It’s been a big year for marijuana in the news, but the latest headlines are coming from our neighbors to the north, rather than from here in the USA. Beginning immediately, the country has passed complete legalization of marijuana in any form for medical use as prescribed by a doctor. Although it took an order from the country’s highest court to cause Canada to completely legalize cannabis, the decision handed down on June 11, 2015, is a definite landmark in victories for medical marijuana legalization globally.
Dried medical marijuana has been legal to smoke in Canada since another court case declared a ban on medicinal use to be contrary to Canada’s constitution. Ever since then, doctors in Canada had the freedom to prescribe medical marijuana to patients, based on guidelines created by the country’s national health system.
Prior to this landmark court decision, cannabis oil was not legal for medical use in Canada. As a result, even those with prescriptions could not purchase or consume marijuana edibles. Possessing and selling the products was also illegal, even for those who had licenses to own and operate legal medical marijuana dispensaries.
It was the arrest of one such dispensary owner that actually prompted the case that the High Court ruled on earlier this June. In 2009, Owen Smith was arrested for possession of 200 cannabis cookies, and 26 jars of liquid cannabis in British Columbia. Ever since then, his lawyer has been fighting to have his conviction reversed, and now it finally has been.
Those who have supported the full legalization of marijuana for medicinal use in Canada are naturally thrilled with the court’s decision. People who are unable to use a vaporizer pen or smoke cannabis will now have a way of taking the drug, in order to address medical problems like seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, and to ease the pain of diseases like cancer. To see how a vaporizer pen looks and work, click here.
Still, not everyone is pleased with the court’s ruling. The Health Minister, Rona Ambrose, blasted the court, saying that Health Canada, the country’s national health system, should be the only ones who decide what should and shouldn’t be legal medical treatment in Canada. She stated that the edibles industry is not regulated properly, and that because edibles are more potent than dry herbs, there could be serious consequences to their legalization.
Proponents of edibles legalization argue that legalization actually gives the government the opportunity to work with dispensaries and suppliers to regulate the production and sale more closely.
While Canada is light years ahead of the U.S. in their views on medical marijuana, the ruling of Canada’s High Court is still encouraging news about marijuana for U.S. residents, who hope to one day see America also fully legalize cannabis for medical use.