Access to marijuana edibles is a constitutional right protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. For sick people with a doctor’s note and a licence to possess, of course.
Today (August 14) a B.C. Court of Appeal judge ruled that a ban on cannabis-infused products such as “tasty cookies”, according to the written decision, is in violation of section seven of the charter, which guarantees Canadians’ right to life, liberty, and security of the person.
Parliament has been instructed to amend the Conservatives’ new Marihuana Medical Purposes Regulation (MMPR) to remedy the situation.
The MMPR, which came into effect on April 1, permits the sale and purchase of cannabis via mail order, but only if the drug is distributed in a dried form. (The rule was never actually enforced in Vancouver, where now more than 45 storefront dispensaries continue to sell edibles.)
The case concerned Owen Smith, who was arrested in 2009 when he was caught baking more than 200 pot cookies and other marijuana-laced products for a club in Victoria.
“The restriction to dried marijuana in the MMARs [Marihuana] breached the s. 7 rights of individuals who have been issued an Authorization to Possess ('ATP') marijuana under the Regulations but require other forms of cannabis to treat symptoms of serious illness,” the decision reads. “The provision is arbitrary and cannot be justified in a free and democratic society.”
The judgement could change the rules on medicinal marijuana for the more than 16,500 British Columbians who hold federal licences to possess.