposes when no legal source or supply existed at the time.
In October 1999, the Ontario Court of Appeal heard an appeal in the case of R v Parker. Terry Parker was charged in 1996, after a police raid on his home in which the marijuana plants he was growing to ensure a supply in order to control his epileptic seizures were confiscated.
The Alaskan lupin, Lupinus nootkatensis, has become a contentious issue in Iceland, where it was introduced earlier this century for the stabilization of soil erosion. Controversy stems from its ability to spread like a weed, especially in areas where there is no grazing. However, the plant also seems to have clear medicinal properties, and may be especially useful in addition to conventional cancer treatment.
This paper is the first of a series of publications on Slavic ethnomedicine in the Soviet Far East. Field studies were carried out among Russian and Ukrainian residents of the Sukhodol Valley in Primorye, USSR. Primorye is the southernmost region of the Soviet Far East and the extreme southeastern area of the Soviet Union. The region is interesting because of its nature, climate and rich flora. Informants have shown broad knowledge of pharmacological properties of wild and cultivated plants of the area. The study has recorded 93 plants in 41 families. The use of six species had not been described before.
Plant-derived drugs have an important place in both traditional and modern medicine. For this reason a special effort to maintain the great diversity of plant species would undoubtedly help to alleviate human suffering in the long term. Proven agroindustrial technologies should be applied to the cultivation and processing of medicinal plants and the manufacture of herbal medicines.
On 7 October 2003, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision in Hitzig, which found that the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) represented an unconstitutional barrier to accessing a legal supply of marijuana for persons with a recognized medical need. The Court of Appeal tailored its remedial order by striking down the second specialist test required for certain applicants, and eliminating the unconstitutional eligibility and supply provisions, rather than declaring unconstitutional the entire MMAR as the lower court had done. The court's declaration was made effective immediately, in order to maintain the prohibition for non-medicinal possession of marijuana under section 4 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), and to constitutionalize the medical exemption for marijuana possession created under the MMAR.
As previously reported, in a May 1999 decision in Wakeford v Canada, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted an HIV-positive man an "interim constitutional exemption" from the provisions in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act that make it an offence to possess or to produce or cultivate marijuana.
Due to the location of Russia between West and East, Russian phytotherapy has accumulated and adopted approaches that originated in European and Asian traditional medicine. Phytotherapy is an official and separate branch of medicine in Russia; thus, herbal medicinal preparations are considered official medicaments. The aim of the present review is to summarize and critically appraise data concerning plants used in Russian medicine. This review describes the history of herbal medicine in Russia, the current situation and the pharmacological effects of specific plants in the Russian Pharmacopoeia that are not included in the European Pharmacopoeia.
Based on the State Pharmacopoeia of the USSR (11(th) edition), we selected plant species that have not yet been adopted in Western and Central Europe (e.g., selected for inclusion in the European Pharmacopoeia) and systematically searched the scientific literature for data using library catalogs, the online service E-library.ru, and databases such as Medline/Pubmed, Scopus, and the Web of Science regarding species, effectiveness, pharmacological effects, and safety.
The Russian Federation follows the State Pharmacopoeia of the USSR (11(th) edition), which contains 83 individual plant monographs. Fifty-one of these plants are also found in the European Pharmacopoeia and have been well studied, but 32 plants are found only in the Pharmacopoeia of the USSR. Many articles about these medicinal plants were never translated in English, and much of the information collected by Russian scientists has never been made available to the international community. Such knowledge can be applied in future studies aimed at a safe, evidence-based use of traditional Russian medicinal plants in European and global phytopharmacotherapy as well as for the discovery of novel leads for drug development.
The review highlights the therapeutic potential of these Russian phytopharmaceuticals but also highlights cases where concern has been raised about product safety and tolerability, which would aid in supporting their safe use.