Ontario Court of Appeal to rule on medical marijuana regulations

Toronto – On Friday, February 1st the Ontario Court of Appeal will issue its decision in R. v. Mernagh. The case considers whether the Medical Marihuana Access Regulations of Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act are unconstitutional because they deprive Mr. Mernagh of his right to access medical marijuana for his serious and debilitating illness.

The regulations permit an individual to legally access, possess and cultivate marijuana for medicinal purposes, provided the individual can obtain a medical declaration from a doctor. However, physicians are overwhelmingly refusing to participate in the program, making medical marijuana difficult or impossible to access for many people. 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 and argued that the regulations are an empty promise that have failed to live up to their name. They are unconstitutional because they do not provide genuine access to medical marijuana for patients. The BCCLA is represented by Ryan Dalziel and Emily Lapper of Bull, Housser and Tupper and Jessica Orkin of Sack Goldblatt Mitchell.

The BCCLA’s argument in the case is available here


 What:    Ontario Court of Appeal will deliver its decision in R. v. Mernagh

When:  Reasons for judgment will be delivered on Friday, February 1, 2013

Where:  Ontario Court of Appeal (Toronto, Ontario)

Who:     BCCLA representatives available for comment


Media Contacts

Ryan Dalziel, Lawyer for the BCCLA: (604) 641-4881; [email protected]

Grace Pastine, BCCLA Litigation Director: (778) 241-7183; [email protected]