The Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday announced it will hear a challenge to a Quebec law banning the cultivation of cannabis for personal use.
The high court’s decision will determine whether Quebec’s ban — adopted at the same time as the federal government’s coast-to-coast legalization of cannabis — is unconstitutional.
That is the argument maintained by Janick Murray-Hall in his case against Quebec’s attorney general. Under federal legislation, individuals can legally grow their own cannabis as long as they do not cultivate more than four plants.
A Quebec Superior Court judge upheld Murray-Hall’s challenge, but the province appealed that decision and won.
The legalization of cannabis was a key promise by the federal Liberals during the 2015 election campaign. However, the federal law was tempered by various provincial legislations, with Quebec and Manitoba deciding to impose a ban on cannabis cultivation for personal use.
The office of Quebec justice minister Simon Jolin-Barrette declined to comment on the appeal as it is still before the courts, but said “Quebec will always defend its jurisdiction. The law in question is to protect to health and safety of the population, in particular youth.”
Sign up to receive daily headline news from the Montreal Gazette, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.
By clicking on the sign up button you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300