Finally, our cousins in the Great White North can rejoice, as the nation’s highest court has ruled that the nation’s medical marijuana patients can take their marijuana in whichever form they choose. This opens the door to legal edibles, teas and so forth, whereas before patients could only ingest the substance as dry leaves.
CBC News reports:
Medical marijuana patients will now be able to consume marijuana — and not just smoke it — as well as use other extracts and derivatives, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled today. The unanimous ruling against the federal government expands the definition of medical marijuana beyond the “dried” form.
The country’s highest court found the current restriction to dried marijuana violates the right to liberty and security “in a manner that is arbitrary and hence is not in accord with the principles of fundamental justice.”
Restricting medical access to marijuana to a dried form has now been declared “null and void” — Sections 4 and 5 of the Controlled Drug and Substances Act, which prohibits possession and trafficking of non-dried forms of cannabis, will no longer be in effect.
Of course, Canada’s federal government isn’t pleased.
“Frankly, I’m outraged by the Supreme Court,” said Health Minister Rona Ambrose. “Let’s remember, there’s only one authority in Canada that has the authority and the expertise to make a drug into a medicine and that’s Health Canada,” she said during a press conference.
Maybe chill out and chew on some recently legalized brownies, Rona.
The entire case was set into motion with the 2009 arrest of Owen Smith, a baker for the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club who was arrested delivering edibles to the club’s customers and charged with trafficking. He immediately appealed on the grounds that Canadian laws couldn’t prevent him from ingesting medically prescribed marijuana in the method of his choosing. Fighting his way up the lower courts of British Columbia, the Supreme Court of Canada finally agreed to hear the case.
The ruling represents a major victory for medical marijuana patients in Canada and could prove to be another stepping stone down the path of legalization. Just remember to puff, puff, pass, America’s Hat!