Medical Marijuana

Canada's Supreme Court Outrages Bureaucrat by Letting Patients Have Their Cannabis and Eat It Too

Justices unanimously reject a rule restricting medical options to dried marijuana.

|

Health Canada

Last year legislators in Minnesota and New York approved medical marijuana laws that will let patients eat cannabis but not smoke it. Across the border in Canada, meanwhile, the government has decreed that patients may smoke cannabis but not eat it. Sounds pretty arbitary, doesn't it? The Supreme Court of Canada agrees. Yesterday it unanimously overturned federal regulations that say dried buds are the only form of cannabis patients can legally use.

"We conclude that the prohibition of non-dried forms of medical marihuana limits liberty and security of the person in a manner that is arbitrary and hence is not in accord with the principles of fundamental justice," the court's decision says. "It limits the liberty of medical users by foreclosing reasonable medical choices through the threat of criminal prosecution….By forcing a person to choose between a legal but inadequate treatment and an illegal but more effective one, the law also infringes security of the person."

The case involved Owen Smith, a baker for the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club who was arrested in 2009 after police caught him with marijuana cookies, extracts, massage oils, and lip balms intended for patients. "I'm proud and really happy today for all those people who are going to benefit from this ruling," Smith said at a press conference. As the Canadian Press reports, those people include patients with severe epilepsy who can benefit from low-THC, high-CBD cannabis extracts that will no longer be treated as contraband:

The outpouring of gratitude since the ruling was handed down has been overwhelming, said Smith. He received a phone call from a mother who used cannabis-infused oil to treat her daughter's epilepsy.

"She was just overjoyed and in tears about the decision," he said. "It's been emotional, that's for sure."…

Cheryl Rose, whose daughter Hayley takes cannabis for a severe form of epilepsy, said the 22-year-old's seizures have dropped dramatically.

Under the previous law, Hayley had to take 15 capsules of dried cannabis daily. Now, she will only have to take one concentrated capsule made with oil.

"Without having extracts available for her, I don't think we'd be able to keep it up. It's way too much for a person to consume," she said. "She's finally going to fully have her life back."

Alex Repetski, of Thornhill, Ont., could have been charged with possession and trafficking for converting dried bud into oil for his three-year-old daughter, Gwenevere, whose debilitating epilepsy has left her developmentally delayed.

Since starting on the low-THC marijuana, Gwenevere has seen an incredible recovery, Repetski said. He no longer fears prosecution.

Health Minister Rona Ambrose sounds decidedly less pleased. "Frankly, I'm outraged by the Supreme Court," she said. "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."

[Thanks to Franklin Carter for the tip.]

NEXT: House Votes to Slam Some Surveillance 'Back Doors' Shut

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Just let everybody do whatever they want with cannabis. There, problem solved, how hard was that?

    1. Someone might do something I don’t like with it. And “something happening which I don’t like” is an unholy abomination which must be stopped at all costs.

      /every bureaucrat ever

  2. In America, we would close this court-opened loophole by putting all forms of cannabis back under prohibition.

  3. Hey, Rona, y’know, if it saves the lives of one child, it would be worth it. Right?

  4. “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.”

    That’s some fine collectivism, eh?

    1. They offered the Canadians ORDER!

    2. I found that comment horrific, and quite telling about her worldview. She quite literally sees her agency as above Canada’s Supreme Court which implies that she sees it as above the rule of law in general. Pretty fucking scary.

    3. “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 Rufus J. Firefly.”

  5. Health Canada’s expertise should be in question after it determined smoking marijuana was better than eating it…

  6. Petty tyrants are so cute when they’re mad.

  7. The Conservative government is losing at the supreme court a lot. Our charter is not as robust as the US bill of rights/constitution [well, on paper at least], but it is useful.

    So of course there are a large number of conservatives whining about ‘democracy’ and ‘legislating from the bench’ bullshit. There is a notwithstanding clause [the FYTW rule] that could be used to overrule the court, but no one, except the separatists in Quebec, has ever used it.

    It was a democratic government that brought the charter in, to protect us from government. Maybe take a look at the charter before making laws.

  8. “”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.””

    LOGIC IS WEAK!! BUREAUCRACY STRONG!! POWER TRUMP REASON

  9. This chick looks like the Jen Barkley character form Parks & Rec. Seems like the same personality, too.

  10. My best friend’s step-mother makes $85 hourly on the computer . She has been fired from work for nine months but last month her pay check was $17089 just working on the computer for a few hours. see it here
    LINK HERE?????? http://www.BuzzReport20.com

  11. We conclude that the prohibition of non-dried forms of medical marihuana

    What’s the with all the qualifying?

  12. Tar, feathers, Rona Ambrose, woodchipper, hyperbole, 3 qts of baby oil… some assembly required.

  13. Health Minister Rona Ambrose sounds decidedly less pleased. “Frankly, I’m outraged by the Supreme Court,” she said. “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.”

    This is exactly the sort of arrogance that deserves to be smacked down. Congratulations to any Canadian reading this!

  14. Hey Rona, (and CSIS, CSEC, RCMP)

    You’re from Edmonton, aren’t you? Been an awful lot of construction going on around there for the past couple of decades.

    I’m sure there is a fine selection of woodchippers around.

    Smooches!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.