Medical marijuana patients in Canada are now allowed to use edible cannabis products, according to the latest ruling from the country’s highest court.
On Thursday, Canada’s Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision calling the government’s regulations banning edible products from the medical marijuana program flawed and unconstitutional.
Seven justices collectively agreed that “inhaling marihuana (the archaic legal spelling) can present health risks and is less effective for some conditions than administration of cannabis derivative,” therefore, it is “difficult to understand why allowing patients to transform dried marihuana into baking oil would put them at greater risk than permitting them to smoke or vaporize dried marihuana.”
The ruling stems from a lack of evidence to substantiate claims made by the Crown over edible marijuana contributing to more health and public safety concerns than in its raw form, said the court. Not to mention they could find no connection between “the impugned restriction and attempts to curb the diversion of marihuana into the illegal market.”
Canada’s law against edible cannabis products is “of no force or effect,” and “the restriction is null and void.”
“It’s a great victory,” Jason Gratl, with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, told the Vancouver Sun. “It carries the potential to be a stepping stone to significant changes on other legal issues such as the threshold for triggering the right to liberty and their use of the word ‘non-trivial’ is important, too.”
The court’s momentous decision immediately takes the country’s medical marijuana program to the next level, allowing patients to start taking advantage of a variety of products (baked good, oils and salves) instead of relying only on raw cannabis.
This is especially important for children enrolled in the medical marijuana program. Now, youngsters can use more reasonable ingestion methods. Until today, their only options have been smoking or vaping.
The court said they would reject the Crown’s request to maintain prohibition on edibles pending a response from Parliament.
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