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R. v. Mernagh

This case concerns the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (“MMAR”). The Ontario Superior Court of Justice determined that the MMAR sections of Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act that bar marijuana possession and cultivation are unconstitutional because they deprive Mr. Mernagh of his right to access medical marihuana for his serious and debilitating illness. Canadian courts have repeatedly found that failing to provide patients genuine access to medical marijuana is unconstitutional.

The BCCLA is an intervener in this case. The BCCLA argues that the MMAR exception is illusory and operates erratically as it does not result in access to medical marijuana for all Canadians. This is because its availability depends entirely upon the judgment of an individual’s doctor. As a result, the BCCLA argues that section 7 of the Charter has been violated. The BCCLA submits that in the absence of a medical exemption, section 7 of Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act which criminalizes marijuana possession and cultivation, should be declared constitutionally invalid and of no force and effect.

The BCCLA is represented by Ryan Dalziel and Emily Lapper of Bull, Housser and Tupper and Jessica Orkin of Sack Goldblatt Mitchell.