Medical pot cookie prohibition ruled unconstitutional
Court challenge stems from B.C. case of Owen Smith, who was charged with trafficking for baking pot cookies
Posted: Aug 14, 2014 10:42 AM PT Last Updated: Aug 14, 2014 10:43 AM PT
It’s unconstitutional to forbid licensed medical marijuana users from possessing pot-laced products such as cookies or body creams, a B.C. Court of Appeal judge rules.
Parliament has been told to recraft the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act to allow medicinal marijuana users to use products made from cannabis extract. They can include creams, salves, oils, brownies, cakes, cookies and chocolate bars.
The court challenge stems from the case of Owen Smith, who was charged with trafficking for baking pot cookies and producing topical cannabis creams for a medical marijuana club in Victoria in 2009.
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Smith was caught baking more than 200 pot cookies for the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club, and had a supply of cannabis-infused cooking oils and some dried dope in his apartment when he was arrested.
He was acquitted in April 2012 after the B.C. Supreme Court ruled the medical marijuana regulations were unconstitutional, because patients were denied access to edible pot products and derivatives.
Justice Robert Johnston concluded that permitting dried cannabis alone was arbitrary and did little to further a legitimate state interest.
Health Canada currently allows people suffering from debilitating illnesses to have access to dried-leaf marijuana for medical purposes.
They can get the marijuana through Health Canada-approved growers, or can get permission to grow it themselves.
Ottawa had hoped the B.C. Court of Appeal would strike down the B.C. Supreme Court decision.
Meanwhile, marijuana advocates argued many patients across Canada have been relying on using cannabis derivatives to treat serious medical problems.