It is now allowed to grow cannabis at home
MONTREAL — Provisions of Quebec’s Cannabis Act that prohibited growing recreational cannabis plants at home were struck down by a judge on Tuesday.
Magistrate Manon Lavoie of the Superior Court ruled that the Quebec law encroached on the legislative powers of the federal government, which alone can legislate in criminal matters.
Sections 5 and 10 of the “Cannabis Law” were therefore deemed unconstitutional – but the rest of the Quebec law remains valid.
This challenge to the law was not the response of a citizen pinned for possession of green plants. It is rather the initiative of Janick Murray Hall who brought this action on her behalf and on behalf of all persons in Quebec who can be prosecuted for being in possession of cannabis plants, is it reported in the judgment. .
Because what was allowed or not was not clear according to him: the federal government allows it, but the province prohibits it.
Specifically, federal law allows Canadian citizens to grow a maximum of four plants at home, since the substance was legalized for recreational use on October 17, 2018. Most Canadian provinces allow home cultivation. But the Quebec government had decided otherwise: by adopting its law in June 2018, it chose to prohibit the possession of a cannabis plant, and the cultivation of cannabis for personal purposes — which includes planting seeds, propagation by cuttings and harvesting.
“This is a glaring case where provincial law prohibits what federal law allows,” wrote Judge Lavoie.
In short, it is now allowed in Quebec to grow plants at home.
Me Julien Fortier, the lawyer for Mr. Murray Hall, warns however that we should not get carried away too quickly: the lawyers of the Quebec government can appeal this judgment, and ask that it be suspended during the call. “He can also modify his law to impose other types of restrictions which would be constitutional,” he adds.
Before the judge, the Attorney General of Quebec argued that the province has jurisdiction on several fronts, but above all invoked its jurisdiction in matters of health. It maintains that this law was adopted to achieve its objective of protecting the health and safety of its population, especially young people.
According to the magistrate, “it would be possible to claim that sections 5 and 10 have a rational and functional connection with the objectives pursued by the provincial law. However, the general prohibitions established by these provisions are absolutely unnecessary. In fact, imposing a stricter restriction than the federal law on the possession and personal cultivation of cannabis plants, instead of prohibiting it, would have made it possible to achieve the objectives of protecting public health and safety without infringing unlawfully upon federal power.”
The Government of Quebec has 30 days to appeal this judgment.