The federal government has lost another round in a legal battle over whether medical marijuana users can continue to grow their own pot in their homes.
The Federal Court of Appeal today rejected the government’s appeal of a March 21 court injunction that has temporarily allowed previously authorized medical marijuana patients to continue growing their own, or have pot grown for them, despite new federal regulations that outlawed home grows as of April.
A full trial on the constitutional challenge lodged by various medical marijuana patients is slated to begin Feb. 23 now that the court injunction has been upheld, Abbotsford lawyer John Conroy said.
The appeal ruling also requires the court to clarify the status of some patients who were left out of the injunction because their authorizations weren’t valid at the time it was issued.
Conroy said he’s optimistic about the trial but isn’t reading too much into the latest ruling, which keeps a continued legal cloud over the new federal system of medical pot being provided only through licensed commercial producers.
“It is an indication that a judge looked at the facts and decided if we did not have an injunction people would suffer irreparable harm,” Conroy said. “But the trial judge gets to revisit the whole situation.”
An estimated 11,500 B.C. medical marijuana grow operations were legally being run by or on behalf of federally licensed users when the injunction was granted last March.
Other legal actions are also pending on behalf of medical marijuana users, including one that seeks a court order that medical marijuana users are entitled to obtain their cannabis in the form of oil or other extracts, not just the dried bud that is the only form allowed under the new mail-order production system.
VIDEO: Just the Facts – Medical Marijuana in Canada (via BC Daily Buzz)