A Federal Court judge on Wednesday struck down legislation introduced by the Harper government that barred patients from growing their own plants and required them to buy from licensed producers.
Judge Michael Phelan ruled that medical marijuana patients have the right to grow their own cannabis, adding that patients have demonstrated that marijuana can be produced safely, with limited risk to public safety and consistent with the promotion of public health.
Phelan suspended the decision to strike down the law for six months, so the federal Liberal government would have time to create a new medical marijuana regime.
In addition, Phelan extended the injunction that allowed people who held licenses to grow their own cannabis to continue until a further court order.
The constitutional challenge against the 2013 Marijuana for Medical Purposes legislation, legislation that Phelan described as “arbitrary,” was launched by four B.C. residents who argued it violated their charter rights.
The lawyer for the plaintiffs, Kirk Tousaw, says the Trudeau government should move immediately to protect medical pot growers.
“Secondly, the justice minister should discontinue all existing prosecutions against medical cannabis producers, dispensaries, and patients,” Tousaw said in an interview with the Canadian Press. “There’s no reason to be prosecuting these people, there’s no reason to be jailing these people.”