Federal court ruled on Wednesday that medical marijuana patients have the constitutional right to grow their own cannabis. The decision strikes down a ban introduced by the country’s previous conservative government which forces patients to buy cannabis from licensed producers.
The decision have been suspended for six month to give the government time to appeal the case provided by a group of British Columbia residents in 2013, when the government overhauled its medical marijuana program, as reported by The Guardian.
The residents argued that the law banning medical marijuana patients from growing their own pot was unconstitutional. They said that the marijuana grown under government system was too expensive and did not allow them to control the strains and dosages of their treatment, due to the fact they could not always afford it.
The Canadian government’s response was that its mail-order system was safer for both, the patient and other Canadians, who could be exposed to security risks like fire and others from unsafe home grow-ops, according to Straight.
In his ruling, federal court judge Michael Phelan said that those restrictions imposed by the Marihuana for Medical Purposes law were considered arbitrary.
The decision also stated that the lawyers representing the federal government failed to prove the possibility of patient-produced marijuana being diverted into criminal organization as a concern that outweighs the benefits from the patient’s own growing.
“The access restrictions did not prove to reduce risk to health and safety or to improve access to marihuana, the purported objectives of the regulation,” said the federal judge.
The decision to appeal the ruling now is in the hands of Canadian government, as they have time to come up with other argument to stop the patients from growing their own cannabis.
Medical marijuana producers share plunged after ruling
The controversial decision affected directly the medical marijuana business on Wednesday. Their shares showed a significant decline after the word got out that their customers would be able to obtain their doses from their own cannabis.
Licensed enterprises like Canopy Growth had a plunge in their shares from 10.79 percent to C$2.81. OrganiGram Holding went from 9.88 percent to 73 Canadian cents and Aphria Inc also dropped from 12.4 percent to C$1.13.