Canadian medical marijuana patients have won the right to grown their own bud in a landmark court ruling released Wednesday.
Federal Judge Michael Phelan has ruled in favor of four British Columbia residents, declaring the country’s medical marijuana regime, known as the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, unconstitutional. This means that the federal law passed by the Conservative government of Stephen Harper has no force and effect.
The judge ordered the ruling suspended for six months, giving the Liberals, who campaigned on legalizing and regulating pot, time to revise the legislation. In the meantime, the judge has upheld a previous injunction that allows patients to continue growing their own cannabis.
Introduced by Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, the “Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations” came into force in 2013. It required that patients buy their pot from a government regulated and licensed producer, rather than growing their own or purchasing it from a dispensary.
Doctors serve as the gatekeepers to this system, but lack of guidance from Health Canada has made those willing to prescribe pot few and far between.