Pubdate: Fri, 12 Jun 2015
Source: Simcoe Reformer, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2015 Sun Media
Author: Kristy Brownlee
Page: A5
Referenced: Supreme Court Judgment (R. v. Smith):


Those entitled to marijuana for medical reasons can now have drug in 
edible forms, such as pot brownies

Munch away, medical pot users. The Supreme Court of Canada says those 
entitled to use marijuana for medical reasons can now have edible 
forms of the drug, such as pot brownies or cookies, not just dried 
leaf to smoke.

The law had limited licenced users to only using dried marijuana and 
any other form could lead to criminal charges.

Owen Smith was charged in 2009 with possession and trafficking 
marijuana while he was the head of the Cannabis Buyers Club of Canada.

Police seized 211 cannabis cookies and 26 jars of THC-laced massage 
oil and lip balm from his Victoria, B.C., apartment.

A B.C. judge acquitted Smith and the B. C. Court of Appeal also ruled 
in his favour, giving the federal government a year to change the law.

Smith argued the law violated the Charter of Rights and was 
unconstitutional for limiting the lawful possession of medical 
marijuana to just the dried variety. e top court agreed.

The decision, released Thursday, says the prohibition to dried forms 
"limits liberty and security" as defined in the charter.

"The evidence amply supports the trial judge's conclusions that 
inhaling marihuana can present health risks and that it is less 
effective for some conditions than administration of cannabis 
derivatives," the decision states.

Ronan Levy, a director of Ontario's Canadian Cannabis Clinics, said 
the ruling is good news for the medical marijuana community as they 
"should be able to use it in a way that works for (them)."

But Levy said he wished the scope had gone further to actually 
authorize producers to sell cannabis in other forms other than just 
the dried product. Health Minister Rona Ambrose said she's "outraged" 
by the ruling. Ambrose said the judges have called marijuana a 
medicine, but Health Canada hasn't approved it.

"There's only one authority in Canada that has the authority and 
expertise to make a drug into a medicine and that's Health Canada," 
Ambrose said at a press conference.

She made the comments after she announced more oversight for Canadian 
medical marijuana providers. They must now send quarterly patient 
prescription information reports to provincial and territorial 
licensing bodies to prevent misuse.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom