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WIRE: Canadian court says government can’t prohibit patients’ right to grow cannabis

Vancouver, British Columbia: A federal court in Canada has ruled that government officials cannot prohibit physician-authorized patients from growing their own supply of medical cannabis.

The decision, Allard et al. v Her Majesty the Queen, strikes down regulations enacted in 2013 that sought to take away patients’ longstanding authority to grow personal use quantities of cannabis. The court opined that the regulations unduly infringed upon patients’ liberties and that they were “not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”

The ruling provides Parliament with six months to create new rules governing the regulation and distribution of medical cannabis in a manner that no longer requires patients to obtain medicine solely from federally licensed, private third party providers.

NORML Canada’s John Conroy served as lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the case, while NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano served as an expert witness and filed an affidavit in the case.

Canadian officials first legalized the physician authorized use, possession, and home cultivation of medical marijuana in 2001. Those regulations were significantly amended in 2013 in a manner that sought to prohibit qualified patients from continuing to receive cannabis from Health Canada or from growing it themselves.

Last year, newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to amend Canada’s marijuana laws in a manner that regulates the plant’s use and sale for all adults.

For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at: (202) 483-5500 or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.

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