Ottawa, Ontario, Canada — The Canadian Supreme Court ruled Thursday that medicinal marijuana is legal in all its forms, overturning a provision in the country’s law that only allowed patients to use the substance in its dried form.
According to Canada’s highest court, the provision that obstructs the patients’ access to other forms of medicinal marijuana violates their right to security and liberty “in a manner that is arbitrary and hence is not in accord with the principles of fundamental justice.”
The supreme court ruling now renders Sections 4 and 5 of the country’s Controlled Drug and Substances Act null and void.
The case stemmed from the arrest of a pot baker for the Victoria Cannabis Club back in 2009, who was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and possession for the purpose of trafficking. Cookies, lip balms, massage oils, and other liquids were found in the possession of pot baker Owen Smith during his arrest.
Smith argued during his trial that the law he was found in violation of was unconstitutional, asserting that the provision contradicts Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of Canada, which promises ‘the right to life, liberty and security of the person’.
British Columbia lower courts and appeal courts agreed with Smith and acquitted him, which prompted the federal government to take his case up to the country’s highest court.
David-George Oldham, founder of The ARC, which is an association of activists, chemists, doctors, and cannabis patients, told:
“It’s a positive — it’s a great thing for patients … and people who need extracts who can’t smoke their cannabis or don’t even want to in the first place.”
“Imagine smoking seven grams of cannabis when you’re having a migraine so bad that just moving your fingers is excruciating pain.”
“Taking a [cannabis] pill is a lot more sensible and having pills stocked in my cupboard makes a lot more sense than having just raw cannabis out and about in my house.”
Meanwhile, Canadian Health Minister Rona Ambrose said she was ‘outraged’ by the Supreme Court’s decision. She told:
“Frankly, I’m outraged by the Supreme Court.”
“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.”
“Marijuana has never gone through the regulatory approval process at Health Canada, which of course, requires a rigorous safety review and clinical trials with scientific evidence.”
The Health Minister added, however, that the Supreme Court’s ruling will not impede their efforts in their fight against marijuana. She said:
“We will continue to combat it. We will continue our anti-drug strategy, we will target youth with the message that marijuana pot is bad for them,” the minister said. “We’ll continue to work with medical authorities across the country to make sure they’re involved in the message.”
Source: Trinh Theresaon the CBC News website: Medical marijuana legal in all forms, Supreme Court rules