This Thursday, the highest court in British Columbia voted 2-1 on the infringement of charter rights with regards to the restriction of medical marijuana access.
After an appeal from Owen Smith, a man charged in 2009 with possession of THC and dried marijuana, the BC Appeal Court was successfully convinced that MMAR (Marihuana Medical Access Regulations) were unconstitutional as they failed to allow people with medical needs the ability to possess cannabis in other forms aside from dried plant material.
An employee of the Cannabis Buyers Club of Canada (CBCC), Smith was arrested in 2009 whilst he was cooking pot medicine. While he has no medical marijuana needs of his own, he has extensive knowledge turning dried marijuana into manufactured products such as oils, cookies, gel capsules and ointments safely.
One patient witness suffering from chronic pain following a car accident testified that while she had been authorized to use dried marijuana, she found cannabis products to be more effective for the treatment of pain relief, dizziness and nausea than prescription drugs. Smith fervently supports patient’s rights to consume marijuana in other forms, arguing that it is fundamental that they have a right to choose what form of ingestion works best for their condition.
The judge consequently removed the words “dried” and amended the definition of “dried marijuana” in the regulations to correct what is now being deemed as an “unconstitutional restriction.” It can be expected that this case will help support others of a similar nature in the near future.
The Appeal Court has suspended its judgment for a year to amend the regulations in order to allow the inclusion of cannabis extract in edibles such as baked goods, oils, teas, creams and salves and ensure that the decision is constitutional.
You can find the full BC Court of Appeal Ruling here.
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