Medical marijuana users can now possess the drug in forms other than dried leaves

Pot brownies, tea okay for approved users: court

Judge's ruling widens authorized medical possession of marijuana beyond just dried leaves

Medical marijuana users can legally eat pot brownies or drink THC tea rather than just smoke the drug, B.C. Supreme Court has ruled.

Justice Robert Johnston found Health Canada’s Medical Marijuana Access Regulations unreasonably limited users to possessing only the dried form of pot.

The judge ruled users should be able to choose “how to ingest the medicinal ingredients in the safest and most effective manner” and that the rules are unconstitutional.

The decision is part of a marijuana trafficking case against Victoria man Owen Smith, the hired baker of the Cannabis Buyers’ Club of Canada, who turned marijuana into cookies, oils, capsules and ointments for the club’s 3,700 members.

Defence lawyers argued the dried-only rule forces people to smoke to get the medical benefit, adding that’s more unhealthy than eating it or applying it topically.

The court heard evidence that orally consumed marijuana may deliver the therapeutic benefit more directly for gastrointestinal conditions and that oral ingestion prolongs the effects, which is important for those with chronic pain or glaucoma.

Crown prosecutors argued the rule allowing medical users possession of dried pot only helps police or regulators easily determine if a user is exceeding the possession limit, which would be more complex if a user instead had marijuana cookies or cannabis butter.

“I conclude that this restriction is arbitrary,” Johnston ruled. “I am not prepared to infer that it is necessary to restrict medical marijuana to its dried form in order to make enforcement of the drug laws possible.”

The decision was a ruling on part of the evidence in the case against Smith, which is still slated to go to trial because he may have provided pot products to non-authorized users.

It’s not clear whether the ruling will take effect immediately or if Crown will appeal.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kent council votes 4-1 in favour of Teacup properties development

Coun. Kerstin Schwichtenberg was the only ‘no’ in difficult vote

MP Vis advocates for faster internet in rural communities

Less than 45 per cent of rural households in Canada have high-speed internet

Peace on the water

Harrison Lake was rather serene recently with the lack of usual traffic… Continue reading

UPDATE: Police oversight agency investigating after shots fired Saturday night in Chilliwack neighbourhood

RCMP reported a ‘distraught male’ fired at police officers on Christina Drive – IIO is on scene Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Most Read