Superior Court Judge Overturns Homegrown Cannabis Ban – LPC

Quebec Superior Court overturns province's homegrown cannabis ban.A Quebec Superior Court Judge has ruled that the province’s homegrown cannabis ban is unconstitutional. That means residents are now free to cultivate up to four cannabis plants at home, the federal maximum. Judge Manon Lavoie said that the homegrown cannabis ban infringed on the jurisdiction of the federal government. It has sole responsibility for legislating criminal matters.

Lawyer Julien Fortier brought the matter to court on behalf of his client, Janick Murray Hall. “As a Quebec citizen, I subscribe to the idea that it’s better to control cannabis by allowing it to be grown at home,” Fortier said.

A homegrown cannabis ban drives people to the black market, he said. “The entire idea behind the legalization of cannabis was that the government wanted to remove the production of this plant from organized crime,” Fortier said. “If you allow people to cultivate this plant themselves, that purpose would be achieved.”

However, he cautions anyone in Quebec from growing immediately. The province has 30 days to file an appeal – something Fortier expects they’ll do. They could ask to have the homegrown cannabis ban remain in place during that time. In fact, as of morning Sept. 4, the Quebec website still states that growing or even possessing a cannabis plant is illegal.

“I don’t think the Quebec government will do nothing and let it slide,” he said.

Quebec’s History of Tighter Cannabis Restrictions – LPC

A homegrown cannabis ban in Quebec is not surprising. Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) won the Quebec election on October 1, 2018 – just 18 days before cannabis was legalized in Canada. Party leader François Legault said during the election that he would raise the legal age to 21 from 18, which hasn’t happened yet. That would make it the highest age of consumption in Canada. The province did enact a cannabis edibles and cannabis topicals ban.

However, Quebec implemented a homegrown cannabis before the CAQ took power, citing health and safety issues for children. Even then, legal minds wondered if provincial criminal charges would hold up in court.

In other words, the battle for the homegrown cannabis ban is not over in Quebec. “We’re looking forward to the fight,” Fortier said.

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