Canada: 222 Plaintiffs Sue in Federal Courts for Right to Grow Marijuana


Español Harnessing the powers of the internet, more than 200 plaintiffs in Canada have downloaded a “legal kit” to file suit in federal court for the right to grow marijuana. Many of the plaintiffs used a how-to guide created by Ontario-based pot activist John Turmel. Turmel himself is one of the plaintiffs.

Parties are self-represented, and are specifically suing on the grounds that federal marijuana laws are unconstitutional. Plaintiffs include “previously authorized patients whose licences expired too early to be covered by the injunction; patients who believe possession limits imposed by the injunction are too strict; and some who want to use marijuana for other reasons, including “preventative medicine” or for “self actualization,” according to CBC News.

A judge has placed most of the cases on hold, anticipating a decision next year about Ottawa’s marijuana production laws. New regulations, effective April 1, allowed only licensed commercial growers the legal right. However, an injunction in March ensured that patients who were growing it for medical reasons would still be authorized.

Judge Michael Phelan warned that “many [of the lawsuits] suffer from a paucity of information,” and also noted that “vague generality and hyperbole are not always of assistance.” He encouraged plaintiffs to “consider whether [suing] will advance their particular interest.”

Turmel is one of the more enthusiastic plaintiffs, however, and has uploaded a 51-page document to his website arguing that old and new laws alike are unconstitutional. Plaintiffs of all levels of involvement complain that new laws will negatively affect the access, affordability, and variety of marijuana that they can buy.

Source: CBC News Canada.

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