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last updated Sep 26, 2017 at 03:21 AM EDT

The Jane News


Posted: Jun 11, 2015

Source: The Globe and Mail

Medical Marijuana Edibles Legalized in Canada

In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada has given Medical Marijuana users the right to bake their medicine into edibles including lozenge form and topical oils.

The Canadian Federal court has stated that current laws limiting Medical Marijuana consumption to only smoking is arbitrary and runs counter to the government's stated objective of protecting health and safety.

The court said using marijuana in other forms than smoking it is “medically reasonable,” citing factual findings from the trial judge that smoking marijuana can be dangerous to the health of users, and that other forms of ingesting the drug are safer and more effective, according to both expert evidence and anecdotal reports of users.

The case involved Owen Smith of Victoria, who was working for $10 to $13 an hour for a medical “club” that sold marijuana to those who use it for medicinal purposes. In 2009, police, responding to a complaint about an offensive smell in an apartment unit, found 211 marijuana cookies and other products. Mr. Smith was charged with possession of marijuana and possession for the purpose of trafficking. The trial judge ruled that the law limiting medical users to smoking the dried form of cannabis violated their right to liberty. Two of three judges on the B.C. Court of Appeal agreed, and the federal government appealed.

The government argued that Canadians’ right to liberty protected by Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not mean the right “to obtain or produce drugs based on a subjective belief in their therapeutic value, irrespective of medical need or lawfully available alternative treatments.” It said the government has the right to create a regulatory scheme for medical marijuana users, limiting its use in ways that medical science deems to be safe and therapeutically effective.

Mr. Smith’s lawyers argued smoking is the most dangerous form of ingesting the drug, and that the federal law regulating the use of medical marijuana forces seriously ill people into more harmful and less effective ways of consuming the drug. As evidence, it called a variety of users who testified to the benefits of using topical oils, lozenges or cookies. (The company Mr. Smith worked for also produced dog biscuits for pets suffering from cancer.)

Tags: Medical marijuana, supreme court, edibles