Dying man allowed to smoke pot in Quebec hospital

Terminal cancer patient Charles Bury smokes marijuana in his room at CHUS hospital in Quebec....

Terminal cancer patient Charles Bury smokes marijuana in his room at CHUS hospital in Quebec. (TVA/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:09 PM ET

SHERBROOKE, Que. — A patient with terminal cancer is smoking marijuana in his hospital room in Quebec's Eastern Townships in a case that politicians are watching closely.

Quebec's health minister tells QMI Agency that he wants to see what the CHUS hospital does about Charles Bury's pot consumption before deciding whether or not to take action.

Medicinal marijuana is legal in Canada, and Bury's doctor allowed him to smoke the drug, but the hospital has not sanctioned the move.

Bury inhales the marijuana through a vapour machine as he waits for a place in a residence where he can spent his final days.

Though it's legal to consume marijuana with a doctor's note, the drug is not on the CHUS hospital's list of products that can be prescribed to patients.

Bury, a longtime columnist and editor at the Sherbrooke Record, one of Quebec's two English-language daily newspapers, has long argued for the widespread legalization of marijuana in Canada.

He says it's time for the government to clear up the grey zone.

"I think it's important that everyone has the opportunity to make his own choice, as I'm now doing for myself," he said.

Quebec Health Minister Rejean Hebert said he will monitor the situation.

"The CHUS in Sherbrooke is the first institution that has faced this situation," said the minister.

"Currently, it's tolerated. Does it need to be regulated? Is there a place for a ... policy on the issue? Recent events are pushing us to think about it."


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