Citing a recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling, a B.C. lawyer has asked a Federal Court judge to strike down limits on how much medical marijuana can be carried at one time and whether an individual's grow site can be relocated.
John Conroy is representing small-scale growers challenging the federal government's attempt to prevent them from cultivating their own pot and instead move to a regulated commercial system. Patients, or the producers they designate, are currently able to continue growing cannabis under the terms of a Federal Court injunction as they await a final decision.
Last week, Mr. Conroy filed a submission asking the court to expand the terms of that injunction, citing a separate decision at the Supreme Court last month related to edible cannabis products.
Mr. Conroy said the same rationale that led the top court to strike down Ottawa's ban on edible medical-marijuana products should apply to his request to allow his clients to move their grow sites and transport more than 150 grams at a time, the legal limit imposed under Health Canada's new medical-marijuana regime.
Mr. Conroy says even under the terms of the injunction, his clients are being forced "to choose between their liberty and health."
"They can't go out of town to work: if you're over a five-gram-a-day [prescription], what are you going to do?" Mr. Conroy said of his clients fighting the 150-gram limit. "You can only go away for a week."
Lawyers for the government have until July 8 to respond to how the ruling on edible marijuana should affect the ongoing Federal Court case, Mr. Conroy said.
Mr. Conroy's four plaintiffs are alleging that their Section 7 Charter rights were violated when the federal government enacted its new medical-marijuana regulations last year.
He says his clients can't afford marijuana under the new system, which also doesn't give them control over the specific strains they use, and is asking the court to force the government to allow patients to grow their own marijuana and possess not only dried buds, but also tinctures, sprays and edibles.
A decision in the case could come as early as this fall.
Correction: The headline on an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated B.C. marijuana growers were urging the Supreme Court of Canada to strike down transport limits. In fact, they asked a Federal Court judge.