Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled that the nation’s ban on the medical use and distribution of cannabis-infused products such as edibles and oils is illegal, rendering it “null and void”. The ruling was unanimous.
According to the ruling, Canada’s law restricting medical cannabis use to only dried cannabis flowers, prohibiting the use of any cannabis-infused medicines, violates citizens’ rights “in a manner that is arbitrary and hence is not in accord with the principles of fundamental justice.” Thus, Sections 4 and 5 of the Controlled Substances Act, which prohibits possession and distribution of cannabis-infused products, has been rendered “null and void”.
The Supreme Court ruling upholds an earlier opinion by a B.C. court.
“The evidence amply supports the trial judge’s conclusions on the benefits of alternative forms of marihuana treatment,” the court said in the ruling. “There are cases where alternative forms of cannabis will be ‘reasonably required’ for the treatment of serious illnesses. In our view, in those circumstances, the criminalization of access to the treatment in question infringes liberty and security of the person.”
Government officials were none too happy about the decision.
“Frankly, I’m outraged by the Supreme Court,” said Minister of Health Rona Ambrose. “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.”
Though the Supreme Court agreed with the previous court’s ruling, they did decide overturn a decision to allow Parliament time to rewrite Canada’s medical cannabis law to include all forms of cannabis, saying it would “leave patients without lawful medical treatment.”