In mid-February of this year,the Federal Court of Canada struck down the ban against licensed Medical Marijuana users who want to grow their own marijuana in the Allard v. Canada case.
The original legislation associated with the ban wascreated under the Conservative Government back in 2013, but in March 2016, Federal Court Judge Michael Phelan ruled that the currentMarihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations(MMPR) was an infringement of Section 7of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
This is a significant development for Canadian Criminal Law as the decision proved that the current system was failing medical marijuana users’accessibility to their medication. In the Allard case it was proven that letting them grow their own would prove to have no effect on public health and safety.
“We proved that growing medical cannabis can be perfectly safe, and can be done completely in compliance with the law and people ought to have a right to do that without fear of being arrested and locked in cages for that activity.” – Kirk Tousaw (Co-Counsel of Neil Allard)
According to the court document:
“This case concerns the access to marijuana for medical purposes by persons who are ill, including those who are suffering pain, and/or life threatening neurological conditions. Such persons also encompass those who are in the last stages of their life.”
Important things to note about the case include:
- The ruling only applied to about 28 000 Canadians holding the adequate licenses in place at the time of the court order.
- This means all medical marijuana users without full licenses will have to wait upwards of six months before they can start growing their own cannabis.
- A regulated system will be developed and put in placeby Prime Minister Trudeau.
- Trudeau could technically speed up the process if he removed Marijuana from “Schedule 2” of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
- The Federal Liberal government will be regulating and legalizing recreational marijuana use and will eventually be introducing legislation on this issue.
With this recent change to Canadian criminal law, Canadians will no longer have to worry about breaking the law or turning to the black market to get the affordable medicine that they need. They will be able to provide it freely for themselves, and for their community, both safely and legally.
According to Andrea Hill of the Globe and Mail, this decision has made history as one of the most remarkable grassroots entrepreneurial movements our country has recently seen. The decision is also thought by some to be a significant step towards the legalization of marijuana in the future.