US & Canada

All forms of medical marijuana are legal, Canadian court rules

Canadian Supreme Court Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Canadians eligible for medical marijuana can now have pot cookies and tea

Medical marijuana patients in Canada can legally use all forms of the drug, the Canadian Supreme Court has ruled.

Medical marijuana patients will now be able to consume marijuana, not only smoke it.

Cannabis oil is now permitted instead of only "dried" marijuana, meaning people can bake it into food products.

The case began in 2009 when a baker from the Cannabis Buyers Club of Canada was charged with trafficking and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Former head baker of the club Owen Smith was caught baking 200 pot cookies, CBC reports.

A British Columbia judge acquitted Mr Smith and gave Canada's government a year to change laws around extracting marijuana. The case then wound up in the Supreme Court.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Canada has had a complicated legal journey with marijuana

Restricting people to dried marijuana for medical purposes has been declared "null and void" by the court.

Now, Canadians who qualify to use medical marijuana can have products like cannabis-infused cookies and tea.

Medical marijuana is used for medical ailments such as Crohn's disease, seizures, HIV and nausea. In Canada, physicians decide who is eligible to use it.

The court ruled that prohibiting possession of non-dried forms of marijuana is "contrary to the principles of fundamental justice because they are arbitrary; the effects of the prohibition contradict the objective of protecting health and safety".

In the US, a patchwork of laws across states govern marijuana use.

Washington state is currently collecting data on the cost benefits of legalisation.

Colorado, which has some of the most relaxed marijuana laws in the US, operates marijuana stores that sell marijuana, cannabis seeds and edibles, and has seen great financial gain over its legalisation, making $50 million (£32 million) in the first year.

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