Judge Rules B.C.’s Ban on Medical Cannabis Edibles and Topicals is Unconstitutional
A B.C. Court of Appeals judge has ruled that it’s unconstitutional to forbid licensed medical cannabis patients from possessing cannabis-infused products such as cookies and lotions. The judge has given Parliament one year to recraft regulations to allow the use of such products; this includes brownies, teas, lotions and oils.
Justice Risa Levine, in her written response to the ruling, said that the ban on medical cannabis edibles “is arbitrary and cannot be justified in a free and democratic society.” Levine says that when patients choose to use edible forms of cannabis over smoking the dried flower, it’s “a matter of necessity, or put another way, the restriction to dried marijuana interfered with their physical or psychological integrity.”
The ruling was made possible due to the case of Owen Smith, who was charged with cannabis trafficking for producing cannabis cookies and lotions, which he sold to a medical cannabis club in Victoria in 2009. Smith was acquitted in April 2012 after the B.C. Supreme Court ruled that the medical cannabis regulations that forbid infused products was unconstitutional.
Levine’s ruling means that Smith’s acquittal will stand, and he will not be retried.
Health Minister Rona Ambrose’s office said in a statement that it is “reviewing the decision in detail and considering our options.”